Members of the Impact team sat down to discuss the factors that determine the success of a youth sports summer camp or program. We agreed on the following:
- Staff and instructor energy, it is important to coaches display to each participant the high value they have for camp.
We recommend the camp leaders dedicate time to outline the history, purpose, and values of the camp with each instructor.
- Playing area set-up, equipment, and playing areas should be organized before any participants arrive. The site of an appealing playing environment with fun equipment can indicate professionalism and excite participants.
Our team encourages our Camp Leaders to ensure fields are set up 30 minutes before participants are likely to arrive and encourage coaches to setup spaces for potential extra participants.
- Welcome and dismissal, simply put the start of camp allows an opportunity to form a first and last impression. The close of camp presents a great time to remind players what they’ve practiced and achieved.
We recommend that Camp Leaders remind instructors that when a family member collects a participant from camp the first questions they often ask are: “Did you have fun?“ and “What did you learn?“
- A clear purpose for each activity and session, we believe that coaches should build session plans that outline at least one learning objective per activity. These objectives should roll up into 1 to 3 overall objectives for a day’s camp activities.
Discussion with instructors about their objectives for the day can show support, underpin the purpose of the day, and ensure a quality participant experience.
- The visible presence of a camp leader/facilitator, in our experience, a camp having an assigned leader who is visible has multiple benefits.
We recommend camp leaders let participants, their families, and camp staff know they’re always available and ready to answer questions.
- Concise instruction, our team agreed that coaches who become the most popular at camp keep their instruction and messaging simple and concise.
Our team feels that camp leaders should also remind coaches of the value of actively celebrating small victories with each participant.
Impact offers consultancy and delivery support for sports programs. We would be happy to discuss the opportunities and challenges relevant to your sports program. Please get in touch to schedule a free consultation call at firstname.lastname@example.org.