For the second consecutive year, the Rams hosted high school coaches at each of the seven open practices of Training Camp, held at University of California, Irvine. The program aims to elevate the high school coaches' philosophies and strategies for implementing practice schedules and provide insight on skills and leadership development for players.
Five different high school coaches were selected to attend each practices for a day long experience. Following a meet and greet and meal at the team hotel, the high school coaches rode the bus with head coach Sean McVay to camp , where they spent the rest of the day observing practice on the fields.
Each coach was eager to implement their learning into their programs. "I like to watch the drills and see if they're done differently and [see] what new drills I can incorporate," said Servite High School assistant and outside linebacker coach, Jason Gelber.
Zach Lamonda, head coach at El Dorado High School, said his biggest take away was the structure of practice. "The overall flow, how they move... the transitioning from one drill to the next, they're very efficient. They have to be, this is the NFL." He explained how his team will not operate with the same efficiency but moving swiftly through practice could allow them to run a few extra plays and make them better this year.
Ghalee Wadood, Rams Associate Manager of High School Football, mentioned the program's impact of teaching student-athletes professional drills at an early age. "That was the whole mission to take the stuff back to the kids so they can start learning earlier."
Reflecting on the impact of the day, Lamonda said, "It's awesome, it's something that every team should do, and Wadood has done a great job putting this together and building it to where it is now. He's open and honest. He was talking to us about things that we think might help and he's open to improve the program. [We're] very appreciative of that and their willingness to do it for all the coaches."
Gelber mentioned how the learning experience the program provided was different than anything that can be experienced at the high school level. With this exposure, high school coaches can take professional experience to their programs and continue to grow as coaches.
Wadood reiterated that the goal of the program is to, "continue to reach the coaches and the kids. Giving them opportunity to have a Rams experience and to deepen our fan engagement." He mentioned that the success and fast growth of the program was impressive. He emphasized the impact of the support of coach McVay and the overall first-hand experience.
Both coaches were grateful for the accessibility that the program provided. The Rams' organization is proud that the high school coaches program has continued to be a large part of their community outreach efforts.
To learn more about the Rams' community efforts, please visit www.therams.com/community.