Summer is one of the best times for student athletes to train and get noticed. Many are invited to athletic camps, but how do parents know which camp is the right one for their child? Depending on a parent’s expectations as well as the goals of the student athlete, careful consideration should be paid when determining which camp is the right choice.
Talk to a Coach
Some students receive numerous letters inviting them to camps at campuses across the nation. In order for parents to get an idea of which one is the best for their child, it pays to speak with a high school coach. These coaches have often worked with many players hoping to get recruited. They may have inside information as to what camps have the best results and which are less beneficial.
Development camps held on college campuses can be a good place for students who want to attend that particular school. It provides opportunities for the coaching staff to see how the athlete performs and behaves off of the field or court. Not only do these camps provide training and education for improving at the chosen sport, but they also serve as a way for students to become familiar with the campus if they decide to attend school there.
Some athletes prefer to spend their summers at third-party camps that are not hosted by university athletic programs. In general, there are three types of third-party camps:
• Development camps
• Invite-only camps
Combines are designed to provide measurable results specifically for coaches. Instead of offering training, they are one-day physical tests to see where an athlete stacks up compared to others. Invite-only camps are meant for athletes who need less instruction and more competitive practice, while development camps provide fundamentals for all levels of players.
When deciding which camp to choose, it is important to look at the player-to-coach ration and consider who is coaching the camp in order to get an idea for what can be expected.