Giving your child the perfect summer sports camp experience is almost as exhausting as making the perfect dish for dinner. But moms, have no fear! It doesn’t have to be so strenuous. Here’s the perfect recipe, with all necessary ingredients, to provide your little one with that unforgettable summer sports experience.
A pinch of Seasoned Established Program
A dash of Experienced Coaches
A smidgen of Low Child-to-Coach Ratio
A few bits of Specific Age-Appropriate Activities
1. Combine all ingredients.
2. Stir ‘em up.
3. Your child is guaranteed a great summer!
Seasoned Established Program
Just like any recipe, sometimes it takes a few times to get it just right. Same with a camp program. Therefore, when searching for a camp, it’s important to research the history of the company running the program and its standing in the community. The more seasoned and established the camp, the more years the staff and coaches have had to figure out the recipe for success.
When choosing a sports camp, you want your child to be learning from a coach who knows and enjoys the sport. The coach should be just as excited about teaching as the child is about learning, and that certainly starts with an inherent “love of the game.” Year-round programs are a great “go-to,” as they have coaches who are consistently honing their skills. When calling for information, remember to ask specific questions about the staff, such as:
- What type of training do your coaches receive?
- Are your coaches qualified and/or licensed?
- Are your coaches background checked?
- Do the coaches teach year-round or just during the summer?
Low Child-to-Coach Ratio
Now that you’ve chosen the program and confirmed that the coaches are experienced and ready for action, it’s important to make sure that your child will get the best experience possible! Children benefit greatly from personal attention. A low child-to-coach ratio is crucial to give coaches the ability to form connections with each child. When coaches are able to address children at their level and work with them individually, each child creates a special bond with the coach. This encourages the child to participate and increases the excitement to attend camp each day. Also, from a safety perspective, it gives parents, especially first-time parents, peace of mind to know that their child is properly supervised.
Specific Age-Appropriate Activities
Sports are naturally competitive, but first and foremost, kids need to have fun. Therefore, a developed summer curriculum should include specific age ranges (2-3 year olds, 6-9 year olds, etc.), and the daily curriculum should include targeted activities centered on the ability level of the age group. A non-competitive curriculum full of fun activities and skill-building for younger kids can foster a love for the sport and a love for summer camp. Kids should be encouraged to cheer for each other and be rewarded with praise. As they get older, introducing competition and enhanced skill-building allows the kids to improve their skills while learning responsibility. As a parent, don’t hesitate to ask specific questions about the curriculum. Better yet, ask for a sample day’s itinerary!
Sports camp is so much more than the rules and technique of your chosen sport, and we’ve all heard the benefits of sports for children: teamwork, sharing, listening, taking turns, the list goes on! Yes, your child will learn how to kick a ball, but the lessons they learn through interacting with other kids and the friendships they develop are far more valuable. You now have the perfect recipe to go out there and choose the perfect sports program for your child!
Written By Fallon Conger, Camps/Events Director at Super Soccer Stars