Football has always been a big part of my life. At a couple of crucial junctures, I allowed my vision issues to weigh too heavily on decisions related to football. Those are decisions that I will always regret.
After graduating from college, I made the decision to get in as much football as possible prior to the projected blindness at 30. When I first started looking for football camps, I found the Global Football ones (Notre Dame and Penn State).
At that time, it wasn’t feasible to do the Notre Dame one, so I took a different path. More than 17 years later, I’ve finally found a way to make it work.
I’m going to be honest about two things:
(1) When it came to registering for camp, it was a ‘pull of the bandaid’ type of thing. Meaning that you complete it and hit submit before giving yourself an opportunity to second guess the correct decision.
(2) That there are going to be a lot of emotions leading up to and during the camp. I’ll be upfront that there’s a strong chance that this could be my last camp. It will have been 12 years since the last time I was in full pads / helmet and the vision has decreased since then. I don’t want to just be a mascot…
One thing that I learned during the prior round of camps was to be upfront about the vision. I know that I was losing footballs in the roof of the IPF before I was legally blind. And I was at the point of not telling the coaches… oops.
I am working on a couple of other tactics to make this a success. The fact of how well the IrisVision has worked gives me confidence that I’ll be able to see the film sessions.
If you want to get an idea of what I’ll be doing, please check out Mike Drosieko’s YouTube videos. He did a great job chronicling his 2022 experience. I would suggest subscribing to his channel so that you can get a view of the 2023 camp in relative real-time.
Out of respect for what he’s done / is doing, I’m going to wait until post-camp for any major updates. There may be one-off photos on social media during camp though (@nocrappyexcuses).