The truth about camps: Part I

6 04 2009

What do I do about camps? Should I go? Which one(s) should I go to? Before planning your camp schedule, there are a few important factors to consider. We’ll start our series by giving you a general overview of what camps are all about. For starters, consider the following…

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Camps are largely viewed as one (or a combination) of three things:

  1. Money Maker – Believe it or not, for different legal reasons, camps are not always technically affiliated with the actual school or program. For instance, if you notice, you’ve probably attended “Coach X’s Basketball Camp,” not “The University of X Basketball Camp.” As such, once paying for staff, facilities, and other expenses, the profits from camps often go right into the coach’s pockets. The more kids that come to a camp, the more money the coaches make. At the same time, the more kids, it’s likely that the lower the camper-to-counselor ratio is, which means less hands-on instruction for you.
  2. Teaching Tool – At the purest level, the reason most people would choose to attend a sports camp is to pick up skills that can help them in their individual sports. “I went to camp, I learned these things, those things made me a better athlete.” These camps place a high value on camper/coach interactions and teaching.
  3. Evaluation Tool – Because of the way the rules are, coaches are limited in the times and ways that they can evaluate potential student-athletes for their programs. Camp is an exception. Camp is a free for all where campers and coaches can get to know each other better on a personal and athletic level. If a coach has questions about your ability from watching your film, the response is often, “Get the kid to camp and let’s see what he can do.” Camp provides the opportunity to not only coach a prospect, but to put him/her through drills and workouts that answer any questions a coach may have had about a campers character or ability. Between camp sessions, a staff will often get together to discuss these things. The campers that the staff is most interested in are many times pulled aside and worked out in the same group, matching the top competition against each other to see where individuals stack up. Many scholarships are earned and lost during camps as a result. The good news is, you can find yourself of a coach’s radar by the way you perform throughout the camp, even if they did not know about you previously. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s a good thing. Make the most of it!

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There’s plenty more to talk about, and we will. Got any questions or comments in the meantime? Let us know and we’d love to discuss!

** Disclaimer: You do realize that there are no Blobs at the types of camps mentioned above, right? Sorry for the confusion!

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