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NFL players benefit from media boot camp (05-17-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor   
Friday, 17 May 2013 09:32
It was a boot camp in the truest form.
And while there was not any physical stress for the 20 current and former National Football League players in Bowling Green earlier this week, there was plenty of mental exercises thrown at them.
Bowling Green State University hosted the NFL's first Sports Journalism and Communications boot camp, which is one of 10 training programs for post-NFL careers that NFL Player Engagement offers to current and former players.
''It should have been called journalism training camp. You feel like you are back on the field for two-a-days,'' said Eric Crouch, a Heisman Trophy winner while playing at Nebraska. ''It's been some long days, but I think everyone has been very engaged and everyone has learned a lot.''
A number of areas were covered in the four-day program including, improvement of each participant's writing skills; a mock press conference with BGSU head football coach Dave Clawson; a field trip to a Toledo Mud Hens game; a seminar on sports and corporate communications/public relations; and learning how to build a personal brand to achieve post-career goals.
''There was (a lot covered), that's why they call it a boot camp,'' said Dick Maxwell, a former resident of Fostoria, and a BGSU graduate, who has worked with the NFL broadcast camps since 2006.
Maxwell was in the NFL for 36 years, including 29 years in the league office. Maxwell was the senior director of broadcasting when he retired in 2006.
He founded the Maxwell Center for Sports Media at BGSU to help sport management and media and communications students.
''We had 12-hour days on Tuesday and Wednesday and there was a lot packed in,'' Maxwell added.
Crouch found the entire experience very informative and worthwhile.
''I really need to work on my writing. That's one of the main reasons I was here because I want to be able write in clear, understanding, exciting, and interesting ways,'' Crouch said.
''I know I have got a pile of notes. I'm going to go back and dissect them, go through them and formulate a plan moving forward like everyone else should do when they leave here if they are serious about continuing their careers,'' he added.
The camp also offered an opportunity for the participants to develop new friendships.
'''We have all learned from one another. We have connected. We have exchanged contact information,'' Crouch said. ''We have made new friendships and new relationships.
''This is just a great opportunity to tell stories ... and connect and feel like you are back in the locker room.''
Maxwell said the boot camp benefitted from a strong effort by faculty and staff members at Bowling Green State University.
''It was an A-plus performance by the people here at Bowling Green; the athletics administration, the faculty who contributed,'' Maxwell said. ''Check one off - it's been a good week for Bowling Green.''
Maxwell said the NFL would examine and evaluate each of the 10 programs to see which ones would be offered again next year, but the first impression "was very strong'' for the boot camp held at BGSU and there is a possibility it could return.
Last Updated on Friday, 17 May 2013 09:37

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