The Ohio State University football program will host their second annual Women's Football Clinic on Saturday, June 8 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. The inaugural event, held last June, was attended by over 700 women, and the clinic was thoroughly enjoyed by the participants, as well as the coaches. This year's clinic will include offensive, defensive and special teams instruction, tours of the football facilities, some stretching, football drills, and more.
People tend to have mixed feelings about events like this. On one hand, there are some people who literally think that women don't need to know anything about football when their time is better spent cooking and cleaning and doing laundry. It sounds ridiculous, but I have personally been faced with this perspective more times than I care to count. At the opposite end of the spectrum, there are some people who feel that it's condescending to assume that women need a clinic devoted to curing their "ignorance" about football. On the other hand, there are plenty of people, male and female, who think its a great idea.
From a marketing perspective, it's brilliant. The number of female football fans continues to rise, and the program can only benefit from providing an opportunity for female fans to learn more about the team and the game. An informed fan has the potential to be a more invested fan, and fans who are more invested in the team tend not just to purchase more merchandise and tickets, but also be evangelists for the program and university. Some of the proceeds from the event are donated toward cancer research efforts. There is no real downside for the university or the football program.
Even for the many women who are already knowledgable about football in general, and the Buckeyes in particular, clinics like this still have much to offer. The key is that very few women have ever played football in a truly competitive capacity. If you have had the opportunity to be in a locker room, to break down film, to be coached on fundamentals and technique, it enhances your understanding of the game.
When a player miss a blocking assignment during a game, or a quarterback throws an interception that is really his receiver's fault, those issues will be more readily apparent to someone who has had the experience of being in and around football more. That is certainly less common amongst women, and the Ohio State Football Women's Clinic offers an opportunity to bridge some of those gaps in attendees' football knowledge.
I have a pretty thorough understanding of football. I grew up around the game. I regularly spent August mornings as a child at two-a-days with my dad, a high school assistant coach. Yet, I would jump at the opportunity to go to this clinic, have my photo taken with Urban Meyer, and advance my comprehension of the game under the instruction of some of the greatest minds in college football.
For those interested, registration for the clinic is now open. The cost is $75, though Ohio State students pay a discounted rate of $50. As mentioned, as an added bonus, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to benefit the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.