A Cheaper & More Effective Alternative to Summer Basketball Camps

Many parents and players are spending this time of the year to find some quality summer basketball camps in hope of improving at the game of basketball, making friends, and possibly getting exposure.

I actually really enjoyed summer basketball camps as a kid and I strongly encourage parents to send their kids to affordable camps to help develop a passion for the game of basketball.

However, if you are starting to take basketball more seriously and are looking to improve your basketball skills, a lot of summer basketball camps present problems to this. One, you have anywhere from one day to one week and you're done. With this, you can barely touch the surface in regards to many basketball skills, because there isn't enough time in the week to thoroughly cover everything.

Some camps focus on particular skills like a 2-day basketball shooting camp which allows the coaches to cover the topic more in-depth. This does still present a problem, because there is nobody to monitor the player after the camp.

Now, what's the effective alternative to this that could even save you money?

Find a QUALITY local coach or academy that you can attend over a longer period.

This is great because:

Learn More About Basketball

When you have 16 to 40 hours of basketball dumped on you at a basketball camp, it's hard to take in all of the new stuff. However, if you are attending an academy or going to a local coach, you can take in an hour or two of information per week. You also are able to have a professional monitor you for months and even years which is more effective than just a few days.

Proper Progressions

A good trainer will be able to progress players over a long period of time, so you are challenged in new ways. Camps can be a one-size fits all deal. Some things are too difficult for some players, while other things are too easy for some players.

Get Sample Workouts, Learn How to Develop Workouts, & Learn How To Workout

A good trainer will also give you a sample basketball workout to do until your next visits. Also, after an extended period of time with a trainer, he will be able to teach you how to organize workouts and progress to different exercises. As Don Kelbick tells us, "Knowledge is power."

The coach will also teach you how the best players work out and what you can do to be your best.

Spread Out Your Payments & Get More Bang For Your Buck

Some academies give you the flexibility to spread out the payments which makes things easier on the pockets.

Dollar for dollar, you can also get a bigger bang for your buck by attending an academy or trainer. If you strictly have a budget of $250 for the summer, you could get 10 to 20 sessions for that type of money and it's over a longer time period.

Even though, 1-on-1 training is great. It can get quite expensive. If you like personalized attention and want to pay a lower price than 1-on-1 training, an alternate may be small group training of three to ten kids.

On the other hand, some might argue that the 1-on-1 training is worth the price to receive that individual attention for one to two hours. They would rather attend a 1-on-1 training session once every two to three weeks than a small group training two to three times.

Learn life lessons

If you find the right coach, they will not only teach you about the great game of basketball, but they will instill great qualities that will help you succeed in the game of life.

Some examples are: accountability, discipline, hard work, doing the right thing, etc.

Get Honest Feedback

Too often, players will attend exposure camps when they are not ready to be exposed. They will receive bad advice from misinformed, uneducated, or sometimes greedy people around them. If the recruiters see that your skills are subpar, that will be a hard first impression to change.

A good coach will give you honest feedback and let you know if you're ready and probably even give you connections to a good summer team for the exposure camps.

Develop A Relationship

This may be the last thing you think of, but it could be the most important. If you and the coach develop a good relationship and they see that you are a good person, you'll find that the coach will go above and beyond to help you advance in your basketball career & business career.

There are some great basketball camps that I would definitely pay money to attend. However, camps are not the best answer for certain situations. And hopefully, this gives you another option for a player that enjoys the game of basketball and wants to improve.

What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments and suggestions


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Trenya says:
5/18/2018 at 9:26:11 PM

Exactly my thoughts, but where would we find a basketball academy? We are in Utah County if anyone has information.


tee Frazier says:
10/21/2017 at 2:48:55 PM

My son is 13 n 5feet 11inches..we live in the projects..however I think he has potential to be an NBA player one day..he just needs some guidance and practice to help build his basketball skills.My parents are willing to help pay someone to teach him. Tryouts are in December of this year..if anyone has the time please call me at 904 672 5408..thanks


Ken says:
11/26/2012 at 8:36:21 PM

Mark -

Talk to the local high school or college coach and ask him if he has any thoughts on this.... he might be able to send you to some X player who wants to help young kids.... or a coach on his staff that does this.

As for the right age? I think it depends more on what the player wants to do... how serious is he/she? Do your homework on the "coach" that you are going to let your son/daughter work with.... make sure that he is going to teach the things that you want him/her to learn.... along with what the coach thinks is necessary.

Make sure the coach is reliable and dependable and is someone that your son/daughter can relate to. You want this to be a good experience for them.

What age is your son/daughter?


Mark D says:
11/26/2012 at 5:47:25 PM

What are your recommendations for finding and researching a coach or academy? At what age would you recommend starting to use one?


Joe Haefner says:
1/4/2012 at 8:19:39 AM

Mark, I agree. Kids need to combine coaching with some free play. Like you, I played a lot of 1v1, 2v2, and 3v3 when I was old enough to be dropped off at the local rec center and through high school.


Ken says:
1/4/2012 at 7:32:14 AM

When I got to the high school level we were pretty much an inside oriented team... once I got the head job it was a couple of years and we were lucky if we had one kid over 6'2.

It was at that point I started a shooting camp for all ages and gender. We went 5 days a week for 6 weeks, 2 hours a day.

This paid off for us in terms of helping kids learn how to shoot ( along with a lot of other skills, ball handling, passing, dribbling etc. ) It helped our program a lot because we had some really good 3 poiint shooters. After a couple of years we cut the camp from 6 to 5, then to 4 and ultimately 3 weeks... mostly because of numbers. We broke shooting down and built their shots from the ground up, utilizing proper footwork etc. And yes, we had some contests so kids could compete and win a small prize, ( frozen pop ) and they played some games too. It still has to be FUN.

So this was a specific type camp that Joe was referring to - this worked for us.


Ken says:
1/4/2012 at 7:25:14 AM

When picking a camp, make sure you do your homework. List the things you are looking for, teaching camp / fun camp / combination etc.
Then find that camp that fits your needs.

Personal trainers are another good option if you can afford that.

Basketball skills are learned in the off season - from March to November... players are made during this time frame. Teams are made from November to March.

Playing in the park is great, did a lot of that when I was younger.... I don't see a lof of kids doing that today, at least not as much back when.... we would drive around and if we saw someone playing, we would stop and try and get in a game. that was fun. Yes, you learned a lot about how to play, but you never are taught some of the fundamentals that are needed in todays game JMO


Mark gilbert says:
1/3/2012 at 10:24:25 PM

What about just going to the park and playing basketball in the summer. There was nothing i loved more than playing pickup in the summer. 1 on 1, 2 on 2, 3 on 3, etc. This is where I think kids learn and they touch the basketball a lot more. Plus they learn how to compete in a fun way. I remember playing basketball for 6 hours a day sometimes in the summer. Whatever happened to pickup basketball and I didn''t grow up in a big city.


Coach Pat says:
7/3/2011 at 2:52:00 PM

Affordable camps are extremely important. No question about it.


Coach Bo says:
5/11/2010 at 4:55:57 PM

If you are in the Maryland area and wish to have a personal trainer for "Post Players" please contact me.


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