Every parent wants the best for their children, including love, happiness and…lots of money.
When you hear how many millions of dollars top athletes such as LeBron James and Phil Mickelson make every year, it’s hard not to hope your own son or daughter might also excel in a sport at that level, especially if they’ve already demonstrated a love of and a talent for one game or another.
Even if your child has never exhibited a propensity for athletics, maybe you just wish to gently nudge him or her outside, away from the TV screen, the video game console, or the smart phone.
This is a positive desire. According to the Center for Disease Control, in the past 30 years the rate of childhood obesity has doubled and the rate of adolescent obesity has quadrupled. In 2012, more than one-third of both children and adolescents were obese.
Also according to the CDC, exercise has many beneficial effects on health. Every year, many adults take up running, CrossFit, yoga and other programs to get in shape. Many of them wish to lose weight or alleviate a health problem. Wouldn’t it be even better if they had started exercising as children and never stopped?
If you can encourage your children to get physically active and keep at it their entire life, you’ve done them an enormous service, one that’s even more valuable than millions of dollars.
Sports camps are a great place to send kids while they’re off from school on summer vacation. They can learn to associate playing sports and exercise with fun, excitement and social interactions with teammates. Additionally, they can learn the technical skills that enable them to play better when returning to their home teams.
Across organizations like Little League, swim team workouts, and school athletics, the coaching quality can also vary a lot. (So does how much time the coach can dedicate to working with each player.) At a good sports camp, the counselors must know and love the skills they teach. Chances are good they still play their game or just left it. They’re not a traditional gym teacher who coaches everything from football to soccer to a full gymnasium of squirmy kids.
Which Kids Camp Is Best For Your Child?
That depends on a lot of factors. If your child is still around seven or younger, send him or her to one of the multi-sport camps for the youngest children. These camps concentrate on letting the kids have a good time, while at the same time developing their basic hand-eye coordination, sense of balance and ability, and willingness to just move.
Kids are introduced to different sports so they can decide and pursue what games or activities they enjoy the most.
These are great for older kids who want to have fun without committing (yet) to stardom in one particular sport. They get experience with many games and learn to play as a team member. They discover how important physical fitness is to all athletic achievement.
Single Sport Camps
These are where you can send your budding basketball or gymnastics star. Malcolm Gladwell popularized the notion that greatness at a skill takes 10,000 hours of practice. This certainly applies to athletes, who need to devote lots of time to physical conditioning as well as to the sport’s techniques.
However, putting in the required work is difficult under ordinary circumstances. Kids spend at least nine months out of the year attending school classes. During the summer, other activities occupy their time. During their sport’s season they get regular workouts, but they’re not long, frequent, or hard enough to achieve greatness. Their coach may lack in-depth knowledge of that sport’s techniques. And when football season is over, it’s on to basketball.
At a single sport camp, kids can devote their time to that sport in a concentrated way that’s nearly impossible during their ordinary daily conditions. Instructors may know the latest strategies and tactics being used in the professional leagues.
Do remember: Michael Jordan was nearly scrubbed from his high school basketball team. Not every future star looks like a winner when they’re just starting out.
The bleachers are full of Little League dads and soccer moms screaming for their children, but, eventually, the kids have to want it even more than mom and dad want it for them, or they won’t put in the extra effort when it’s required.
Your child may or may not become a wealthy international sports star, but if they just win an athletic scholarship to college, that’s worth it, right?
Though, if a sporting kids camp can give them a passion for physical health that keeps them moving and healthy, that’s worth more than all the blue ribbons, gold medals and trophies put together.