When athletes are just getting started with their athletic career almost all camps are fun and teach you something. If you are not learning a new skill, then you are learning the meaning of teamwork, communication, and leadership. However, all athletes reach an age where they have already learned the meaning of teamwork, communication, and leadership and need to learn how to take their performance to the next level. For those who may not have access to well-trained coaches who really know what they are doing, athletic camps are a good option. Additionally, many times college coaches are the instructors at camps, therefore increasing exposure to multiple coaches.
Although I support athletic camps, I do advise researching camp options. Not all athletic camps are good resources. Some camps are endorsed by college coaches or professional athletes. However, just because they are endorsed does not mean that the instructors running the camps are well trained. With that said, it is important to research your camp options to figure out which camp will be money well spent. Here are three tips on what to research before choosing a camp.
1. Who teaches the camp? If the instructors at the camps are college coaches then you are most likely going to receive good instruction. If the instructors are not college coaches but instructors somewhere else, then try to get a sense of their background and past successes to figure out how qualified they are.
2. How many athletes participate? It is important to know how many athletes will be participating in the camp in order to get a sense of how much attention you will get from the instructors. For example, if there are going to be 150 athletes and only 3 instructors, then you can assume the ratio will be 50 athletes to 1 instructor. Therefore, you probably will not be getting a lot of one on one instruction.
3. How long has the camp been running? The answer to this question does not automatically show how good a camp is, but it is a valid question. If a camp has been around for a long time then it demonstrates two things. First, it shows that it is successful enough to continue year after year. Second, it shows that it is established and there will not be many kinks in how the camp is run.
Athletic camps are a great resource for exposure and receiving quality instruction. However, it is important to do research and figure out which camp is the best option for you, will provide exposure, and provide quality instruction. With winter break around the corner, now is a good time to start researching winter camp options!
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