July 6, 2012
Summer sports camps are a terrific way to immerse youth players into sports for an extended period of time. There are a variety of summer camp offerings to select from and children respond differently to camps than seasonal programs.
Summer sport camps are so different than the seasonal sport activities our children engage in during the traditional sport seasons. Sport camps are offered in the hot and humid summer months which means children are not only dealing with meeting new coaches and friends, they are battling the discomfort of playing in the heat.
Parents can help! Be sure to pack two water bottles for camp. I am certain camps will allow for water breaks but sometimes players do not want to leave their station or team to fill up. So, let’s give them some extra water with ice. Why water? Most sport drinks contain sugar and we need to hydrate our bodies with the purest sport drink out there – water.
Many camps are now on turf fields that radiate more heat off the surface and on to our bodies. Campers need to wear sunscreen throughout the day. Parents should diligently apply sunscreen before camp and send the player off to camp with the easiest type of sunscreen to apply – spray sunscreen!
It does not matter what type of sports camp your child is attending. If hats or helmets are not part of the equipment, make sure your camper is wearing one. The sun exposure is high during camp since these players are on the field all day (9am to 3pm for example) with the exception of a lunch break. Hats should be worn to protect their eyes and skin.
Camp is exhausting for youth players whether they are first timers or regulars. Most campers will fall asleep on the ride home or before dinner. These campers are tired from being active all day, engaging in conversations, and from the heat. A quick shower or dip in the pool once they get home may help get them re-energized.
Summer sports camp can be an exciting new time for youth players. As parents, we need to send them in with all the tools they need – from extra water bottles, to a rain jacket, and even an extra set of clothes in case they get wet. Big bags are the norm for summer camps – do not be afraid to over pack!