Football in Ontario... Time for a culture change

By O3P Academy |

Ever hear this one? “Hey kid your tall, fast and athletic why don’t you come out for the football team?” Or this one, “Hey kid you’re a big boy why don’t you come out and play some O-line for us”. The list goes on and on, as a matter of fact some of you parents that played the game may have been told some of the same things.

I’m not saying that being asked to play sports based on size and athletic ability is a bad thing, but that’s usually where the development begins and ends.

Mind you there are some coaches that teach their players “watered down” versions of football fundaments but is that enough?

It’s known that Ontario has a wide range of elite and super elite athletes compared to the other provinces and I think football coaches in Ontario have been spoiled for quite some time.

While our next-door neighbors Quebec has been leading the way in player development for quite some time despite the lack of elite level athletes.

Due to Quebec’s over all dedication to player development they have become an epicenter for the most fundamentally sound players in the nation, or as Laval Rouge et Or head coach Glen Constantine in an October 2014 Newsweek article says, “Quebec is sort of the Texas of Canadian high school football.”

As big as Ontario is along with the number of athletes we should have that moniker of being the “Texas” of Canada.

I think its time for a change, we need to stop being comfortable with simply having the best athletes and incorporate real fundamental training from the peewee level all the way through high school.

This can be done through grassroots efforts from former players and coaches that understand what it takes to become an elite level player.

Our mission at O3P Academy is to create a program for athletes from ages eight to 18 where they can develop positional /overall skills and academics.

If you want to be the best player you can be or if you are a parent looking to aid in your child’s development as a football player then O3P Academy is the right fit for you.

Wonder why I care as much as I do?

I was that athlete that had to rely on athletic ability rather than proper fundaments.

I would love to see this cycle of wasted talent end, How about you?

Kheon Clarke
Former CFL Prospect and Football coach