I have worked with youth basketball camps for 14 years now: 8 years running my own and 6 years with PGC Basketball. It is one thing to organize and run a camp and another to choose one for your own children. Having kids approaching the age range for these camps, I had to stop and ask myself, “What do I really want in a basketball camp for my kids? What is it that makes a good basketball camp?”
It is easy to choose a camp based on convenience/proximity to home or one that is sponsored by a big brand name parents trust. I thought about what would pave the way for a young person to maximize their potential. After all, personal growth in a child so often correlates to their growth as an athlete.
10 THINGS I LOOK FOR IN A YOUTH BASKETBALL CAMP
- Skill improvement. As a father and a college coach, this is a no-brainer to me. A good camp will teach your basketball player ways to improve their technical skills (dribbling, passing, rebounding, shooting)
- Enjoyment. I don’t want my kids to end up hating the game. Basketball is fun. Youth basketball camps should be fun, too.
- Structure. Structure is fun, too, right?
- Life skills. So much of what we learn in team sports is transferrable into our everyday lives. I want my kids to walk away from basketball camp with new and improved life skills. Is that too much to ask?
- Confidence. The more you know and the more you practice, the more your confidence grows. A good basketball camp will build up its players, not tear them down.
- Empowerment. Now that they’ll have more confidence, I want them to take ownership and leave camp feeling like they have the power to do great things.
- Approach. It’s not about winning or losing, it’s about how you play the game – your approach. The right basketball camp experience will prepare kids to handle tough situations well and demonstrate what attitude or demeanor to bring to each moment.
- Self-Control. I believe the right kind of basketball training can show my kids, as well as any young athlete, how to stay in control of their actions, their reactions, their emotions and impulses. This goes hand in hand with approach.
- Teammate development. It’s important to learn that you don’t always have to be the star player; sometimes you just have to help lift up everyone else. Behind every championship win are great teammates motivating and supporting each other.
- Safe environment. As does every parent and coach, I need to know my kids are in good hands.
Over the last couple years, I’ve looked into kid’s basketball camps, whether they were through a college or church. Each one was good in the sense they did a great job with a few of the 10 things on my list. But PGC Basketball camps are on a whole other level with a very holistic approach to basketball.
A CAMP FOR THE IDEAL BASKETBALL PLAYER
As a college basketball coach, I often see either skilled players, confident players or great teammates. But the ideal basketball player – the player every coach desires – is all three.
There are plenty of camps that help players develop their basketball skills. There are other youth basketball camps more focused on team building. Others may be designed to strengthen self-esteem in players. Very few camps can deliver the entire package. Now that doesn’t mean the camps that deliver on only one or two of these elements are bad. It just means when you find a youth basketball camp that delivers on all three…you know you’ve found something special.
THINK THE GAME
Join us this summer and discover how to become a playmaker, lead your team, and run the show.
Both my children’s first basketball camp experience was this summer at PGC day camp. Any camp could have made them better dribblers, better passers, better shooters…but not just any camp could have delivered on what they really needed. For my kids, this was 1) control of emotions and 2) confidence. PGC Basketball camps are not just “any” camp. I was so encouraged to see that we offered exactly what I would want for my own children and was thrilled with the return.
Think about the areas in which you want your young basketball player to develop both on and off the court. Maybe they need structure. Maybe they need to feel empowered and have more confidence. Or maybe they need to learn what it means to be part of a team.
Make your list. It is your best tool for choosing the right youth basketball camp.
This is a correspondence between PGC owner Dena Evans and a long-time PGC grad. I was so moved by Dena’s response to this player, which the player’s father shared with me, I decided to ask Dena, and this athlete, for permission to share this correspondence publicly. If you know the heart-ache and disappointment of not reaching your team or individual goals, this is a must-read.
PGC Director Sam Allen brings you this drill called “3-part Floater” to help your players add options to their arsenal. These finishes require players come to a controlled stop, on two feet. This control will allow them to change their attack and take advantage of whatever the defense gives them.
Have you ever thought your coach or your child’s coach was playing favorites? In the coaching profession you often hear many complaints. In basketball, one complaint that particularly sticks out is playing favorites. Do coaches play favorites? Yes they do.
PGC Basketball provides intense, no-nonsense basketball training for players and coaches. Our basketball camps are designed to teach players of all positions to play smart basketball, be coaches on the court, and be leaders in practices, games and in everyday life.
We combine our unique PGC culture with a variety of teaching methods and learning environments to maximize the learning potential of those that attend our sessions. In addition to spending 6-7 hours on the court each day, lessons will be reinforced through classroom sessions and video analysis.
Our goal at PGC is to empower you with the tools to fulfill your basketball dreams, while also assisting you in experiencing the joy of the journey.