Top NFL Stars, Future Stars Offer Highlights at 2017 Panini Pop Warner Skills Clinic
HOUSTON — Last Friday evening inside the Tellepsen Family Downtown YMCA in Houston, Panini America and Pop Warner joined forces for the 10th Annual Panini Pop Warner Skills Clinic as more than 100 players from Houston-area Pop Warner programs were treated to expert coaching — and memories of a lifetime — thanks to NFL stars Le’Veon Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Doug Baldwin of the Seattle Seahawks, Teddy Bridgewater of the Minnesota Vikings, top 2017 NFL Draft prospect Leonard Fournette and former University of Houston quarterback Greg Ward Jr.
The result: Wall-to-wall smiles on seemingly every face in the house (especially the guest coaches), football fundamentals across five sprawling drill stations and a true night to remember just two days before Super Bowl LI.
In opposite corners of the third-story gym, quarterbacks Bridgewater and Ward drilled young Pop Warner athletes on the finer points of the passing game; on the other, Baldwin schooled kids on the importance of proper route-running and catching with the hands. For their part, running backs Bell and Fournette worked with the kids on ladder drills, spin moves and the best way to receive handoffs.
But no matter how insightful their on-field teachings were, to a man, the NFL stars in attendance — who worked up just as much sweat as the kids they were coaching — stressed the importance of education, passion, having fun and working hard. Those points certainly weren’t lost on the young athletes in the gym, including Panini Super Bowl Kid Reporter Joseph Perez.
You can check out some of the memorable scenes from the 10th Annual Panini Pop Warner Skills Clinic in the gallery that follows, compliments of Panini America photographer Kevin Jairaj. Stick around after the images for a must see highlight video.
Here’s the video . . .