June 17, 2005, Newsletter Issue #217: The Right Summer Camp

Tip of the Week

When choosing camps for beginning players it is important to find one that ensures the player will associate basketball with a good time. If it is an enjoyable experience, they will continue to play year after year and want to return to camp each summer. Eventually, the player may get serious about really improving their basketball skills. This is also the best guideline for those who are administering camps for younger players. Beginning camps are learning experiences and are not, necessarily, competitive in nature, although they may provide that aspect as a feature of the camp. Too often camps become an extension of a coach’s practice and the regimentation and discipline may scare off younger players. Remember, you want them to come back to your camp year after year.

When looking for a camp for the intermediate player, choose one that emphasizes teaching over playing. This will allow players to get the most out of the camp experience by teaching them the fundamentals of the game. The advanced player will benefit most from a quality teaching camp that also has good competition. The "Snow Valley Basketball School" in Santa Barbara, CA or Five-Star on the East Coast are prime examples of this. The opportunity to play against better players forces players to "step up" their game.

In the final years of high school, players who have aspirations of playing at the next level may find it valuable to attend at least one "exposure" event. These are usually during an NCAA "evaluation" period when college coaches can view players and determine which ones they would like to recruit. Anyway you look at it, the summer is a time when players can improve and prepare for the upcoming regular season. Great teams are developed during the season; great players are made during the off-season!

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