July 18, 2012
The camp season is here. The weather is typically hot and sticky. When youth players are on the field all day long, focused on one sport, their behavior needs to be the same as if they were in the classroom. If your child has behavioral issues, please be sure to spend some time preparing them to act in a respectful manner to all of the camp staff and campers.
Camps can be a catalyst to elevate a youth player’s technical skill. The simple ingredient is that these players are touching the ball so much more in one day than they would in a week of soccer in a traditional season. Parents can really help their campers by explaining the importance of using the same manners and upholding the same expectations that would be used in the classroom environment. Coaches at the camp setting are working with campers they probably are unfamiliar with and have little knowledge of their skill level or even their behavioral issues.
How can we help our children succeed in the camp setting?
- Read all of the emails and/or requirements for the camp delivered by the Camp Director. If the camp requires a water bottle, ball, and shin guards we can help our child by making sure they have all of those items. When a camper comes unprepared to camp, they are already a step behind the rest of the group.
- Manners are so important especially in large groups filled with new people. Parents can set some time aside to reiterate to their children the importance of patience, saying thank you, and asking questions in a courteous manner. All of these simple guidelines of interacting with others must be in place for camps.
- Parents can also review all of the schedules posted by the camp and share those details with their campers. The campers should know as much as they possible can about the camp daily schedule so they can have a positive sport experience.
- At the end of the first day of camp, ask your child who their coach is and who they know in their group. Spend time with your child and ask questions on the ride home. If you wait too long to ask, your camper may be too tired from the days events to respond to your questions.
“Thank you” and “please” are terms that mean so much to coaches and educators. Camp can be fun and enjoyable if all involved can find ways to express respect throughout the day. And parents, don’t forget to pack those listening ears. Coaches want to work with campers who are ready to learn and those listening ears are needed!
See my recent article Summer Camp Challenges and Tips for even more things parents can do to make camp a fun and enjoyable experience for all.