for Players AND Parents
During the Summer months many youth basketball players will attend Basketball Camps. It's not easy for the kids to understand what a tremendous opportunity they have when they are fortunate enough to attend a camp. But as the kids grow up and get older, they develop better understanding and appreciation of many opportunities they had at younger ages. Attending a camp is one of the activities the kids and parents together will value and appreciate more as they get older.
This page is to discuss the question - "What is a Basketball Camp?", from the perspective of the PLAYER, PARENT, AND COACH.
It is common for the kids to think that a Basketball Camp is a place you go for a week, and then you come home and are all the sudden a great basketball player. If it was that easy, everybody would be a great player. Much like the idea that "there are no magic shoes - even if you wear Air Jordans", basketball camps DO NOT make you a great player.
Basketball Camps teach you HOW to become a great basketball player.
The basketball camp is to learn HOW TO PLAY the game of basketball. The improvements happen when you leave the camp and go home to practice and develop the skills taught at the camp. Many kids don't understand this. They think their job is to go to camp, work hard and do their best for a week. Not at all, the kid's job just starts when the camp is over and they return home to practice and execute the skills taught at the camp. When camp is over, your PARENTS job is done. Your parents signed you up, paid a very expensive fee in some cases, and arranged to get you to and from the camp. NOW IT'S YOUR TURN KID! Get to work every day and devlop the basketball skills that you learned at camp - this is where the greatness starts! By the way, don't forget to help and teach somebody else about what you learned at camp along the way. There are always a lot of little guys looking up to you that need your help - give it to them just like many have given to you. There is no better way to be rewarded for hard work than knowing you helped someone else get better.
Well, that's not all, in fact, the basketball instruction may be just a small amount of the true value of a camp. We have discussed with many High School and College kids, and even adults on their memories of basketball camp. Following are common responses about camp:
I had fun!
I made a lot of new freinds
My roommate told funny jokes every day
The food was awesome and it was all-you-can-eat
We snuck down to pool one day at nap time
The lobby of the dorm had video games
We ordered pizza every night
We played Knockout every day
I called Mom and Dad every day
The coach in our gym had cool shoes
I liked riding the bus to the gym
That kid could spin the ball on his finger for 1 minute
I want to be like Coach when I grow up
Basketball Camp instruction - GOOD, Memories above - PRICELESS!
The kids may or may not make a living with the game of basketball when they grow up, but they WILL have these memories and many opportunities to create new ones every day.
As a parent, it is usually a great decision to send your kid to a basketball camp. But, it's not an easy decision based on what it cost, and the time and effort it takes to get them to the camp. How much are they really going to learn at camp? Generally, depending on the camp, your kid will learn a lot. Keep in mind that BASKETBALL skills are a part of what they will learn and experience. Reviewing the PLAYER summary above will cause you look at the value of camp in a different way.
As a PARENT, we recommend that you make your PLAYER responsible and accountable AFTER the camp. Your job is to sign them up, maybe pay part (the kids can contribute with their savings) or all of the fee, and get them there. Your job as a PARENT is done. After camp, the PLAYER'S job starts.
This is a different approach, but it does make the kids THINK about what the basketball camp is really all about. When the kids get home from camp, there is a whole neighborhood of kids in your area that could benefit from some "coaching" from your PLAYER that attended camp.
Make your PLAYER understand they MUST write down what they learned at camp. A daily journal? A summary of activities for the week? A list of fundamentals that were taught? YES, all good ideas.
How many minutes each day this summer are they going to work on the skill development drills that were taught at the camp? The kids may say or think, "Gee Mom, I went to the camp and played hard, why do I have to do all this. Johnny and Becky went to camp and they don't have to do this stuff?". The answer is, "All the kids went to camp and played hard, but only the kids that leave camp with a commitment to get better and improve will get the true benefit of camp. We want you to be the best you can be, so let's get to work, get better, and help some other kids learn too!"
It's easy for the PLAYER to go to camp, but more difficult for them to use what they learned at camp to become better. It's OK for the kids to think that at the end of camp week, they are a better player than when they started camp. Now the question is, "Will the PLAYER be better in the next week and each week after, than they are at the end of camp?". Small improvement EVERY day, working to be better at something, trying new things, experiencing success and failure, and trying again with more enthusiasm than before.
Yes, basketball camps are great, and have potential to build a basketball player. But most of all, basketball camps provide a real life experience for the kids to start to understand what makes people special and great.
Please check out this site with detailed information on Basketball Camps!
Youth Basketball Camps - The most diverse list of basketball camps in the world!
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