It’s not a contradiction that a young athlete can be more relaxed in the summer while still developing as a person and a competitor. Summer sports camps offer such benefits, helping young people grow intellectually, socially, and athletically in an enjoyable fashion. A quality camp program provides positive learning experiences and powerful opportunities to interact with others who share their passion.
Many of the skills necessary to be successful in sports are the same skills needed to be successful in life. Summer camps build independence, teaching young people to do things on their own and, in the process, gain self confidence and autonomy. Participating in sports can teach young people the importance of teamwork, patience, concentration, self-discipline, self-reliance and personal responsibility. Developing this positive sense of self determination allows more optimism and persistence when faced with adversity. It also leads to better cooperation with others and creates a life long cycle of of personal and public growth as new challenges arise.
Proper introduction to athletic competition can be one of the most valuable experiences in a young person’s life. Developing true sportsmanship, a respect for oneself and respect and consideration for others, is a cornerstone of good character that will take a young athlete far in life. A negative approach to competition, such as a “win at all costs” mindset or showing a lack of courtesy to opponents or teammates, will ultimately degrade other aspects of the young person’s life and make success harder to attain. Well structured athletic competition provides an opportunity for campers to challenge themselves, improve the skills they are learning and to cultivate a positive attitude that includes good sportsmanship.
Summer camps in particular are an excellent opportunity for young people to meet and interact with others that share their love of the game but who come from different cultural backgrounds. This kind of exposure helps young people socialize outside their usual environment and develop a more sophisticated view of the world.
Even though the atmosphere at a summer camp will be lighter, the primary focus is still to hone critical skills, teach proper exercise techniques and nutrition, and develop a positive mental approach to the game. A quality camp does not take a “one size fits all” approach to teaching. All students will work on fundamentals, but coaches will provide individualized instruction for each player to improve and enhance their game in accordance with their personal goals. A truly great summer camp experience will balance technical, physical, and mental training with personal growth, helping young athletes reach for their next level.
As competition becomes steadily more intense, college coaches are searching harder for young athletes with great physical potential and solid character. Summer camps can help gifted young athletes improve and refine their game skill set and mental attitude, giving them a special edge on the recruiting trail. A student athlete who feels close to a breakthrough in skill level will find the summer camp experience to be an ideal time to pursue challenges that push them to achieve that goal.
Summer should be a time filled with fun and relaxation for young people. A quality summer sports camp can offer this along with opportunities to grow and thrive as a person and an athlete.