Retired Arizona Cardinal Teaches Youth to Achieve Dreams


Lauren Sujkowski

Scottsdale, Ariz. – The key to success is hard work and belief in one’s self, Derek Kennard says.

The retired offensive lineman, who played for the New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys and St. Louis/Arizona Cardinals, spoke to 200 Valley youth on Saturday at the CIGNA Healthcare Fiesta Bowl Youth Football Clinic presented by NCAA Football.

Kennard joined X area high school coaches and Athlete’s Performance to teach participants football fundamentals. After three hours of running through drills, Kennard spoke about the important role that confidence played in his professional success.

“In 7th grade, I was at a camp just like you are right now, when someone told me, ‘If you believe it, you will achieve it,’” said Kennard. “You can be anything you want to be, if you believe in yourself.”

A counselor at Blueprint Education in Glendale, Ariz., Kennard also stressed the importance of getting an education. After his speech, Kennard was rushed by clinic participants vying for an autograph, picture or a chance to touch his Superbowl XXX ring, which he won with Dallas.

As an increasingly popular community event, the clinic promotes more than just the fundamentals of the game.

Boys and girls, ages 9 - 14, are invited to participate in this free, non-contact clinic led by trained athletes and experienced coaches. Young competitors walk away with the perseverance, discipline and determination necessary to achieve their maximum potential both on and off the field. For more information about the CIGNA Healthcare Fiesta Bowl Youth Football Clinic presented by NCAA Football, please visit