After over 20 years and more than 5,000 participants from all over the northeast, the Alercio OLine Clinic experienced a first. Fami Olorunnisola, a sophomore from Bordentown high school in NJ, became the first girl to attend a clinic. She was joined and supported by a dozen of her teammates working through all the drills under the watchful eyes of their coaching staff.
Similar to the experience referenced in an earlier blog post about the two girls who joined our Spring practices at St Johnsbury Academy, Fami was welcomed into the group, given the same opportunities to learn the basics, build a solid foundation, and refine techniques of OLine play. As we discussed last week, players focused on proper execution rather than speed, developed a fundamental understanding and smooth approach to offensive line play, and ultimately the complementary effects essential to teamwork. Though the first female, Fami was a teammate, learning, demonstrating, and playing just like any other offensive lineman.
Aside from those in her immediate training group, most players had no idea she was even there until the end when we circled up. After thanking the coaches and players for their efforts, I invited Fami into the circle and recognized her for being the first female to join us at a Clinic. I then shared what I so often say, “girls are the future of football because they become mothers who will allow their children, regardless of gender, to play the game.” Lastly, I commented on just how brave she must be and how much courage it must have taken to participate in such a large clinic knowing that she would most likely be the only female participant. As the boys clapped and cheered loudly for her, we finished the day with all the boys huddling around Fami as she broke them down with “OLine on Three…one, two, three OLINE!!!“
I look forward to seeing Fami at the 2023 New Jersey OLine Clinic and hope more female student-athletes join her as they too learn brilliance in the basics and a love of this great game.
Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at firstname.lastname@example.org and share http://www.olineskills.com with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for supporting this blog and joining our conversations, and as always, thanks for your time!
Photos from the 2022 New Jersey Alercio OLine Clinic