Elite high school football players seek out extra coaching

While it has been common among young quarterbacks for a number of years, the practice of hiring a specialized, private coach has spread to a variety of positions on the football field. According to USA Today, the pressure to be an arm and a leg up above the competition for D-I slots has resulted in a cottage industry for camps and sessions across the country, sometimes run by elite former National Football League (NFL) players.

The trend has some high school coaches worried both for their teams' morale and the health of the athletes hiring external trainers.

Allan Trimble, an Oklahoma coach, told the newspaper, "We have a full-time strength and performance coach who's cutting-edge, yet we still have parents and players who want to get additional training. You like the attitude of that, but in some cases, there's overtraining or conflicts with the football team. It can also create 'me-tendinitis.' It's challenging when you're trying to build camaraderie within a team."

Yet, players hoping to receive a sports scholarship argue that it's critical to get as much help and advice as possible and is even similar to affluent parents hiring a specialist to help their children with college applications.

Leonard Stevens, a retired NFL tight end who runs one such clinic, told the source that he believes there is value in a program like his that teaches position-specific skill development as opposed to teamwork, which he says is what most high school football organizations focus on.

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