MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The Miami Dolphins today hosted more than 800 local youth and high school coaches at their fourth annual Coaches Clinic presented by Nike and supported by Ephesus Sports Lighting and Gatorade at Hard Rock Stadium. Coaches from Charleston Southern University, Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University, the University of Central Florida, the University of Miami and St. Thomas University taught 33 different classroom and on-field sessions focused on game and practice techniques, motivational tools and core football competencies. Miami Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores welcomed the participants prior to the breakout sessions. Participants received a Nike gift bag and high school coaches received Gatorade product for their team.
"I really believe that this, right now, is a celebration of our game, a game that's very important to me, that's done a lot for me in my life. I talk about this as much as I can: football, growing up as a poor kid in Brooklyn, New York, I would say football is the only thing that leveled the playing field for me, me and my family, and it's done that in a big way," said Flores. "To be in a room filled with coaches who want to make an impact, who want to help develop young people, of course I'm going to come do this, of course I'm going to come speak. What I want to do is give you guys a round of applause for doing the things that you do."
"This event was a great opportunity for coaches at all levels to grow as teachers and have a positive impact on their teams," said Miami Dolphins Youth Programs Director RaShauna Hamilton. "We are committed to making the game healthier and safer for South Florida student-athletes, coaches and parents. It is great to have the support, time and resources of our senior leadership in Stephen Ross, Tom Garfinkel, Chris Grier and Brian Flores with important events like this that help advance our mission."
Also on hand to present about concussion education was Gillian Hotz, Ph.D., Director of the University of Miami Sports Medicine Institute's concussion program. In 2017, the Miami Dolphins Foundation partnered with the University of Miami Sports Medicine Institute and KiDZ Neuroscience Center at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis to sponsor The University of Miami Countywide Concussion Care High School Program, which performs baseline concussion testing for all high school athletes at Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Additionally, Tod Creneti from the Positive Coaching Alliance offered presentations on how to be a more effective coach and encourage young athletes, USA Football provided Heads Up Football certification to youth coaches and the Florida High School Athletics Association presented on compliance.
The Junior Dolphins program encourages youth players and coaches to learn, teach and play football in a fun and safe environment. The Junior Dolphins program is designed to give kids access to learn the fundamentals of football using the NFL's top resources. To grow the game, the Junior Dolphins program will work to educate coaches, parents and youth on the health and safety of football with a strong emphasis on character development. Junior Dolphins is building the next generation of Dolphins Fans.