SI Blitz

Undrafted NFL Stars Impact on Youth Football Players

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

In the realm of American football, the path to the NFL is often perceived as a journey reserved for the elite, the heralded college athletes, and the early-round draft picks. However, beneath the spotlight, there exists a lesser-told narrative of resilience, determination, and undeterred passion. It's the story of undrafted NFL stars who, against the odds, not only carved their own path to professional football but continue to inspire the next generation of gridiron hopefuls. Among these unsung heroes stand individuals like Xavier Gipson and Jason Brownlee, whose presence at our camps this summer serves as a beacon of hope and possibility for aspiring players.

(Jason Brownlee, NY Jets)

In the highly competitive landscape of professional football, the NFL Draft serves as the gateway to realizing dreams for countless young football stars. Yet, for every first-round pick whose name echoes through the auditorium, there are many more whose journey takes a different turn. These undrafted players face the daunting task of proving themselves worthy of a roster spot through sheer grit and perseverance. Their stories are not just tales of triumph over adversity but blueprints for resilience in the face of setbacks.

(Jason Brownlee, NY Jets)

 Xavier Gipson, a wide receiver, and Jason Brownlee, a cornerback, epitomize the spirit of resilience that characterizes undrafted NFL stars. Despite going undrafted, they refused to let their dreams fade into obscurity. Instead, they seized every opportunity to showcase their talent, whether through tryouts, practice squads, or special teams. Their journey serves as a testament to the unwavering belief in oneself and the relentless pursuit of excellence.

(Xavier Gipson, NY Jets)

For the young players attending our camps, encountering athletes like Gipson and Brownlee is nothing short of transformative. It's a chance to witness firsthand that success is not solely defined by accolades or draft positions but by the relentless pursuit of one's goals. By interacting with these NFL stars, aspiring athletes glean invaluable lessons in resilience, work ethic, and the importance of seizing opportunities. You can learn more from Gipson and Brownlee at our camp in Madison NJ at Drew University from June 26-29th.

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The Taylor Hooton Foundation and the Dangers of Energy Drinks

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

At Sports International we believe that the best athletes work on their craft both on and off of the field. We are committed to not only honing our campers athletic skills but also fostering personal growth and inspiration to reach their full potential. We are lucky to have many different speakers who come to our camps to help educate our campers. Today we are focusing on the Taylor Hooton Foundation.

For more than ten years, the Taylor Hooton Foundation has played a crucial role in enhancing our camp's impact, providing essential knowledge and motivation to our young athletes. Each year, their speakers deliver impactful messages on challenging subjects. One of those subjects is Energy Drinks. In this blog post, we'll dig into the detrimental effects of energy drinks on the younger generation and highlight the Taylor Hooton Foundation's efforts to educate our campers on this matter.

Over the last few years, the popularity of energy drinks has surged, particularly among the younger demographic. Influencers are actively promoting these beverages, often disregarding the potential health ramifications. Brands like Prime and Redbull strategically tailor their products to target the younger audience through marketing their campaigns. With strategic branding, engaging advertisements, and sponsorships of events popular among youth, these companies have successfully positioned their products as “must-have” lifestyle accessories for the younger generation. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that caffeine and other stimulant substances contained in energy drinks have no place in the diet of children and adolescents.

 A significant issue surrounding energy drinks is that there is currently no legal limit to the amount of caffeine a company can put in their drinks. Some drinks also contain synephrine, which is on the banned substance list for many professional sporting agencies and the NCAA. In 2023 alone, there were 12,131 documented emergency room visits attributed to energy drink consumption, either as the primary cause or a contributing factor to health issues. The higher the caffeine dosage, the greater the likelihood of experiencing adverse effects such as jitters, insomnia, irregular heartbeats, sweating, nervousness, or seizures.

The Taylor Hooton Foundation is looking to educate the younger generation on the dangers of energy drinks, PED’s, HGH and much much more. Through personalized interactions, they effectively engage with our campers, ensuring that each individual leaves the session with heightened awareness regarding the potential risks associated with consuming these products.

