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A Different Type of Tryout

Jeff Sims
Tuesday October 28, 2008

Most football players know that when they go to tryout for a team, they will have to perform the usual football drills; the 40 yard dash, the short shuffle, a test to demonstrate jumping ability, and one-on-one drills to show they know their position.

With arena football being different from outdoor football, there are many aspects to the game that players do not recognize and understand. When players show their skills to arena football teams, they typically lack these skills and often cannot adapt their football skills to the indoor game.

The Chicago Rush is taking a bit of a different approach for their next tryout that is taking place on November 7th. The tryout, which is taking place at its practice facility in Hoffman Estates, will obviously include all of the regular football drills, but how often do players receive instruction to learn the nuances of arena football?

Wide Receivers, Quarterbacks, and Defensive Backs will have the ability to attend the “camp” and receive instruction from the Rush position coaches. They will get to watch AFL game film as it relates to their position and partake in drills teaching the intricacies of the indoor game.

“This is a unique opportunity for anyone that is attending,” said Rush Vice President of Player Personnel, Assistant Head Coach, and Defensive Coordinator Brian Schwartze. “They will get to see it, walk through it, and go through drills that teach the AFL game. It is a good quality chance for instruction from a staff that likes to teach the game of arena football”

In replicating a game week, the coaching staff will go through game plan installation, formation review, and prepare the players for a 4-on-4 session.

Any player trying out will get to show their skills in front of coaches and personnel from AF2 teams that will also be in attendance.

Also making this “camp” unique is that each player receives a certified copy of their drill results and video of the workout that is sent to over 60 other professional football teams.

“This is our fourth year of sending out workout video,” said Schwartze. “It has been a good thing for the players and the teams. Teams can find guys from these open tryouts with our assistance. These are hard working guys that want to play football.”

To keep the instruction individualized as much as possible, participation is limited to 21 receivers and defensive backs. There are only seven spots for quarterbacks.

According to the Rush front office, spots have filled up quick due to the uniqueness of the opportunity, but there are a few spots still available. Anyone wishing to attend can contact the Chicago Rush front office for more information.

And who knows? Maybe even a writer covering the team (hint, hint) will get to learn something as well.

Jeff has been writing for since 2004. Originally from New York, Jeff has been living in the Chicago area for the past ten years and is an avid football fanatic. He holds a BA in communications from Hofstra University in New York and a sports management certificate from Loyola University in Chicago.
The opinions expressed in the article above are only those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts, opinions, or official stance of ArenaFan Online or its staff, or the Arena Football League, or any AFL or af2 teams.
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