Laker football visits SVSU for youth football camp

The Lakers football team recently spent three days training at Saginaw Valley State University, July 27-29.

For Lakers coach Dave LeVasseur, this isn’t the first time his team has attended camp. On other training stops, including Oscoda, his teams visited this camp as well as a camp at Northwood University.

“SVSU camp was the first camp I took a team to,” he said. “The camps at SVSU and Northwood are fantastic, they do a great job. We went to SVSU this year as it’s been a while since I’ve been. Wanted a change of scenery for our team. C “was amazing. We enjoyed it a lot. a lot. We brought university, joint venture and college this year.

At SVSU, there are different types of camps that football teams can attend. In this case, the Lakers received the facilities for three days and coached the camps themselves.

“We had no interaction with the SVSU coaches,” LeVasseur said. “However, we used their facilities, stayed in their dorms, and used their cafeteria and swimming pool. More than anything, we followed a regular training schedule. Our schedules are quite specific.”

“What’s most important coming out of this camp, besides the skills and the drills, is the relationships and the team chemistry that was created,” added LeVasseur. “Experience is really what we were looking for. It’s the base on which we build each season, because each season is different.”

According to LeVasseur, most of the planning he and the coaches do for camp is fun-oriented activities.

“We don’t run long distances just to sprint,” he said. “We do these camps in order to bond with each other.”

The first night of camp consisted of practice and a team visit to the pool.

“We had a team meeting, but it was more of a game night, a competition and a party,” LeVasseur said. “We took about three hours and we did it. With 60 kids, you have to stick to a tight schedule. But the kids appreciate that.”

“Thirty years from now, you might only remember one or two plays,” LeVasseur added. “However, you will remember all the extra things, how much you appreciated them and appreciated them, much more. That’s what we try to do.”

The second night of camp consisted of three practices. Two alone and one with the Hemlock Huskies.

“I’m good friends with (hemlock) coach Adam Clark,” LeVasseur said. “We’ve had guided tours with them, as well as seven on seven. This camp breaks down really well for the relationships you build, clarifying our expectations. What’s the standard and where we want to go here. We establish who we want be, and this is the theme of the first day.

“Last year our theme was mental toughness,” added LeVasseur. “We want to be strong mentally. This year we picked up on that theme because we used it well and added commitment to it.”

According to LeVasseur, finding out the identity of the team is an important part of camp.

“We take a team song every year,” he said. “Last year it was ‘Hooked on a Feeling’ by Blue Suede. We sing a certain song after every win, it’s one of the things we do. It puts that stamp on a team with an identity. That was our goal for us, who we want to be and what we want to do.

“We do a ton of things, but it has to be done in a short time,” he added. “We do this to get to know our players, everyone is exposed to everyone. We find out how we gel together, what motivates each other, and it’s important to gauge each other.”

LeVasseur also had a message for coaches who don’t regularly schedule off-season camps.

“It’s incredibly valuable,” he said. “Any coach who doesn’t should find the money and take the time. Last year camp was important to achieve our success. We got to the point that we did based on how well we have built with each other. Closeness and cohesion was a springboard from camp. This camp has worked just as well. It sends us on a trajectory that we are comfortable with.

Official MHSAA practices begin August 8.

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