As we look ahead to another year of camps, we're grateful for the continued partnership with the Taylor Hooton Foundation and the lasting impact they've had on our campers. Their dedication to educating and empowering young athletes is truly commendable, and we look forward to many more years of collaboration in promoting a culture of integrity, wellness, and excellence in sports.

You can learn more about the Taylor Hooton Foundation by visiting them at

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The Super Bowl and Off-Season

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

As the confetti settles and the echoes of the Super Bowl fade away, football enthusiasts find themselves reflecting not only on the thrilling plays and unforgettable moments but also on the lessons that extend far beyond the gridiron. While the spectacle of the NFL's biggest event captivates millions, there's a lesser-known narrative that intertwines with the grandeur of professional football—the journey of young athletes during the off-season at summer camps.

The Super Bowl represents the culmination of a grueling season for NFL players—an opportunity to showcase their talent, dedication, and teamwork on the biggest stage. Behind every touchdown, interception, and championship-clinching play lies a story of relentless training, sacrifices, and unwavering commitment.

For youth football players, the off-season is not merely a hiatus from the game but a crucial period of growth, development, and preparation for the challenges ahead. It's a time for refining skills, building strength, and nurturing the qualities that define champions both on and off the field. And there is no better place to do that than camp.

(Alijah Vera-Tucker, NY Jets)

Just as Super Bowl champions rely on teamwork and preparation to achieve greatness, young athletes learn invaluable lessons about collaboration, leadership, and resilience during their time at our camps. While being mentored by former NFL professionals to show them the ins and outs of the journey to the big leagues. 

As we celebrate the spectacle of the Super Bowl, let's not forget the countless young athletes who aspire to follow in the footsteps of their gridiron heroes. The connection between the Super Bowl and the football camps for young football players is not just about touchdowns and trophies—it's about character, perseverance, and the transformative power of sport.

Start your journey to the Super Bowl today by signing up for one of our camps!

(Blake Proehl, MN Vikings)

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An Interview with Willie Parker

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

With our first camp just around the corner, we decided to sit down with Willie Parker and ask him some questions. We dive into the mentors and coaches who shaped his impressive career, his vision for developing young athletes, and the impact of his football camp on the local community.

Mentors play a big role in a young person's life. When asking Willie about the mentors who made an impact on his career, he was quick to mention his Father, “My father was my little league coach who played one of the biggest roles in changing my mindset into believing ‘I could become a Great athlete’! He really poured into my mindset encouraging me at all times.”

One of the coaches who helped pave the way for Willie to prove he was good enough was his 7th-grade coach, Coach Strickland. Willie fondly remembers playing for coach Strickland, even though he may not have always been the one on the field. “He definitely was a great coach! The 1st coach that made me work for everything! While I’m reflecting back this probably was the best thing that ever happened to me. He didn’t play me much in 7th grade and I starred on our scout team… I scored 1 touchdown (the) last game of the season on an 80-yard run, fumbled on the 5-yard line, and recovered the ball in the end zone. I will ALWAYS remember my 7th grade season.

He also could not forget to mention his high school coach, Coach Lewis, who “…was a father figure away from home. He had a really cool sense of humor and knew how to get the best out of his athletes” And of course recognized all of the coaches from his college at UNC and professional career, most notably Coach Cowher and Coach Tomlin with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

After his successful career at the Steelers, Willie decided to take on a mentor role himself by putting on the Willie Parker Football Camp. For the past 5 years, Willie has been encouraging the next generation of great football players by “...creating an environment for Greatness while encouraging everyone in attendance they have a good chance in becoming great.  With a proven recipe with experience as it’s a reference!” One of the main focuses at camp is to “Become great at Doing the Small Things”

It is also really big for Wille to make sure all kids are getting out of the house and experiencing the world as much as possible, without screens. “Programs and Group involvement taught me the power of having a purpose! Kids these days need to be around people in real live situations instead of being home and surfing the internet and playing video games.”

