This weekend marked the annual ‘Face Me Ike’ Youth Football Camp hosted by starting Pittsburgh Steeler cornerback and 2X SuperBowl Champion Ike Taylor. Nearly 200 children were in attendance for a chance to spend some time with Taylor, who has been holding the camp for last last few years.
The camp, held at Arden Cahill Academy in Gretna Louisiana, is much anticipated each summer by its attendees and New Orleans locals alike. Hailing from the New Orleans area, it is clear that Taylor takes tremendous pride in hosting this event, as it continues to show the positive influence of using motivation as a tool to encourage the roster of children who participate.
Camp goers are taught the fundamentals of achieving goals, as well as the chance to interact with Taylor and some of his NFL colleagues. This year, NY Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes, Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman D’Anthony Batiste, former Pittsburgh Steeler James Farrior, as well as renowned strength and conditioning Coach Tom Shaw, were on hand to help out.
Camp attendees worked on physical drills like running sprints and resistance training using parachutes. They also learned about Taylor’s philosophy of perseverance.
It goes without saying that no matter what your background or walk of life, challenges and obstacles are universal. The ‘Face Me Ike’ philosophy encourages kids, as well as adults, to face challenges with optimism and confidence. Taylor’s humble beginnings attribute to his consistent, down to earth and genuine character.
As someone who has known him for years, I can honestly say that Ike is one of the most genuine and caring people I know. I believe he would be doing this exact same thing, NFL or not, due to his firm belief in encouraging others to become the best possible version of themselves. For it is his selfless willingness to go above and beyond to help make a difference in the lives of those he encounters during his journey, both on and off the football field, that is the ongoing proof.