PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Hundreds of kids spent the day passing and catching and learning the ropes of football.
Their coach, Ben Roethlisberger, is one of the best in the business.
Ben’s annual football Procamp kicked off Monday morning.
“It’s a lot of fun. This is my fifth year coming. I’ve been here every year and it’s always been really exciting,” one camper said.
More than 500 kids were having a blast while learning about football.
From passing and catching to different drills the young athletes worked hard.
“We try and keep it to offense obviously, but I just saw some kids doing a toss sweep, learning how to run the ball, some wide receiver drills and obviously quarterback drills,” Roethlisberger said.
The kids were divided into teams and local high school coaches worked one-on-one with the first through eighth graders.
Ben makes the rounds and stops by each group to offer advice and teaching techniques.
By the end of camp, each kid will have the opportunity to catch a pass from the quarterback.
“To me, this is two days I get an excuse to be a big kid and so I get to run around and play football with them and watch them have fun and for some of these kids, we have a lot of the Boys and Girls Clubs kids here, for them its two days away from the stresses of everyday life, which is unfortunate,” Roethlisberger said.
All of these kids get seven hours of expert instruction from coaches, but it’s not just about learning skills out on the field.
“My biggest thing is I always say I emphasize three things – teamwork, sportsmanship and having fun. So, to me, that’s what it’s about and as I ride by the kids are all waiving and stuff and I try to get them to keep focused on football, but really they are out here having fun,” Roethlisberger said.
Though, Ben is riding around on a bicycle, instead of walking because his right knee is still recovering after surgery.
“Doing good. I’m just getting around a lot better on a bike so I can get around faster, so I can get to more kids,” Roethlisberger said.