When discussing how he hopes his camps will positively impact the local community of Pittsburgh, Willie mentions that “Having the campers in a positive environment a few hours over the course of a weekend with Great people and Great vibes will impact not only the community but it will change your kid in a positive way!! Iron Sharpens Iron!”

Willie Parker's journey from NFL stardom to mentoring exemplifies the transformative power of sports mentorship. Through his football camp, he is leaving a mark on the lives of aspiring athletes and contributing positively to the local community.

Do not miss your opportunity to have Willie as your mentor this February 24-25th. Click below to learn more about our upcoming camp!

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Touchdown on Holiday Gifting

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

The holiday season is upon us, and while visions of sugarplums may dance in some heads, for others, it's all about touchdowns, tackles, and the thrill of the game. This year, consider stepping out of the traditional gift-giving playbook and surprise your loved ones with the ultimate camp experience.

With Sports International, football camp is not just a gift; it's an experience that lasts a lifetime. Instead of material possessions that may lose their appeal over time, memories from camp will be cherished forever. Our camps offer a unique opportunity for participants to immerse themselves in the game, meet like-minded peers, and learn from seasoned coaches and NFL professionals.


Whether your gift recipient is a budding athlete or a seasoned player, camp provides valuable opportunities for skill development. From refining techniques to learning advanced strategies, participants can enhance their football prowess under the guidance of experienced coaches and professionals who understand the game inside out.


Attending camp challenges individuals to push their limits and step outside their comfort zones. It instills a sense of discipline, resilience, and perseverance – qualities that are invaluable both in sports and in everyday life. The personal growth experienced at camp transcends the field, positively impacting other areas of a participant's life.


This holiday season, think outside the gift-wrapping box and consider the gift of camp. It's a present that not only provides immediate joy but also sets the stage for personal growth, skill development, and a lifetime of fond memories. Touchdown on holiday gifting with a gift that truly scores big!

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Football and Thanksgiving - A Time-Honored Connection

Thursday, November 16, 2023


Thanksgiving and football - two seemingly unrelated traditions that have become inseparable in the hearts and minds of millions of Americans. For many, Thanksgiving Day isn't complete without the mouthwatering turkey, the cozy family gatherings, and the thrilling gridiron battles.

The Birth of Thanksgiving Football

The tradition of playing football on Thanksgiving dates back to the late 19th century. It all began in 1869 when the first American football game was played between Rutgers and Princeton, marking the birth of American football. As the sport gained popularity, it didn't take long for communities and schools to embrace the idea of playing football games on Thanksgiving Day.

One of the earliest recorded Thanksgiving Day football games took place in Philadelphia in 1869, just a few weeks after the first Rutgers-Princeton matchup. Over the following decades, these games became a beloved Thanksgiving tradition across the nation.

Several factors contributed to the connection between Thanksgiving and football:

Perfect Timing: Thanksgiving falls in late November, a time when the NFL and college football seasons are in full swing. With the weather often crisp and cool, it's the perfect time for football fans to bundle up, head to the stadium or tune in on TV.

Family Gathering: Thanksgiving is a holiday centered around family gatherings. Football provides a unifying activity for families, as people of all ages can enjoy watching a game together. The TV is often the centerpiece of the living room during Thanksgiving, where everyone gathers to watch the games.

Rivalry Games: Many Thanksgiving matchups feature fierce rivalries, and many of those rivalries include many of our camp Instructors. Games like the Dallas Cowboys vs. the Washington Football Team have become annual showdowns that fans eagerly anticipate.

A Day for Thanks and Football: Thanksgiving is a day to reflect on gratitude and spend time with loved ones. Football games often carry a sense of community and togetherness, making them a natural fit for this holiday of thanksgiving. 

The connection between football and Thanksgiving is a testament to the way traditions can evolve and become deeply ingrained in our culture. Whether you're a die-hard football fan or simply enjoy watching a game with your loved ones, Thanksgiving football is a tradition that brings people together and adds an extra layer of excitement and joy to this cherished holiday. As we gather around the table to give thanks and enjoy a hearty meal, we can also take a moment to appreciate the unique bond between football and Thanksgiving, a connection that has stood the test of time.


