Taking the field at Football 101 at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma was one of my favorite 40 before 40 challenges I did. When Visit Stillwater asked if I would like to participate in a woman’s only football school I jumped at the chance.
The opportunity to learn about a sport that I really knew very little about, the opportunity to try my hand at kicking a field goal, running into the pads and being surrounded by really fun women….YES!!!!
I do have to admit that I was a bit nervous going into the event. Would I be too out of shape and fall over on the field, would I completely miss the ball when trying to kick it (the answer is yes), would the football info be so far over my head that I felt like I was back in college…all of these worries went through my head. Thankfully none of them happened, ok I did miss the ball when I tried to kick it but that was minor compared to my fear of passing out.
1st I should say WOW! Oklahoma State University has a truly amazing athletic facility that I am pretty sure a few NFL teams would be jealous of! The day kicked off (see what I did there 🙂 ) with a morning session in the team theater. We heard from players and their moms about what it is like growing up playing football, the struggles and the joy that comes from it.
After this morning session, we moved to the outdoor practice field. This is the moment that I wasn’t too sure about but was also super excited about at the same time. I donned my orange Football 101 tank top and joined the rest of the woman for a group photo. Then it was time to start practicing. We did a group stretch and then broke into our teams.
Notice my eyes are closed…I am sure this is proper football catching technique. 🙂
This part of the day ended up being my absolute favorite part which is funny since it was also the part that I feared the most. Each of our teams rotated through drills and we had our chance to try our hand at different skills. I am happy to say that I can still throw a football like a champ! My dad would have been so proud to see the spiral I threw the football. All those hours of practice as a kid paid off during these sessions.
I also managed to catch the football without breaking any fingers and holding onto it! I did this so well that one of the guys even complimented me. Woohoo! Gold star in catching the football.
Then it came time to try and kick a field goal…..so about that. I completely 100% missed the ball! It kind of fell off the stand from the force of my leg swinging right on by it. I have such mad respect for the players that kick field goals. I will no longer question why the ball didn’t make it. I am now just impressed that it left the ground.
We also had the chance to run into the pads and push them down the field. This is one of those weird bucket list moments I have always wanted to do. You see players in movies pushing the pads down the field and it always looked fun.
After our training session, we moved back to the stadium to have lunch. I didn’t realize that the athletic department has their own cafeteria and staff for athletes. Athletes work with a nutritionist to make sure they are getting the proper nutrients and meals each day. The food that we enjoyed was delicious. I wish I would have had this type of facility when I was a competitive swimmer in college.
The afternoon was spent the afternoon touring the rest of the football facility. From the state of the art athletic training room to the locker rooms I was so impressed with the OSU facilities. WOW!
We also met with a group of players and one of their coaches to learn more about how they balance school and football. These players impressed me like nothing else! Their dedication to not only their schooling but the team came through without them really talking about it. You could see how well they got along with each other and the coaching staff.
They have so much pride in playing for Oklahoma State University!
Football 101 was truly amazing to participate in. I not only learned about the game of football but I spent the day surrounded by woman who encouraged each other, cheered each other on and celebrating being there. It didn’t matter if you missed the ball, couldn’t kick it or didn’t know what was happening this group of woman encouraged each other with cheers and high fives. I wish I could bottle the encouragement and joy that was present this day and share it with more people.
Truly a day that I loved!!! We could all learn a little something from being a Classy Cowboy!