Special to South Florida Times

DAVIE — Recently, the Miami Dolphins in conjunction with the NFL held a Punt, Pass & Kick (PPK) Clinic in Davie. The clinic featured nearly 200 children learning the fundamentals of punting, passing and kicking from current and former Miami Dolphins players.

The clinic started with Miami Dolphins punter Brandon Fields teaching the kids the proper way to hold and drop a football when punting. He also taught them the importance of hitting the ball with their shoelaces and making sure the laces are pointed upwards to avoid a “shank.”

After walking the group through the techniques, the kids broke up into eight groups and practiced with the alumni coaches. The eight alumni coaches were Lousaka Polite, Deon Dyer, Troy Stradford, Lorenzo Hampton, Chris Conlin, Elmer Bailey, Ed Perry and James Brown.

After 20 minutes, the participants returned to the instruction area and learned how to kick off of a tee from kicker Caleb Sturgis. Sturgis taught the kids how to place the ball on the tee, how to take a three-step running start and follow through properly to kick the ball straight. Once again they broke into their groups and spent twenty minutes kicking off of a tee.

“Having current players teach these techniques to the kids is invaluable,” said Troy Drayton, Miami Dolphins manager of Youth and Community Programs. “As an organization, we want to provide as many resources as we can to our youth. We would love to have the national championship winners wearing Miami Dolphins jerseys, and this is the first step in getting there. Hopefully some of these kids advance through the local round into sectionals and eventually the team championships.”

The final drill of passing was taught by rookie quarterback Seth Lobato, who showed the kids the best way to grip a football and emphasized the importance of having a comfortable grip. Lobato also showed them how to point their bodies at their target and follow through.

After practicing in the passing drill, all the kids were brought back to the instruction area where Drayton spoke to them about the importance of being fit. He stressed the value of getting a good education, being physically fit as well as making positive choices in their life.