By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There have been no workouts at Winter Park in the past three months, but that hasn’t changed what the Vikings scouts work on in the summer.

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“Well, it hasn’t changed a whole lot,” said Jeff Robinson, a Vikings scout. “It’s just the issues of players and the league more so than anything. But as far as preparing to play we’re still doing all the same things we would normally do.”

During the summer, Robinson does more than work with the Vikings. He works with kids at his annual football camp, which brings kids together to get a dose of football and a couple of meals.

“The reason behind doing it … is to grow the game of football, but also it gives kids who might not be able to afford to go to other camps, a chance to participate in camp,” Robinson said.

The kids also get both breakfast and lunch provided for them through the food bank Second Harvest, Robinson said.

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Robinson’s camp, which is hosted by Cooper High School, not only focuses on developing kids as football players, it attempts to develop them as people, especially in regards to their attitudes.

Willie Howard, a former Vikings coach who now coaches at Cooper High School, knows the importance of a good attitude on and off the field.

“The first thing we start off with is respect,” Howard said. “Just being able to respect one another, respect the field, respect your parents. It’s understanding that if you can’t get it done off the field, don’t come on our field.”

It’s a message that helps keep kids motivated, because becoming a good football player is about attitude and at least one special skill.

Monical Real, a player at the camp, said that a good football player is one who knows his drills, listens to his coach and practices good sportsmanship.

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He also said being fast on your feet is pretty helpful.

Mike Max