At the 49ers Foundation skills practice on March 6th, we had the opportunity to step into the shoes of our players on a typical training day and scratch the surface in understanding how difficult their work is. There were 14 people at this event and we all developed a new and greater appreciation for the incredibly talented players of the 49ers (especially the kickers).
The day started with a tour of the locker room and an introduction of what to expect in the day ahead. Then we lined up in the tunnel to experience the rush of stepping onto the field as your name is announced on the loudspeaker (minus the thousands of screaming fans) then greeted on the field by Dennis Brown and 49ers PREP Coordinator, Ryan Dillard, who hosted and coached us throughout the drills. We had a brief warm-up, to get the blood pumping and the muscles fired up for the drills.
The skills practices started with a running back drill which focused on speed and agility over and through the obstacles to the impromptu endzone. Then we tested our vocal cords and arm as quarterbacks; shouting the play, grabbing the ball, running around cones to square up to a netted target and launch the ball…I missed, but had a ton of fun. The kicking drill was rough for most of us. Did you know the kickers use the side of their foot??? I tried (twice) and the ball just bounced on the ground. But there was a shining star in this drill, Rachael, who beautifully and successfully kicked the ball through the goal post both times (and from a longer distance than the rest of us). The last drill was my favorite. We did high knees through a ladder, rounded obstacles, then (my favorite part) hurled ourselves into a tackle dummy onto a mat. It was exhilarating and so fun.
We closed out the day sitting on the lawn, under a perfect sky, with great company, and just soaked in the moment of being on the field at Levi’s Stadium. It was a perfect day that I feel so fortunate to have experienced.
This day was an auction prize from a 49ers Foundation event that I was invited to, not a LOTE event. We are enquiring on feasibility of hosting a LOTE event, stay tuned.