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Fueling Your Way to Success: The Importance of a Healthy Diet for Young Football Stars

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Football camps are more than just an opportunity for young athletes to hone their skills and enjoy the game they love. They also serve as a crucial foundation for building strong, resilient players. While the drills, exercises, and coaching are undoubtedly essential, what often goes unnoticed is the pivotal role that nutrition plays in an athlete's performance and overall well-being.

Energy and Stamina

Football is an intense and physically demanding sport. It requires a significant amount of energy and stamina to perform well during practice and games. Consuming a healthy diet provides athletes with the necessary fuel to endure the rigorous training sessions that summer football camps typically offer.

Improved Recovery

In football, injuries and sore muscles are part of the game. A diet rich in vitamins and minerals, especially those found in fruits and vegetables, can significantly enhance recovery. Vitamin C, for instance, is known for its role in collagen production, helping to repair damaged tissues. Meanwhile, antioxidants found in many fruits and vegetables reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, which can expedite the recovery process.


Staying properly hydrated is as important as eating right. Dehydration can quickly lead to fatigue, muscle cramps, and a reduced ability to regulate body temperature. Water is the most crucial element for proper hydration, but during intense workouts, it's also important to replenish electrolytes through sports drinks or natural sources like coconut water.

Mental Alertness

Football is not just about physical strength; mental agility and alertness are equally vital. Proper nutrition can influence cognitive function and concentration. Nutrient-dense foods, such as those rich in omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts), can improve brain health and help players stay focused during practices and games. A diet with adequate B vitamins, like folate and B12, is also crucial for optimal brain function.

By providing the body with the right nutrients, players can boost their energy levels, improve their recovery, enhance mental alertness, manage their weight effectively, and maintain proper hydration. These dietary habits not only improve their on-field performance but also instill lifelong lessons in the importance of maintaining a healthy and balanced diet. So, for all aspiring football stars, remember that what you eat is as important as how you play when it comes to achieving your goals on the field.

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The Power of Play: Why Sports in School is Essential for Child Development

Thursday, September 7, 2023


In a world increasingly dominated by screens and sedentary activities, the importance of sports in school cannot be overstated. Participating in sports and physical activities offers a myriad of benefits that extend beyond the playing field. It plays a pivotal role in shaping a child's physical, mental, and emotional development. In this blog post, we will explore why sports in school is good for child development and why it should remain an integral part of a well-rounded education.

Physical Health
One of the most obvious advantages of engaging in sports at school is the promotion of physical fitness. Regular participation in sports helps children develop strong muscles, improve cardiovascular health, and enhance their overall physical well-being. It combats the rising trend of childhood obesity and instills healthy habits from an early age.

Physical activity also fosters the development of essential motor skills. From running and jumping to hand-eye coordination, sports provide a fun and engaging platform for children to refine their physical abilities.

Teamwork and Social Skills
Team sports, in particular, offer invaluable lessons in teamwork, communication, and collaboration. Children learn to work together towards a common goal, share responsibilities, and respect the opinions and contributions of others. These skills are not only essential on the playing field but also in everyday life, as they translate into better relationships and problem-solving abilities.

Moreover, participating in sports exposes children to diverse peer groups, helping them develop social skills and empathy. They learn to appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of others, fostering a sense of inclusivity and camaraderie.


Discipline and Time Management
Success in sports requires discipline and time management. Students who engage in sports often exhibit better organizational skills as they need to balance their practice schedules with academic responsibilities. This valuable life skill extends far beyond the field, aiding in academic achievement and future career endeavors.

Confidence and Self-Esteem
Sports provide opportunities for children to set and achieve personal goals. As they improve their skills and see their efforts pay off, their self-confidence and self-esteem grow. Overcoming challenges in sports builds resilience and teaches children that failure is a stepping stone to success. These lessons are instrumental in shaping a child's attitude toward life and personal growth.

