6 QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN CHOOSING A BASKETBALL CAMP
Summer basketball camps are a fun and challenging way to make your youth basketball players better this offseason.
The question is which youth basketball camp to choose.
Parents and coaches often have different considerations in mind when making this key decision for their youth basketball players.
If you are a parent, how old is your child? How much time and money do you have to send your child to summer basketball camps?
If you are a youth basketball coach, which summer basketball camp do you recommend to your players to get better?
But what are the right questions to ask when choosing a summer basketball camp?
Here are six key questions that both parents and coaches must answer to best decide which youth basketball camp is the best fit for their youth basketball player.
Question #1: Why does the player want to go to a basketball camp?
This is THE most important question to ask when signing up a youth basketball player for a summer basketball camp.
Why does your player want to go to a basketball camp in the first place?
Most youth basketball players are going to fall into the first category. They just want to go to a summer basketball camp to have fun and make friends.
As they get to the high school level, they are going to want to go to a summer basketball camp to improve their skills and to be noticed by college coaches.
But every youth basketball player has a unique motivation. I would determine the "why" before researching camps online.
Question #2: What is the age and skill level of the player attending the camp?
The age and skill level of the youth basketball player is a key factor when deciding which summer basketball camp to attend. You do not want to put too much pressure on a youth basketball player right away.
"You have some local camps that can be run by the YMCA, Community Centers, or even some high schools that will make them more of a babysitter type camp. They will try to make it fun for the kids with games, competitions, and learn some general basketball skills while they are there.
So before deciding, make sure the basketball camp is appropriate for your youth basketball player based on age and skill level.
Question #3: How much time does the player have to attend summer basketball camps each year?
Time is a precious commodity for all families. Most youth basketball players do not have the availability to attend every single summer basketball camp in their immediate area.
Parents already have work obligations, preplanned vacations, and family visits. To squeeze in a week of basketball camp for their youth basketball player to attend is much easier said than done. There are also significant financial considerations depending on the cost of the camp.
Parents must be aware of this dynamic before deciding on what camp to attend.
It might be more time-consuming than what you originally thought. Most basketball camps take up a full week on a parent's calendar.
Once that is decided, another follow up question is how much time should be spent on attending summer basketball camps.
Question #4: How much time should be spent on youth basketball camps?
After determining how much time is available to spend on summer camps, the next question is how many camps to attend.
That all depends on age and skill level. It also depends on why the player wants to attend a basketball camp in the first place!
Breakthrough Basketball Coach Jim Huber explains why age should decide how much time should be allocated when considering how many basketball camps to choose.
"I think as kids get older and decide that basketball is a sport that they want to play in high school and beyond then the 3-4 times a year would be more for them. Sometimes these kids will be getting more specialized individual training. I think the 1-3 times a year would be more for younger kids that are wanting to develop their skills sets and still figuring out if basketball is going to be a sport they are going to focus on in high school."
Dustin Pierson, Breakthrough Basketball's President of Camp Operations, also recommends youth basketball players attend multiple basketball camps in the summer months to see noticeable improvements in their game.
"In order to get better, I'd recommend 3-4 camps to really start seeing an improvement. Even attending the same camp 3-4 x a year, working on the same drills will have an impact with the number of repetitions you're getting. It can also be difficult to retain everything you're being taught in 3-4 days."
Deciding how much time should be spent on attending a basketball camp all depends on answering the first three questions.
Question #5: What factors should parents and players consider when choosing a basketball camp?
The logistics in terms of time have been sorted out. The parents understand the age and skill level requirements for each camp considered.
Now the hard part: researching each camp (especially if the youth basketball player has never attended a camp before).
Coach Pierson breaks down the most important factors when choosing a basketball camp, especially one that the player has never attended before.
"Skills taught, instructor background, company reputation, player to coach ratio."
Those four aspects are very important when choosing a camp. Online research can help determine how each camp measures up to each of these aspects to some degree.
But online research on each basketball camp can be time-consuming and not always reliable. Coach Huber expands on Coach Pierson's point and elaborates further.
"As Dustin mentioned above. Also, I think they need to figure out what is their objectives and goals with basketball. What are they wanting to get from a camp? They can make a big difference in figuring out what type of camp to attend. Are they wanting to just have fun, be with their friends, and parents use it as a babysitter? That would be different from a desire to become a better shooter, ball handler, finisher, to play at the next level, etc."
Again, why does the player want to attend the basketball camp in the first place?
By this point, parents at the youth basketball level have likely decided which camp to select. The key is to decide what works timewise and what camp makes sense for the basketball player to attend.
But what about the older basketball players? This question can help parents and players decide on a basketball camp.
Question #6: What type of basketball camp would help your player the most?
For older players, it is crucial to know which basketball camp would be the most impactful for their basketball future.
Is the best camp to attend a basketball camp that gets the most possible exposure from college coaches?
Is the player's priority to develop specific skills in the offseason?
Determining which skills to improve over the offseason can make or break that player's basketball future. Deciding which camp to attend is crucial in developing those skills.
If attending every single basketball camp available is not an option, it is especially important to decide which camp to attend.
Coach Huber breaks down what type of camps are available.
"Regarding what type of basketball camps are out there, you have DI type college camps that are more known for campers being on the campus, being around the DI players, getting autographs, pictures, learning some basic skill sets and playing 5 on 5 type games and doing competitions. There are a few companies like Breakthrough Basketball that offer camps that are more skilled specific, developing the basketball IQ, as well as teaching skill sets to help them succeed on and off the court."
If you are looking for exposure, then attending a college camp makes the most sense.
But what about skill development?
Breakthrough Basketball provides excellent camps! They focus on skill development and character building so each basketball player will get better.
Coach Pierson explains why choosing a Breakthrough Basketball camp would be a great choice!
"Breakthrough Basketball became popular by teaching actual skills and drills, working on skill development. With a typical sellout of 60 kids, we limit the numbers so the kids are getting a TON of repetitions, and a player to coach ratio that is 10:1 at worst. There is very little standing in line to wait for the next drill, if any. While majority of the camp is skill development, we mix in some competitive games because the kids want to play. Finally, we're not just about basketball - we believe in character development as well (gratitude, kindness, etc.)."
Coach Huber adds to Dustin's last point, emphasizing how Breakthrough Basketball camps teach players to succeed no matter what their future holds.
"We teach kids how to succeed on and off the court. We help them understand it is the little things that make the big difference. Understanding every rep matters. How you do anything is how you do everything. Create the mentality of just getting 1% better each day. They will get better over the 2 to 3 days attending the camp, but if they apply what we worked on and practice it weekly after camp they will see great improvement.
Breakthrough Basketball has no shortage of excellent basketball camps to choose from throughout the year.
Asking these six questions will help parents and youth basketball players decide which summer basketball camp is the right one to choose.
If interested, please go to https://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/camps/ for more information.
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