Poland: BookerASE Is Not Your Ordinary Football Camp!

Photo: Slaweg Foto
Importance of football camps is undeniable - from developing programs to already established ones. We recently came across BookerASE (Booker's Academy of Sports and English) - and since we had a chance to watch coach Booker do his thing in Warsaw (Poland), we knew this is something we wanted to highlight!

Coach Booker has been living in Warsaw for the past few years, and he also coached Warsaw Eagles for 2 years (WR/DBs). We wanted to know who are people behind the camps, besides him.

- My partner is Tadeusz Tarach. He is a former Eagles player that now runs his American football and Crossfit shop U Tadka out of Warsaw. He is the behind the scenes guy and does most of the dirt work. Setting up funds, gather equipment and speakin with GM or teams. He is a great asset to communicate in Polish. My wife Monika Booker and Tadek's wife Magda Tarach have help with organizing and paperwork issues. I spend my time dealing with players and coaches that join our camp staff. I am more hands on as I enjoy building relationships with people and working with the community.

BookerASE provides tools for youth and adults to increase their English awareness though many different sports and recreational activities.

- The idea behind the camp is to give Polish players, women and men, the chance to improve their skills. No matter their skill level and experience. The idea started by noticing many players around Poland lacked the basics of the game. - says coach Booker.

The very first camp took place not too long ago - August 28th, 2016., and the number of participants was outstanding for a first camp - It was a full camp with all positions working on basics of technical skills for positions, blocking, tackling, and special teams. We had 61 players from 14 teams in Poland. We also had 20 wonderful staff members.

Second camp is already in the works, and it's scheduled for October 16th, and it will be a charity event to benefit Breast Cancer Awareness and will focus on WR/DB. All proceeds will go towards the cause. Both events will be in Warsaw.

- As of now camps focus on skill training and development for on field play. As we grow, we will put more into theroy and strategy. That being said, most players have been lower level leagues but we had Top Liga and National team players attend in the first camp and a few have signed up for the second one.

Photo: Slaweg Foto

We had to ask what are some of the things coach Booker has noticed that Polish players lack on/off the field.

- Their are a few issues. The first being that clubs in Poland put a great deal of effort in obtaining import players and not enough energy in its local talent. Polish players are who win games so why not make them the best they can be!

Another issues is the lack of community involvement. American football is a great way to do good things for the community. Yet most teams focus on the bottom line.

The many things Polish players lack is experience and the correct knowledge of the game.

Investing in youth is important, especially properly coaching the juniors. Coach Booker recognizes that and says there will be junior camps in the near future - Following our WR/DB camp, we will host a Juniors only camp. 

In the future, we plan to hold weekend camps which will focus more on video sessions, team only camps, and community service projects. We will also be holding camps outside of Warsaw so that players don't have to always travel only to Warsaw.

For more information about the camps and how you can sign up - please visit BookerASE facebook page.