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Houston Texans

Texans host youth coaching clinic


Special teams coordinator Joe Marciano was an instructor at the recent Houston Texans Youth Football Clinic at Reliant Stadium.

Having started playing football in the sixth grade, Joe Marciano knows the importance of youth football. That's why the Texans' special teams coordinator joined other top professionals as an instructor at the Houston Texans Youth Football Clinic on July 11.

The clinic for youth and middle school coaches featured an all-star cast of guest speakers - Marciano, Texans guard Chester Pitts, head strength and conditioning coach Ray Wright, dietitian Roberta Anding and several of the top high school coaches in Houston - who passed along coaching fundamentals and training tips to the almost 100 coaches in attendance at Reliant Stadium.

Marciano spoke in the Texans' team auditorium about the importance of fundamentals in football, whether on the youth level or in the professional ranks. He shared his own youth football experiences and offered tips on the proper ways to relate basic football techniques to children.

"I was one of those guys at one time that I could not get enough information early in my career as a coach, so any time I have a chance to give back, I always do it," Marciano said. "I don't think they realize the impact they have on a young man's life. They have a tremendous responsibility with these kids."

{QUOTE}In the Texans' weight room, Wright and Pitts took the coaches through the seven-minute stretching warm-up that the Texans do before every practice.

"We were asked two or three times by the groups, 'Hey, my kid's eight now, is he ready to start lifting weights?'" Pitts said. "No. He's still growing. Wait 'til he stops growing. I'm plenty strong and I didn't lift weights until I was basically 18, 19 years old in college."

Wright recommended that youths begin weight training in their second or third year of high school at the earliest.

"I would encourage them to be active, have fun, play a lot of different sports, try to become athletic and just have fun and don't worry about weights right now," Wright said. "That'll come soon enough."

Anding reviewed the importance of nutrition, including strategies such as proper hydration that the youth coaches could use to keep their athletes safe on the field. Eight local high school coaches went over the fundamentals of each position, also giving insight to their coaching methods and advice for helping youths develop into well-rounded high school athletes. All participants in the clinic received a tour of Reliant Stadium and a coaching certification upon completion.

The clinic was an annual event for the Texans from 2004-06. It was brought back this year as part of the team's continued focus on impacting youth football in the Greater Houston community.

"Youth football is a great way to build character in young boys at an early age, (develop) characteristics that later turn them into great men," Pitts said. "The work ethic involved, the conditioning, getting on your feet and getting out from in front of those video games, it breeds a level of toughness that CEOs and top-notch businessmen have. It's a good thing."

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