A new round of AIM + Sports Summer camps start in July!
Despite our new normal of social distancing, summer sports camps are still going strong at HCI. We’re highlighting why summer camps can be so beneficial for young athletes and we chatted with Soccer Program Director Adam Hooi about his own camp experiences while growing up.
Adam Hooi — Soccer Program Director
I used to attend various camps due to working parents. I always remember being so nervous and uneasy about attending, then would gradually get more comfortable and ultimately enjoy it. It was great meeting new kids from different schools and areas of town. Also being around different coaches and leaders. I also feel like going through the uncertain experience allowed me to socialize better later in life. It was a matter of getting used to being comfortable being uncomfortable.
From Soccer camps, I got the valuable repetitions in a group setting that I wasn’t getting at home. I also got to learn and try new techniques that inspired me to practice more and improve.
1. Developing Social Skills
This is one of the things that stood out for Hooi during his summer trainings and an important benefit for all ages. Exposing your kids at any age to situations where they have to get to know new coaches and peers from different schools is a great way to prepare them for real world applications of socializing. Not to mention socializing in new settings is a critical tool in developing a stronger sense of self, identifying and setting boundaries, learning to share or work as a team and decreasing anxiety.
2. Cultivating Work Ethic
The activities in sports camps from repeat drills to workouts and games require discipline and focus. Studies show when children and adolescents are put in situations that require focus and are able to see something like a summer program through from start to finish it fosters positive associations to completing something and, in turn, fosters a stronger work ethic.
Even if you’re the parents of a less than enthused child, teaching them responsibility and commitment in spite of their initial discomfort can be beneficial to their development.
3. Sharpening Skills
In terms of skills, sports camps are great for a lot of reasons. One of the main takeaways for focused athletes is improved technique. Regardless of their level and type of sport, most camps generally spend some amount of time on the basics to refine technique. In fact, many professional athletes cite the importance of habitually checking in on and improving basic form and technique to play better in the game.
Also, new skills are an obvious and fun benefit that keep young athletes conditioned and could even give them a leg up for the upcoming school year.
4. Renewing Passion
When young athletes walk away with new and exciting skills as well as improved technique and form, it generally reenforces or renews the passion they have for the sport. This is helpful to combat the burnout they might experience toward the end of the school year and helps them step into the upcoming seasons with energy and a fresh perspective.
5. Building Self-Esteem
When you put all of the above benefits together, you may also notice an extra pep in your athletes step. Ultimately, when sports camps do what they are meant to do — build connections with coaches and peers, develop independence and responsibility, make focusing on technique and learning new skills fun, and reinvigorate their love for the sport — more confidence is inevitable! You may even notice that confidence trickle into their academics, outside social circles and other extra-curricular activities.