Lincoln students learn football, life skills from NFL running back

Dozens of Lincoln Boy Scouts spent Friday practicing football drills as part of the Cornhusker Council’s fifth annual The Big Idea event. 

The program focuses on teaching youth about leadership and service. 

"It’s huge," said Cornhusker Council Assistant Scout Executive Jason Anderson. "I mean learning these leadership skills, learning to set goals and achieve them – it’s what’s going to make these kids the leaders of tomorrow."

This year’s event featured former NFL running back Steven Jackson. 

Jackson, along with members of Lincoln High’s football team, helped coach the kids through running, catching and blocking drills. 

They say the event is less about the skills the kids develop on the field as it is about the lessons they can use off of it. 

"It’s really important," Jackson said. "When you can get a child in their elementary years especially and talk to them about having good character, being a leader and having each others backs, that resonates in many areas of their lives."

It was a teaching opportunity not just for the kids, but the Links players as well. 

"Just seeing them learn lessons and stuff is really important," said Lincoln High sophomore center Jack Cosson. "Even though football is a game, it’s rally more than that. It’s cool to see little kids come out here and compete and play."

After the drills, the kids sat down to hear from Jackson about how life, much like football, will challenge them. 

Despite Jackson’s impressive career accomplishments, he played for the St. Louis Rams during one of the roughest patches in the program’s history – winning just six games in three years. 

But winning, Jackson says, isn’t what’s most important. 

"Life is not about all wins and no losses," he said. "Because in those losses there’s a great deal of lesson."

It’s those lessons that Milford Elementary schooler Easton Springer took to heart. 

"To have everyone’s back and to never give up, no matter how many times we lose or how we might give up," Springer said.