Stress Relief and Mental Health
Participating in sports is an effective stress reliever. Physical activity triggers the release of endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. This not only reduces stress but also helps combat feelings of anxiety and depression in children. Moreover, sports provide a healthy outlet for pent-up emotions, reducing the risk of behavioral issues.

Goal Setting and Perseverance
Setting and achieving goals in sports instill the value of hard work, determination, and perseverance in children. They learn that with effort and dedication, they can overcome obstacles and improve over time. These lessons are invaluable in helping children navigate life's challenges and setbacks.

Incorporating sports into school curricula is a holistic approach to child development. These benefits extend far beyond the playing field and lay the foundation for success in various aspects of life. As parents, educators, and policymakers, we should continue to recognize the importance of sports in school and ensure that children have ample opportunities to participate in these activities. By doing so, we empower them to grow into well-rounded individuals who are better equipped to face the challenges of the future.

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Cole Strange New England Patriots Headliner

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Cole Strange is a name that is quickly making its way through the ranks of the National Football League. A rookie offensive lineman for the New England Patriots, Cole has already made an impact in the league. But his journey to the NFL was not an easy one. 

Cole grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he attended Farragut High School. He was a standout athlete, playing on both offense and defense. He excelled as a defensive end in high school and was named the Knoxville Interscholastic League Defensive Player of the Year as a Senior. However, his talents as an offensive lineman would later be recognized.

 Over the next four years, Cole anchored UTC’s offensive line and earned numerous accolades. He was named a four-time All-Southern Conference selection and was twice awarded the Southern Conference Jacobs Blocking Trophy, which goes to the best offensive lineman in the Southern Conference. His outstanding performance on the field caught the attention of NFL scouts.

After graduating from UTC in 2021, Cole declared for the 2022 NFL Draft. He impressed at the Seniors Bowl and his pro-day and was ultimately selected in the first round by the New England Patriots. Cole immediately became a starter at guard for the Patriots and started in all 17 games as a rookie.


Cole's success in the NFL is a testament to his hard work and dedication to the sport. Despite being rated as a 2-star recruit coming out of high school, Cole never gave up on his dreams of playing in the NFL. He worked tirelessly to improve his skills and showcase his abilities on the field.


As a member of the New England Patriots, Cole Strange will undoubtedly continue to be a building-block of the team's offensive line for many years to come. Fans who attend the upcoming camp from July 17-20 at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell will have the opportunity to meet Cole and other members of the Patriots in action, and receive top-notch coaching from some of the most elite football minds in the game. Sports International Football Camps takes great pride in providing top-tier coaching to athletes of all skill levels, and their camps have helped to shape the careers of countless football players, including Cole Strange. Don't miss out on the chance to learn from Cole and take your game to the next level at Sports International Football Camps.

Ronde Barber Hall of Fame Headliner

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Ronde Barber had an outstanding career. Barber played as a cornerback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 16 years before he retired. Ronde started his football career at the University of Virginia where he played as a defensive back and kick returner. At the University of Virginia, he was the Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the year and was named First Team each season. Barber declared for the NFL Draft after his Junior Year. Barber was then inducted into University of Virginia's Hall of Fame in 2014.

 In the 1997 NFL draft, Barber was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the third round. He went on to become a five time Pro-Bowler and was named Defensive Player of the Week on many occasions. Ronde is the only player in the NFL to this day that has 45 interceptions and 25 sacks under his belt. One of the biggest honors in Rondes career was being named to the NFL All-Decade Team in the 2000s. While having a super bowl ring on his finger is a pretty prestigious award, being named captain nine times and being the winner of the Ed Block Courage Award highlight his career.

We are honored to say that the newest inductee to the NFLs Pro Football Hall of Fame worked with Sports International Football Camps as a coach. He was a headliner for our camps and worked to help better our athletes. Ronde Barber is a great player and person and we were so thankful he dedicated his time to work with us. Check out our website to find out about more Hall of Fame coaches who have worked with us.

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