I’m surrounded in a house of family members who LOVE and speak football… and I don’t understand the language. My husband LOVES all football from Thursday- Monday night. My boys have both played football and I still don’t really understand what’s going on. I call it a success when I can actually identify them on the field. You know they all look alike out there!
I knew that I had to jump on the opportunity to get a football intervention when I was invited to attend Women’s Football 101 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. I even left an event in San Diego and slept overnight on a plane to be there. The women who I met from Visit Stillwater last summer left such a big impression on me that I knew that I didn’t want to miss this event or an opportunity to find out why they were so enthusiastic about their community!
So what is Football 101?
Oklahoma State University Women’s Football 101 is designed to provide women a behind the scenes look at the Cowboy Football program, and a chance to learn all the details about the game. The women will get to enjoy a “FRIDAY WITH THE COWBOYS” inside Boone Pickens Stadium. Women of all ages are encouraged to register.
Our schedule that day gave us a great sampling of college football life. The first session was Q & A with moms of players. I missed that one because of my flight time but I heard that it was really informative and another perspective and voice that you don’t hear from as often. Kudos to the moms!
Drills and Skills
It can be a bit intimidating when you find out that you are going to practice drills with college football players. The experience was actually quite the opposite.
We started out with stretching and then we were divided into groups to work on specific drills and skills with the players.
The players did a great job of providing instruction and encouragement as we gave it our best.
The environment was definitely community over competition. There were woman who were trying their best of all ages, shapes and sizes….but if they missed a ball and it was close, we cheered them on. If they made a field goal, the whole line cheered. Drills and Skills put the fun in football.
Of course, I had to include a pic of me actually catching the ball because that was my moment of glory. Kids be proud!
I enjoyed getting a scaled down taste of what players do. We were even encouraged to grunt with all of our might as we moved the blocking sled. I definitely felt strangely empowered after that moment.
On our way into the athletic cafeteria, we walked by an area with lots of trophies. It was an exciting reminder that so many dreams and legacies have started at OSU.
I was really impressed with the lunch options that the athletes have available to them.
I was picturing traditional cafeteria style food and was pleasantly surprised at the healthy options and the incredible view of the stadium from their cafeteria.
Classroom Time with the Players
I loved this time because we got to learn more about the daily life of a player and ask them questions. We also go to hear from one of the coaches. The players have a lot to juggle between classes, studying, working out, practices, and games. It was great to hear that academics are viewed as a priority and that players have access to tutoring to help them succeed and manage their time.
There is even competitive positive peer pressure to keep their grades up. I had the opportunity to ask their advice to my middle school son who has dreams of playing collegiate football. They said all of the things a mother would want to hear in a voice my son would respect. They talked about the importance of getting good grades, working hard, good friends, and not getting distracted by girls. I seriously wanted to give them a standing ovation!
I didn’t discover the little sharpie in my swag bag from the event until that evening at my hotel. So I could have taken care of all of those opportunities to get autographs from players. The players were extremely accessible and polite. Our Football 101 swag bags had a great tank top and a personalized football with our name on it. That detail was above and beyond in my book!
A Tour of the Facility
After our classroom time we got to tour the facility. I was so impressed by the level of excellence at OSU.
The HUGE weight room was 1st class and included a smoothie bar.
Box Jump Skills
During our time in the weight room, a few players did a box jump demo for us. You will want to watch this video several times. Each time that I watch it, it still blows my mind. I’m convinced that these players have superpowers because they can jump on top of tall boxes with casual catlike reflexes. How do they do that so easy??????
Inside the Locker Room
The locker room for the players at OSU is pretty impressive. Definitely a MAJOR upgrade from your average smelly high school locker room.
We learned more about the uniforms from inside the locker room. The best part was that we got to try the jerseys and helmets on. I might have feared that the helmet would get stuck on my head.
We got to hear from successful OSU alumni during the last session at Football 101. You could visibly see how connected all audience alumni were during this session. It was inspiring and I felt like I was part of something bigger even though I was an outsider who never attended the school and didn’t know much about the team prior to my visit. (My husband knew lots, but I told you that I don’t speak their love language very well)
Our session ended with a time where we linked shoulders with the person next to us and swayed during the school song. It was the perfect way to end the day and understand the sense of pride that each alumni has when they talk about the school.
I discovered the Class Cowboy motto on the wall as I was leaving the auditorium but I had already encountered countless classy cowboys long before I read the sign or even knew what being a Classy Cowboy meant. That is what impressed me the most that day at Football 101.
Their manners and respectfulness were something that shocked me in a good way within my first few moments of encountering that day.
A winning football team is great, but a football program that builds character into young men with traits that will last beyond their football career is even more impressive.
My experience at Football 101 gave me a greater appreciation for what Oklahoma State University football means to the community of Stillwater, Oklahoma and beyond.
OSU- your classy cowboys impressed me and I’ll be extra interested in football this fall just to see how your classy cowboys do.
You can find out more about Football 101 and Oklahoma State University from their website.
Thanks again to Visit Stillwater for hosting my adventure.