By Cameron Buford

https://whatsgoodinsports.com

Some would say that the Los Angeles Chargers have been not played a home game for multiple years now, considering it was 2016 when they last played in San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium. Since then, their homes game at Dignity Health Stadium mimicked road games for those few years. Though they played at the brand new, innovative, monument of SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. last season, fans were not allowed in the building due to the pandemic. This season the Chargers will finally get to play in front of their fans, when they kick-off their home schedule against the Dallas Cowboys on September 19th.   

In preparation for their upcoming season, the Los Angeles Chargers recently announced 17 practice schedules, including an open practice and FanFest at SoFi Stadium, that will be open to the public. Charger’s training camp will be held once again at Jack Hammett Sports Complex at 2750 Fairview Rd, Costa Mesa, CA 92626). To attend the 2021 Chargers Training Camp requires online registration, yet is free of charge. Fans will need to pre-register for their free tickets at chargers.com/camp. All covered seating and observation space will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

On Tuesday, July 27 the Chargers report for camp and will take the field for the first time at 9:00 am Wednesday, July 28th. A Few short days later, the Bolts will celebrate NFL Training Camp: Back Together Saturday on July 31st, this will include a special giveaway for fans in attendance and live expert commentary on practice from members of the Chargers’ radio broadcast team. Just over a week later, the Chargers will host a Season Ticket Member FanFest and open practice at SoFi Stadium on Sunday, August 8 at 3:30 pm. Additional information on how to attend the FanFest as well as details surrounding a special event with iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ ALT 98.7, the official broadcast home of The Bolts, will be announced in the coming weeks.

After a one-year hiatus, due to the recent pandemic, the Bolts will once again hold joint practices during training camp. They will welcome the San Francisco 49ers to Costa Mesa for joint practices on Thursday, August 19, and Friday, August 20 at Jack Hammett Sports Complex, this week with the 49ers will conclude with their Week 2 Pre-Season contest on Sunday, August 22 at SoFi Stadium.

As in years, past, training camp at Jack Hammett Sports Complex offers fans of any age the opportunity to watch the Bolts practice in person and cheer for their favorite players within close proximity to the field. Bleacher seating for approximately 1,000 fans is completely covered and standing room observation space will once again be available on the fence-line in front of the bleachers. Though fans in attendance will not be able to get up-close to players for autographs due to NFL Covid-related protocols. Yet, the fans will still have an opportunity to receive special autographed items from players in a fun, socially distanced manner. 

The Jack Hammett Sports Complex will open its gates one hour before the start of each practice session. Parking is available at the OC Fair and Events Center parking lots off Arlington Drive for $10. Parking is valid for the entire day should fans wish to attend the OC Fair following a practice. There will also be a dedicated location for rideshare service drop-off and pick-up adjacent to Jack Hammett Sports Complex. Fans may bring their own food, water, and soft drinks; however, alcoholic beverages may not be brought into Jack Hammett Sports Complex at any time. Smoking is not allowed at Chargers Training Camp. When completing your free registration process online at chargers.com/camp, for your complimentary tickets, be sure to check which items are welcomed and prohibited while in attendance at the Jack Hammett Complex in Orange County.

The following is a list of 2021 Los Angeles Chargers Training Camp practices open to the public:

Wednesday                July 28            9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Thursday                     July 29            9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.        

Friday                          July 30            9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Saturday                     July 31             9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Monday                       Aug. 2             9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Tuesday                      Aug. 3             9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Wednesday                Aug. 4             9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.          

Friday                          Aug. 6             9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Saturday                     Aug. 7             9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Sunday                       Aug. 8             3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.^

Tuesday                      Aug. 10            9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Wednesday                Aug. 11             9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Thursday                     Aug. 12            9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Monday                       Aug. 16            9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Tuesday                      Aug. 17            9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Thursday                    Aug. 19            9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.*

Friday                         Aug. 20           9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.*

 ^ SoFi Stadium FanFest & Open Practice                    * Indicates joint practice 

All practices, with the exception of the Sunday, Aug. 8 FanFest open practice at SoFi Stadium, will take place at Jack Hammett Sports Complex (2750 Fairview Rd, Costa Mesa, CA 92626) and are subject to change. Fans are reminded to download the free Los Angeles Chargers mobile app and follow #ChargersCamp on social media and chargers.com/camp for an inside look at 2021 Chargers Training Camp.

