Summer is a time for camps of all kinds. From church camp to space camp to boot camp, there is always something going on to throw your kid into. Football camps and clinics are always popular. Any chance for your kid to refine their skills out of season and return in the fall as a better player should be looked into. However, how do you pick the right camp with so many options?
Here are a few tips from a company that (by the way) is known for providing the best tackle fundamentals – and advanced tackle technique – camps out there.
Who are the coaches?
It is pointless enrolling your kid into a camp where the coaches are a random parent or high school kid. Not only is that immediately providing an environment with sub-par coaching, but it is also going to make things unsafe for your kid. Look for coaches qualified in tackle football, ideally coaches with high school or college jobs, so you can feel comfortable knowing they are qualified for the gig.
What is the ability level?
You don’t want to throw your kid in with a group above or below their level. A kid with football experience will hate being at a camp with kids who have never played the game, while a kid brand new to tackle football will be overawed by kids who have been to camps for the past few years. If you want your kid to get better – which is kinda the whole goal here anyway – then make sure the camp is appropriate for their ability.
What is the camper-to-coach ratio?
Your kid is enrolled and ready to go. You have worked to find a camp with college coaches, and you feel comfortable that your kid will learn and be safe doing so. Then you roll up to the camp with 100 kids and two coaches. You may as well have lit your camp fee on fire for all the good it will do your kid. Anything more than a 10-to-1 camper-to-coach ratio is basically pointless. Keep that in mind while doing your research and thank us later.
Is it going to be fun?
The further your kid goes in their football career, the more work it becomes. That is why so many players can fall out of love with the game, seeing it as more of a means to an end than the joyous experience it should be. With this in mind, keep it fun for your kid for as long as possible. Make sure they are getting into a camp with their friends, and it is a camp that focuses on making your kid a better player while still letting the campers have fun. It is the summer, and the summer should be fun when you are a kid, so maybe avoid the camp with the high school coach known for being a hardass and screaming at his players when they don’t meticulously follow instructions.
Does the schedule work?
This is a question you have to ask on a couple of levels. Firstly, if the camp lasts for multiple days – especially if it is a residential camp – then what is the focus? While scrimmaging is fun, there need to be drills to learn small concepts that will improve overall play. In addition, is football the main focus? If you sign your kid up for a football camp and half the day is spent at a pool, then is it really worth the money?
Secondly, if you are looking at a camp or clinic split over multiple weeks, the summer is a busy time with vacations and other activities breaking up the normal flow of life. Don’t do your kid a disservice by enrolling them in a tackle football camp where they can only actually be there on half of the days. That is a move as frustrating to the coaches as it is to your kid, as they will have prepared sessions for a certain number only to have fewer show up.
The main point is to research before enrolling in a camp. Understand what you and your kid are expecting to get out of a camp and make your choice accordingly!
Are you a parent or coach who wants to make sure your young athlete is being taught the safest and most effective tackling techniques? Then SIGN UP to our newsletter to stay up to date with our regular content, including upcoming events or camps!
Click HERE to sign up!