No matter what sport is your passion, attending camps for your sport is extremely beneficial. Improving your game, competing with peers and showcasing your talents in front of college coaches and scouts are just a few reasons why attending camps will aid in your development as a player. In this article, I am going to explain to you some of the important qualities to look for when searching for a camp.
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Quality #1: Competition
The first thing that an athlete should look for in a camp should be a high level of competition between you and the other participants in the camp. You don’t want to attend a camp that has all sorts of players at different skill levels ranging from early beginner to very experienced. You want to make sure you are surrounding yourself with players that are at a fairly similar level to you in skillset, motivation, and intensity. Attending a camp with inferior players can actually make you play down to their level, which can be detrimental to your development as a player. On the other hand, playing with players that are actually a little bit ahead of you in their development can be a huge benefit.
Quality #2: Quality Coaches/Instructors
Attending a camp that has experienced coaches or instructors that actually know what they’re doing is incredibly important. If you want to go to a camp just for fun, it doesn’t really matter if the instructors are experienced as long as you have a good time. But if you’re really trying to improve your game, it is imperative that the instructors are of quality. They should also instill a level of intensity in you and the camp, and also motivate its participants on a daily basis. Really being pushed is crucial for athletic development and improving one’s skillset, so try to find a camp that has instructors who will push you to the max. Camps are meant to be fun, and just because the instructors are intense and really push you to excel doesn’t mean that you cannot have any fun. In my experiences in sports camps, it is exponentially more fun to be around intense instructors who motivate you. These types of instructors will help you improve your game, and once you see that happening, you realize that that is exactly why you are attending the camp.
Quality #3: Visibility
If you are an athlete who has a goal of playing at the college level, it is very important that you find a camp in which you will be able to showcase your talents to a highly prestigious group of college coaches and scouts. Many camps will explicitly state that there will be coaches or scouts at the facilities of the camp to observe the camp’s participants. If you can find a camp that states this in its description, I recommend that you do so. This will really help propel you to the next level. It is almost impossible to be recognized at a camp with instructors who have no ties to the college levels, so it is crucial to give yourself the chance to shine in front of prestigious coaches or scouts. Now, these types of camps are few and far between, but if you can find one that fits you, there is no doubt that you should sign up for it. Yes, they may be a little bit more expensive than you desire, but it really can be one of the best investments you make in your career as an athlete.
Quality #4: Location and Duration
The location and the duration of the camp are necessary to take into consideration as well. If you live on the East coast and are researching camps to attend on the West coast, it will be a burden for you to attend that camp if money is a factor. Traveling is a huge expense, and in almost all cases, unnecessary. Yes, finding quality camps is not an easy task and they are not all over the place, but there should be one or two that you can find that is within your region. If you take the time to research and ask your coaches which camps are at a location near you, you shouldn’t have a problem finding one that is appropriate for you. You should also find a camp that lasts for as long as you desire. If you are fully dedicated to your game and improving your skillset, a camp that runs for several weeks or even months may suit you best. If you just want to have a good time for a couple of weeks, finding a camp that suits that is clearly best.
Quality #5: Physical Training
One final aspect of sports camps that is extremely important and often overlooked is the physical training within the camp. It is necessary that a camp focuses on improving your skills as a player, but it is also very important that within the camp there is a strong emphasis placed on physical conditioning. Many camps will dedicate a significant amount of time to cardiovascular and weight training activities. This is important because becoming more fit and conditioned as an athlete will not only help you excel to a higher level, but can also be key in preventing injuries in the future. As you get older, injuries get more serious and it takes your body longer to recover from them. But if there is a real focus placed specifically on training your body, you can prevent these injuries altogether.
Attending sports camps is exciting, fun and gives you an incredible opportunity to improve your skillset as a player. If you take into consideration some of the aspects of sports camps that I have listed, I promise you will be on your way to finding a quality sports camp and, in turn, improve the quality of your game.