Post a story

Sports ›

From the community

Chicago Bears Youth Camps: packaging fitness through fun, games and challenges

Trick Play?  Chicago Bears “Sneak” Fitness Lessons into Fun Youth Football Camp

Trick Play? Chicago Bears “Sneak” Fitness Lessons into Fun Youth Football Camp

Did you love Life cereal when you were a kid? Even if you never touched the cereal you probably remember the commercials where ‘Mikey’, the kid that hates everything, actually likes eating Life cereal (you remember, “Hey Mikey! He likes it!”). The idea is that although Life cereal is healthy, it taste great—so kids don’t realize they are eating something that is actually good for them.

Isn’t that how it always is with kids? As soon as you tell them something is good for them, they shut the idea down. This is also true when it comes to physical fitness. We have been hearing a lot lately about childhood obesity and how important it is to get our kids moving, but the moment we start throwing around phrases such as “It will help your body weight” or “You will get better endurance”, kids shut us down. The trick is showing kids how fun fitness can be and the experts at Chicago Bears Youth Football Camps have seemingly taken a page from the Life cereal handbook and have created a camp experience where kids learn how to enjoy getting healthy and fit.

“Kids do Bears Youth Football Camps because they are fun,” says Tom Finks, Executive Director of the Chicago Bears “They don’t know that there is this big, underlying health initiative happening underneath all the fun-filled activities.” The camps, which each run for 5 days from 9am to 3 pm (that’s 30 hours active learning, instruction and fun!), do more than just introduce kids to sports, they make kids passionate about being healthy. From learning new skills and pushing beyond comfort zones to making healthier food choices and honing young leadership skills, the Chicago Bears Youth Football Camps provide a great opportunity for kids to develop a lifelong love of fitness, and camp experts, provide parents with great tips for nurturing this love of fitness at home:

Focus on New Achievements
Kids love learning new skills and are always excited to succeed. “At our camps, through fun skill challenges, fun competitions and fun games, kids exert themselves—often beyond their normal comfort level,” says Finks. Finks suggests introducing your child to a new skill—making great catches, running faster, setting an obstacle record, etc., which will often get your child to push beyond their typical comfort level. “The fitness discovery is indirect,” adds Finks. “They experience an increased work capacity or ability. They see that they can move faster and longer than they ever imagined and for a longer period of time. That experience raises their understanding of what their bodies can achieve.”

Talk about the Affects of Exercise
Once kids begin exercising regularly, they will notice how different their body feels. “They are relaxed, they sleep well, they are happy,” adds Finks. “Their body may be tired, but it’s a ‘good tired’ and parents should openly talk about this.” This is also a great time to begin talking about how the foods you put in your body affect how your body performs. Off the field moments during camps include nutritional education games, interactive classroom activities such as “Eat Like a Bear” or “Eat Like a Packer” and lunch hours for kids and coaches. There is even an interactive online game called “Eat Like a Pro” ( which is a great tool for starting the parent/kid nutrition discussion “Kids are now primed to consider what kinds of foods will help them perform better tomorrow than they did today,” says Finks. “You want them to begin thinking about what foods provide them energy, repair muscles and help them feel great.”

Provide Proper Motivation
Just as all kids are different, all kids are motivated by different things. Parents need to tap into the one or two things that will motivate their child to try his or her hardest and do their best. “At camps, kids want to run hard for different reasons. From making a great catch to winning a leadership award,” says Finks. “Either way, that child is going to give it everything he has to achieve his own personal goal.”

You can register now for either a Chicago Bears Youth Football Camp in Naperville (All Saints Catholic Academy, June 25-29. Visit or call 312-226-7776.

The Chicago Bears Youth Football Camps are safe, non-contact instruction for kids ages 6-14 and are very suitable for any kid that just wants to learn the game. They provide a station-based training format that allows campers to be divided by age and experience level so each receives the right level of instruction and support. Kids will learn to run, throw, catch, defend, form block, form tackle and explode out of their stance with proper technique and improved speed. The camps, which each run for 5 days from 9am to 3pm (that’s 30 hours active learning, instruction and fun!), do more than just introduce kids to sports, they make kids passionate about being healthy and help develop a lifelong love of fitness.

Flag as inappropriate

Share this story

Recommended stories