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BHSU alumnus tackles the world of entrepreneurial football coaching

 
Black Hills State University Alumnus Kelly Meeker instructing a young member at his football skill development camp, Air Attack Academy.
Kelly Meeker has always loved football, playing for the Yellow Jackets during his years at Black Hills State University. His passion for the sport, especially the position of quarterback, has now led him on a unique business path.

Meeker, Class of ’04, has turned his hobby of coaching quarterbacks into a traveling business. The Air Attack Academy is a football skill development camp that Meeker started to coach young quarterbacks throughout eastern South Dakota.  His idea has now evolved into a mobile camp with coaches that specialize in all positions.

Meeker was a starting quarterback for the BHSU Yellow Jackets, and that experience led a co-worker at Dakota Beverage, where he is a sales representative, to ask Meeker if he’d be willing to coach his son on the finer aspects of the quarterback position. It didn’t take long before he was coaching several aspiring quarterbacks, as well as receiving requests to work with running backs and wide receivers. It was at this point that Meeker’s hobby developed into a business—Air Attack Academy.With his experience focused on quarterbacks, Meeker hired running back and wide receiver coaches to help.“This year we’ve gone full circle, hiring coaches to work with all positions. We’ve also built a mobile training unit, which has opened up lots of avenues,” he says.

The mobile training unit features a 92-inch projection screen and air conditioning on the inside, which provides Meeker and his coaches a facility to evaluate the athletes’ progress no matter where they go. “Basically, all we need is a football field to work on,” Meeker says. Air Attack held its first camp with the training unit in early May at the Dakota Wesleyan University practice field. He hopes to take his football academy all over the state.

Air Attack focuses on developing proper mechanics for each position. “We know their coaches will take care of the offense and defense,” Meeker says. “Air Attack is about enhancing each athlete’s skills on a mechanical level so once they are asked to run offenses and plays, they will have the necessary tools to do the job.”

Air Attack’s unique focus and mobility has Meeker’s sights set high. “We’re just kind of getting our feet wet with these camps right now. I would love to do a camp in the Black Hills area,” Meeker says. Interested athletes who are not near a camp location can contact Meeker for private training.

The Air Attack sessions are often intense and physically demanding, but Meeker says he always tries to incorporate some fun. “Everybody helps push each other to make it through what would seem like hell to most people, but we like to joke around too, so we always end up having a good time,” he says.

To learn more about Meeker and his Air Attack Academy, visit the website at http://www.airattackacademy.com/. Air Attack Academy can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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