Coaching a basketball team is extremely rewarding. You have the opportunity to share something that you are passionate about with youth. You can help them discover the same joy in the sport that you have always felt. It’s also a great opportunity to teach the rising generation important principles like teamwork, work ethic, honesty, resilience, and so much more. A great way to kickstart your teams’ season is with a basketball camp. If it’s your first time running one, consider the following.
What is the point of a camp? A lot of things. First, teams change every season. Many of your players won’t know each other well. A camp is a great way to break the ice and start developing team unity. Second, it’s a great way to establish precedent. In your camp you can help your players understand how serious of a level your team is. Pushing your team at a reasonably hard level will help them know what is expected of them throughout the year. Third, camps can jumpstart your training. Throughout the season, games and tournaments can make it difficult to focus on the basics. Hosting a camp before the season starts is a great way to start working on the drills that will improve your team’s technique.
What You Need First
Although you would undoubtedly prefer to spend all your time on the court, running a camp requires a fair amount of paperwork. For sports camps, according to Athos Insurance Services you’re going to want insurance that covers general liability (with athletic participant coverage), accident medical coverage, and equipment coverage. This will help protect you in case something goes wrong. It will also help make sure that your players get taken care of if they get hurt.
Aside from insurance, you’re also going to need several permission forms. You should collect a parental permission form from all participants that are underage. You’ll also need to get permission to use a location. If you’re using a public space, you’ll need permission from the city. If it’s not a public space, you’ll probably need to rent the court in order to have it reserved exclusively for your camps use.
As hard as it can be to remember, your players have lives outside of basketball. You can’t take up all their time. How long your camp should be depends on the competitiveness of your team. If it’s a recreational team, then you might want to make it just a few days. If your team is seriously competitive, then you could have a camp that lasts as long as a month. It’s up to you to gauge the interest of your players and plan accordingly. Just make sure that you don’t wear your players out and cause them to lose their enthusiasm before the season even starts.
Food and Water
Camps differ from regular practices in their length. A normal practice might take 2 hours. Camps can range between 4 and 6 hours. If your athletes are going to be working for that long, you are going to need to make sure that they have food and water. You can instruct them to bring their own, or you can provide it yourself. Either way, it will be very important that you give your players time to eat and rehydrate themselves. This would be a great opportunity to talk to your players about proper nutrition and hydration for athletes. Whatever you choose to do, do not restrict your players access to water. Some coaches believe that this toughens their players. But doing so can be extremely dangerous.
Even if you are extremely careful, there is a reasonable chance that someone is going to get hurt. When your player is on the floor with a concussion or torn ACL, you need to have a plan. You don’t want to get caught up in panic and risk not getting your player the treatment they need. Prepare by creating a list of all the possible injuries that you could reasonably expect to face. Then create a response plan for each injury. These plans should be written down and kept in a binder on the side of the court.
Even if you are willing to donate your time, you probably can’t host the camp for free. Your location, equipment, food, insurance, and other items are going to cost you money. You could even be hiring a specialist to come in and work with your team. According to the American Camp Association, you need to budget your camp so that it doesn’t put your team into the red. You also don’t want to make the price so high that your players don’t want to pay it. Ask other coaches in your area what they are charging for camps. This will give you an idea as to what people in your area are willing to pay. If you have impoverished players, you may wish to set aside some scholarship money to help them attend your camp.
The key to a successful basketball camp is a solid plan. Just like you can never practice your dribbling too much, you can never get too specific with your plans. The more specific you are, the more prepared you will be, and the more that your team will accomplish.
For a good sports camp, you’re going to need some good quality training equipment. Check out what we’ve got!