Hello, summer. The sun is out, kids are out of school, and parents are again signing their children up for various activities to occupy the endless amounts of free time that summertime brings. What better way to engage adolescents than sports camps?
Growing up in the home of a former UVA basketball player, I was destined to be a sports fan. And twenty years later, that is still very much the case. It all started when I was only six years old. I attended my father’s “Making of a Champion” basketball and tennis camps during the summer for many years. And now, having taken on the counselor role, I’ve witnessed children’s improvement over the course of the week. I’ve seen kids go from shy, anxious, and fearful to outgoing, confident, and dedicated. Hence, the immense power of sports camps revealed itself.
This drastic transformation goes to show that sports camps offer many, many benefits. Here is my list of the top 8 benefits:
- 1. They are a way to release energy. Instead of children wreaking havoc on your house, allow them to dispel their energy by playing a sport. Let’s face it, going up for a layup or intercepting a pass is much better than jumping on the bed.
- 2. They are an escape. Life is so full, and oftentimes it proves beneficial to just get away from the normal routine. When playing a sport, your primary focus is the game- your next move, how you’re going to succeed- and all other responsibilities temporarily fade.
- 3. They’re fun! Sports, especially when played at a young age, focus on this aspect. It’s one time in your life where this is the main goal, as opposed to winning at all costs. Winning becomes more important in the higher levels.
- 4. They teach dedication and a good work ethic. They demonstrate that practice involves a lot of hard work, but if you persevere through whatever obstacles stand in your way, your efforts are sure to pay off.
- 5. They stress the importance of staying active. With obesity rates rising in the U.S., children need to realize that exercise is crucial to maintaining a healthy body and well being.
- 6. They allow children to develop skills that will last a lifetime, both on and off the court- physically, mentally and emotionally.
- 7. They allow unlikely friendships to occur. Children who normally would not hang out together are united by a similar interest: whatever sport they’re playing, and they are forced to work together in order to achieve their goals.
- 8. Children learn teamwork, sportsmanship and healthy competition. Even for the future doctor or lawyer, these valuable things learned by playing sports will apply to various careers.
The key to succeeding at most things is starting young and gaining as much experience as early as possible. This is equally true when it comes to learning a second language and when it comes to playing sports. In addition, involving your children in a sports camp will help boost their self-esteem and confidence as they approach higher levels of competition. They’ll be one step ahead, and they’ll have you to thank.
So don’t wait! Don’t let this turn out to be another summer filled with lounging around the house, watching television and playing video games. Sign up for a sports camp in your area and know that the skills your child gains will serve a greater purpose down the road. Who knows, you may even be raising the next Lebron. Don’t hold back.
And while you’re at it, check out Disco Sports’ wide selection of sporting equipment and gear! When I played basketball and volleyball for Collegiate, that’s where we ordered a lot of our team apparel. It was definitely the place to be for all things sports- I would always run into teammates or families I knew! As the temperature is climbing during these summer months, check out the hot spot that is Disco Sports…ideally, after you’ve registered your children for at least one sports camp. But feel free to get carried away.
Kali Newlen is a rising Junior at James Madison University. She’s spending her summer here in Richmond, nursing a sore ankle and looking forward to Fall Volleyball.