Once training camp opens officially, fans will get their first look at the structure and culture new Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley has created since taking over the role just about eight months ago. In his message to his team at the close of minicamp, he made it clear that he was impressed with them, coaches, staff, and players by stating, “I was impressed with our operation. Today, I think, was the culmination of a team effort. It’s sports performance, coaching, personnel, equipment, video, all of those people coming together to have a great weekend and get ourselves right and going into the summertime feeling like, ‘Hey, we’re headed towards something.’ I’m very appreciative of those guys and excited to get back to work with them in July.”

He left his team with an additional message at the end of minicamp, “Let’s just keep doing things our way, guys. We’ve established a really strong foundation. Let’s take advantage of these next five weeks. Let’s look at it as an opportunity to get better, to improve our game, and to truly be prepared for training camp… Hopefully, when we hit the ground on July 27th, when they report, they feel strongly that they can be the best versions of themselves because of all of the work that they’ve put in. That’s something that you must emphasize at all times. To be the best version of yourself, you have to work at it. We’ve detailed that up so that they can take advantage of these five weeks and be ready to go on July 27th.”

Coach Brandon Staley pointed out that, “I love the make-up of our guys. I think that we have the right make-up to go places that are hard to win in with tough, difficult environments. I think that we have the right make-up to go into those tough environments and compete. Whether it’s a win or a loss, being able to keep it moving and being able to learn from it and have that mental toughness, one way or the other, to improve, I think that’s always a fight each, and every year with a team, to develop that identity, as a team, that you can go anywhere, in any circumstance, and feel like you have a team that can win any game. The make-up of your team is really important. In all three phases of the game, we’re going to have good enough guys to get that done. In training camp, certainly, we’ll get a fuller evaluation when we have pads on and you’re going full-speed with the competition; we’ll learn even more. I like the make-up of our group.”

So much of what Coach Brandon Staley has expressed since taking over as the Head Coach of this team is the relationship-building piece. He’s said it before, and he mentioned it yet again after minicamp, “I think that the more you know one another, the more you can accomplish. When there’s a foundation and a relationship, you know exactly how one another operates. If you operate under the premise that we’re all different — like, I can’t coach [RB] Austin [Ekeler] the same way that I coach [CB] Chris [Harris Jr.], because they’re different people. The only way that I would know that is if I dive into them. It takes a lot of time and investment to do that, but that’s why they call it an investment. You invest in someone for a return later on. This is a really difficult game, a really difficult game, and there’s a lot of challenging things that happen all of the time. Not just exclusive to the game and the season, but every day, as a pro, there are just so many things that happen. We think that to tackle these challenges together, solve these problems that are tough and create these solutions that are sometimes really specific, you have to have some patience with one another. The only way that you’re going to be able to do that is if you trust one another, and know one another. What relationships also do in pro football is allow you to get to the point quickly. We don’t have forever, we have to get to the point. It’s not just exclusive to coaches and players, I think it’s everybody. It’s coach-to-coach, player-to-player. That’s certainly a hallmark of what we’re trying to do.”

It’s unmistakably evident that so much of what Head Coach Brandon Staley has focused on is the investment in people part of team building. Utilizing those traits that he learned from his mom who was a teacher and his father who was a football coach. Uniting those traits to communicate the need for their personal and professional development along with infusing schematics and competitiveness as he puts his stamp on this team. Not only does this gain buy-in from the players and once you have that, they will be willing to run through walls for this coaching staff. It’s going to be very intriguing to see firsthand, how the development of his process plays out this season!

Kindly share your thoughts on Coach Staley and what type of long-term impact you expect he’ll have on this franchise moving forward. You can reach out to me on Twitter @whatsgoodnsport or shoot me an email at info@whatsgoodinsports.com. Look out for our next article, as it will focus on a few of the players’ thoughts as they break Minicamp though I encourage you to forward any suggestions on what topics or angles about this new version of the Los Angeles Chargers you would like to see discussed. 

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