Many children dream of an athletic career, even of one day making collegiate leagues and/or going pro. Whether your child imagines hitting a grand slam or scoring a touchdown on the last play of the game—or just loves playing a sport or three), there’s no better way to help them develop and improve their skills than by enrolling them in a summer sports camp.
Summer sports camps are a great way for kids of all ages to have fun, make new friends, and improve their athletic prowess. They also offer opportunities for social and emotional growth.
But how do you choose a camp that’s ideal for your child? Here are a few factors to keep in mind.
Who are the coaches?
Your child will learn important lessons and develop solid sports techniques at camp. So it’s important to consider who will be teaching them these new skills. Coaches play the biggest role in determining what kids will gain from camp; make sure the ones you pick are qualified, experienced, and above all, passionate.
Some camps advertise “celebrity coaches.” If this matters to you, do your research to confirm whether those coaches will actually be in attendance, and what the level of camper interaction will be. Also, keep in mind that the involvement of a celebrity coach can add to camp pricing. Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting in return.
At US Sports Camps, many of our fully involved camp instructors are head coaches, assistant coaches, or staff members at reputable collegiate athletic programs.These coaches have helped lead their teams to championships. It’s our belief that by giving your child the opportunity to learn from an all-star coach, you’re giving them the best chance to become an all-star, too. Enrolling in these programs can expose your child to a collegiate-level sports discipline and skills development, just like those of college players.
What’s the camper-to-staff ratio?
Aside from ensuring the camp you choose is run by the right people, you might also consider whether they’re run by enough people. Camper-to-staff ratios are crucial to figuring out how beneficial a camp will be to your child. If there are too many campers for staff to give individual time to, your child won’t get as much out of the camp as they should.
For children that want and need additional instruction, you want to find a low camper-to-staff ratio, so that your child gets more one-on-one time to address specific needs. If your sports camp’s staff is overwhelmed by the number of campers, it’s unlikely your child will get exclusive coaching.
At US Sports Camps, low camper-to-staff ratios are important, so we can prioritize giving each camper the opportunity to receive one-on-one help, develop their skills, and address any specific needs.
How are the facilities?
Youth athletic camps are held at numerous locations across the country, including community athletic centers, high school gymnasiums, and even state-of-the-art facilities that train local, regional, and national champions.
At a base level, you will definitely want to make sure a camp has all of the amenities it needs to be beneficial to your child. But some camps have facilities with extra perks that are worth looking into, like state-of-the-art equipment that’s used by top college athletes.
US Sports Camps is unique: many of our camps are held at university athletic facilities. Enrolling here ensures that your child will be practicing their sport in the same location as the college athletes they might dream of becoming some day. For our overnight camps, kids even get to sleep in the college dorms, giving them a fun and immersive experience.
What’s more, our partnership with Nike grants us access to some of the most innovative, well-known sports facilities in the country.
What are the camp reviews like?
There’s no better indicator of a great sports camp than hearing about the experience from past campers. If the information is available, take a look at a camp’s return rate to see what percentage of campers found the programs worthy and enjoyable enough to return the following year.
Sometimes, camp websites and brochures include testimonials from past attendees. Interested parents and kids can learn firsthand what a specific camp meant to a past summer athlete. These stories should give you a great idea of what your child will take away at the end of the program.
Along those same lines, talk to the people in your circle about what camps they’re sending their kids to. There’s no one you trust more than your friends, and it can be reassuring to know someone personally who had a positive experience at your chosen camp.
How safe is the camp?
Safety can never be compromised. At a base level, find out if the camp you’re checking out does background checks on all coaches and staff.
In 2021, you’ll need to find out the COVID-19 precautions that are in place. Luckily, many of the camp sports take place outdoors, which limits COVID-19 contagion rates.
All US Sports Camps adhere to state and national COVID-19 protocols. Research what your state is doing to stay safe—and you can rest assured that our camps will follow suit.
When and how should I book?
It’s always best to book your child for a sports camp as early as possible, when sign-ups first become available. This year, it is even more important to enroll right away, since most camps will be limiting their capacity due to COVID-19. After over a year of canceled youth sports and lots of time spent inside, parents are going to be more eager than ever to enroll their kids in camp. If you wait too long, the perfect camp for your child might fill up.
There’s a lot to consider before signing your child up for a camp. At the very least, you want to make sure the camp looks like fun—and offers your child a chance to make new friends and get active.
In addition to providing a fun way to exercise, US Sports Camps has a reputation for providing kids with an unmatched sports camp experience. We give kids the opportunity to improve their skills by learning from some of the best coaches and players in the country. By attending a US Sports Camp, your child will walk away with an unforgettable experience, new friends, and a set of skills that will change their game.
Interested in learning more about US Sports Camps? We offer camps in 24 different sports. Explore your options and learn more about our mission at ussportscamps.com.