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  • Writer's pictureMikayla Perry

The Ravens experience: The impacts on a youth football team

BALTIMORE, MD - For the first time ever, The Baltimore Ravens opened training camp to the public at M&T Bank Stadium which drove in fans from all over to see their favorite star players. Fans from all over were also at the Owings Mills training facility where they could be a little closer and a little more personal with players. That's where the chapter starts for a youth football team who came to the practice facility.

CREDIT : Mikayla Perry, HBCU Sports Summit | Pikesville Wildcats

Among many children and families in attendance of the Baltimore Ravens 2023 training camp was the Pikesville Wildcats, a youth football team in Owings, Mills, Maryland. There was enough of these young boys to fill majority of the stands up. As it was many of the boys first time attending a training camp all together, it was their first time being at the Owings Mills training facility. Coach Saheed of the wildcats said that they boys had a great time and enjoyed everything. He then went on to talk about the high points of the visit and some things that could use improvement. "The highlight for them was getting to see and get high 5's from Odell Beckham Jr. and Lamar Jackson" said Saheed. "As far as improvement, the no cell phone, camera policy. I understand not wanting to have the practice filmed but we live in a digital era. The players may not get this opportunity again and they want to capture it via their cell phones." As far as filming rules, they are put into place to protect the team plays as they run through drills, however this does take away from fan experience.

Nonetheless, even with certain rules put into action, the experience is still an unforgettable one. These boys were in close proximity to some of their favorite players. They got the opportunity of a lifetime to interact with them. That is something that does not go lightly in the books of young boys with dreams of making it to the NFL. The biggest takeaway from camp is the exposure that these boys get. "Exposure leads to Expansion. I expose my players to a lot of different things. I don't just want them to dream that it's possible, I want them to see actual examples" said Saheed. "By taking them to camp they add a new experience and also see the many players who made it to the NFL and are living their dream."


Post camp is even more amazing as these children completely changed as far as mindsets and drive. "I have seen a change in their focus" said Saheed. "As you get older football becomes less about the physical and more about the mental. I've noticed that they've asked more questions about how and why. Before attending training camp they just did things because we told them to." This sounds like they got the best lesson ever, but outside of a classroom. It truly is remarkable to see. What will be even more remarkable is when these boys grow in their careers and make it. These are stories they will go on to tell their friends and family. They will talk about the time they met Lamar Jackson and Odell Beckham Jr. They will talk about the inspiration behind it all, which ultimately led to their success.

The impact of simply seeing someone of importance in action has the ability to completely change the focus and direction of someone, as they are inspired. It has the ability to make a person want to hustle and grind harder for what they want. The Baltimore Ravens did it big this year, especially with camp being open to the public for the first time ever at the M&T Bank Stadium. We are hoping for more successful camps in the future to change more lives!

CREDIT : Mikayla Perry, HBCU Sports Summit | Pikesville Wildcats

By, Mikayla Perry

Contributions: The Baltimore Ravens, HBCU Sports Summit

Photo: Mikayla Perry

Photo: Mikayla Perry


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