WIESBADEN, Germany - Young Joe Montanas and Jerry Rices threw bullets, zig-zagged out of the pocket and snagged pass after pass during Child, Youth and School Services' Football Camp July 22-24.

"This camp is aimed at helping the kids get prepared for Youth Services and high school football to give them confidence, and it's an opportunity for volunteer coaches to get assimilated with the players," said John English, assistant director for Youth Services Sports.

As the YS Sports staff members and volunteers led the participants through a series of drills and lessons, the young football players continued to step up their games -- passing more accurate passes and demonstrating the various skills picked up during camp.

"Any time I see a kid willing to try, I see potential," said English. "All we're trying to do is help them get better. It's all about developing the youths."

The camp, run in two daily sessions for youth ages 8-15, included some 19 participants.

"Our biggest push (in anticipation of the fall sports season) is getting new coaches," said Ronnie Pineda, Youth Sports clinician. "We need soccer, flag and tackle football coaches.

"For Soldiers who coach it's a great opportunity for them to earn promotion points and a volunteer service award," Pineda said. "And they're mentoring our future leaders."

The longtime YS coach and trainer said youths ages 14 and older can also serve as assistant coaches. "We train them and certify them," he said, explaining that coaches carry those credentials for life. "It opens a lot of doors."

Additionally, volunteer coaches get a break on fees for their own children, learn first aid and CPR, and receive first-hand training in unit sports and sports specifics.

"Even if they've never coached before, we'll put them with the younger kids where they can work on the fundamentals," Pineda said. "Anyone interested can just notify our office."

For more information about upcoming Youth Sports opportunities or to get involved in coaching call civ (0611) 143-548-6356.