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Andy Hicks is now running the soccer and fitness camps that he and his brother, Todd, started in 2003.

The Winters Mill varsity boys soccer coach isn't just standing around motivating and instructing either. He isn't just running the camps, he is running in them.

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"We don't sit here and just tell them, we run with them," Hicks said. "We're going to continue to do it until I can't walk anymore. Then I'll wheel myself around here."

Monday was the first day of the first of two one-week sessions of the Todd Hicks Pro Soccer Academy's fitness camps. While the Hicks brothers primarily target soccer players, especially for the strictly soccer camps they ran earlier this summer, the fitness camps are open to athletes of any sport.

And coaches, too. Along with Andy Hicks on Monday at the Winters Mill track were Manchester Valley boys lacrosse coach John Piper and new Westminster girls soccer coach Todd Muschik. Todd Hicks is still involved with the camps, but has not been out with them as he has become an administrator at Manchester Valley.

On Monday, the campers and coaches first ran a timed mile. Then, they did partner running, where one partner ran a mile while the other did push-ups and then they switched.

The camp also has abdominal workouts, agility drills, and plyometrics in what Andy Hicks calls a "total body workout."

"First day of preseason, my players have a very strict run that they have to make," Hicks said. "And I run it with them and I try to beat every one of them. This helps me, and I'm certain it helps them as well."

Brenden Sanders was one of the handful of kids participating in the fitness camp this week. Sanders is an incoming freshman at Winters Mill who hopes to make the junior varsity soccer team this fall.

Sanders, who was participating in the camp for the first time, said he thinks the camp will have helped him when that time comes.

"It definitely gets you sucking wind pretty quick," Sanders said. "I think five days of this will definitely give me a jump with my current training for making JV this year."

He also enjoys seeing the coaches out running with him and the other high-school-aged kids.

"I like having coaches run with me," Sanders said. "It shows me that they also want me to succeed more."

While the Hicks brothers have been running camps since 2003, the fitness camps have only been taking place for the past six years.

The sessions last two hours a day for five straight days. Next Monday will be the beginning of the camp's second session.

"It's just progressively gotten bigger and bigger and bigger," Hicks said.

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At the conclusion of the camp, all of the particpants run another timed mile on Friday. Then they compare how they did to their time back from the beginning of the week.

And the final goal is that the fitness drills help them with fall sports tryouts quickly approaching, Hicks said.

"It's about getting them fit and whatever sport they play, it's about them making themselves better fitness-wise," Hicks said. "You get out of it what you put into it. ... The more they push themselves, the better they're going to get."

Reach staff writer Jake Rill at 410-857-7896 or jake.rill@carrollcountytimes.com.

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