all-sports camp

The Oconee County Parks and Recreation Department hosted its second all-sports camp of the summer July 12-15.

Instructors from D1 Training Athens joined in hosting the group of 6- through 11-year-old campers at Oconee Veterans Park.

During the four-day camp, participants learned easy warm-up drills before learning the basics of the day’s sport. The warm-ups developed agility and footwork. Drills specifically helped with speed, side-to-side movements, forward-backward, stop, start, jumping and landing. Warm-ups finished with body weight movements like squats and push-ups.

After warm-ups, instructors began sport-specific drills for the day.

Because the camp included a variety of sports, different days of the camp focused on different sports. Instructors taught baseball and kickball on Monday, soccer on Tuesday, basketball on Wednesday and football on Thursday.

Jon Richt, co-owner and general manager of D1 Training Athens, emphasized the importance of campers understanding basic skills for each sport. During the football session, coaches ran fundamental drills before practicing games so participants would get a full understanding of the sport.

“We did some tackling drills with some dummies, we did some running back drills that they were doing, then we’re teaching them how to throw and catch a football,” said Richt. “So, we did those drills until they felt comfortable and at the end, we’re all just playing games, having fun.”

At the camp, Richt hoped campers would develop an interest in a new sport. His goal was for campers to have fun and stay active.

“If you come out here and they enjoy the week, they might find a new sport that they're passionate about and that's what our goal is,” said Richt. “To get them out here, moving around having fun and at the end of the day, hopefully, they end up continuing to play these sports later in life.”

Son of former Georgia football coach Mark Richt, Jon Richt played football at Mars Hill University before following in his father’s footsteps in coaching. Richt spent time with the Buffalo Bills as well as Georgia and Miami alongside his father.

Richt opened D1 Training Athens location in 2020 alongside Fred Munzenmaier, a former Bulldog and member of Georgia football’s strength and conditioning staff.

D1 Training began in 2001 in Nashville as a gym for guided group workouts for elite athletes such Peyton Manning and Will Bartholomew. It has since expanded to help train children as well as adults in athletics and daily workouts.

The Athens training location is open for any age group and experience level. Young players like the campers are welcome to join further training with D1.

“We have a rookie class that these guys would be in, our 7-11-year-olds,” said Richt. “They would come in and basically do what we’re doing out here: learn to love to exercise and be moving around and be in a place where they’re in a positive encouraging environment to where they’re able to truly grow and have fun with exercise.”

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