Summer Volleyball Camps. How to pick a good volleyball camp this summer.
Summer Volleyball Camps: How do you find a good volleyball camp?
I am in the volleyball camp business. I have been for the last 15 years. Not all volleyball camps are the same. Given the fact there are hundreds of colleges and universities coupled with high schools and volleyball clubs, there are quite a few choices for players to further their instruction.
Before you can pick a camp, there are two rules that dictate your experience:
All players think they are better than they are. It is very common for players to think their skill level is higher than it actually is. At most university/college camps, they will watch you hit two balls, pass one and serve a ball. They put you into a group based on your current skill level. Sometimes this can be very frustrating. Which leads to the second rule of Volleyball camps….
All players want to play against better competition. We equate the company we keep with how good we are. If you play with better competition, you will get better sets, better passes and more opportunities for play. This is a common concept that parents understand better than anybody else.
Let me take you through the most common types of camps available. I will give you some pros and cons on each
University/ College Volleyball Camps
University/College camps can be a great time for young players! The experience of staying overnight with friends is very appealing. Some camps can be as large as 350 kids. The social experience equated with a university/college camp is unsurpassed! New friends are made and it is a great time to form bonds with future teammates. Two concerns: The first is much of the instruction is done by players who are learning the game themselves. While most of the instruction is fairly basic, it helps to have an experienced coach to do more than over-seeing the general direction of the camp. My other issue is the length of the camps. 4-5 days is a long time to be on a court. Many of the campers are on their feet for 6-8 hours a day. Enthusiasm wanes about half way into the second day. Soreness develops in both the campers and instructors.
High School or Club Volleyball Camps
High school and club camps can be a great way to get ready for your school season. Typically these camps can range from 20-60 participants. Some clubs even go as far as to separate out by skill level and position. Of primary importance is the chance to impress your future coach. One of the things that I like when I do camps is to have the players look me in the eye when I am talking. It shows enthusiasm and interest. Hustling after balls and watching other players play instead of talking to friends are two helpful suggestions. The one issue I have with these camps is you want to experience different coaching techniques. This can be hard at a high school/club camp. It is said you pick up three or four things at each symposium and seminar you attend. Young players should try to expose themselves to as much different ways to look at the game as possible.
Here are my choices for summer camps:
For setting, Rick Butler does perhaps the best setting camp in the nation. I know this because I have seen the setters he produces. Great coach for setting http://www.greatlakescenter.com/
Carl McGowan is one of the great modern day minds of the sport. Coaches should listen to what he has to say regardless of what level you coach. You can find him here http://www.goldmedalsquared.com/
USAV CAP Series
John Kessel is a very entertaining and information person to listen to. All of the coaches who have attended his clinics have given two thumbs up. You can find him here http://www.usavolleyball.org/event?tag_id=3197