Benefits of Tennis Camp
Over the course of this series we will examine the role of the tennis camp in a young player’s development. Tennis camps come in all shapes and sizes and there are programs for each level of player and we will examine the differences, expectations and benefits in attending a tennis camp this coming summer.
The series will feature articles on:
3. ** The Benefits of Attending a Tennis Camp **
4. How to Attend Camp on a Scholarship
5. The Role of Parents in the Camp Experience.
PART III: The Benefits of attending a tennis camp:
Each year parents have more and more choices on ways to keep their children busy during the summer months and attending a sports camp is just one of them. It is easy to understand how a child will benefit from a heavy dose of training at a tennis camp with 4-6 hours of tennis each day. However, there are ancillary benefits that are often overlooked. In this post we will look at three of the most important benefits of attending a tennis camp this summer.
Gaining Confidence, Self-Esteem and Independence
Summer camps provide opportunities to develop confidence and independence by taking risks and having new challenges. Mainly, this growth develops when campers are on their own for the first time. Our camps provide an “away from home”, safe atmosphere that will allow them to grow as they encounter these new and exciting experiences.
At camp your child will be exposed to a modified, but essentially representative “College Experience.” For overnight campers, they will stay in a dorm, eat in the dining hall and live amongst their peers. Campers will experience all of this under the watchful eye of a supportive camp staff, which allows them to feel good about themselves as they are gaining newfound independence.
“I remember when I first went to camp as an 8-year old. I was terrified and not sure what my parents were doing to me. But I had an incredible counselor that spoke to me like a friend. She genuinely appeared to be concerned about me, which made me feel better. Then we got on the courts and all these counselors that I looked up to were such good players. I wanted to be just like them, and eventually I was. As a counselor I never forgot that little, scared 8-year old who was treated so nicely. I look at my job as being responsible for making sure these young players not only improve their forehands and backhands, but to show them that they are going to be ok without mom and dad for a week or so. In fact, they will strive. I make sure I tell the young ones how independent they are and how great it was that they are brave enough to enjoy this experience,” said long time staff counselor Jamie Nelson of a tennis camp at the College of Wooster in Ohio.
Your child will also gain confidence and self esteem in their tennis game. Small group instruction, a friendly and encouraging staff and modern tools like video recording and personalized evaluations enhance their ability to see, hear and read first hand about their improvement and tennis growth.
While attending camp your child will be surrounded by those in a similar situation. More than half of our tennis campers arrive the first day knowing no one. This too often causes anxiety initially. We purposely keep our camps small so kids do not feel overwhelmed and so we are able to do all things
together as a camp. With supplemental social and recreational activities, kids are able to quickly meet new people from all backgrounds. Shared experience drives these young players to one another and often create meaningful and lasting friendships.
“One thing I always enjoy seeing are the kids who come back the next year with a friend they met during their first time at camp. It’s fun to see the transformation from that first day at check-in when both of the kids didn’t know anyone, then by the end of the week they are inseparable and sure enough by the next camp season I see their names on the rooming list together. It just shows how solid the friendships they are forming are.“ said staff counselor A.J. Nelson.
Additionally, one of the most important ways our camps will help increase your child’s social skills is by offering them face-to-face interactions with others. In a world that is being overrun by technology, phone, computer, tablet screens, and game controllers, an immersive experience like a tennis camp, forces kids to step away from the keyboards and turn off their cellphones and focus on others. Our camps will provide your child with true interaction among kids their own age.
Finding a Passion for the Game – Is this game for me?
Summer camps are also a great opportunity for bringing out the passion your son or daughter might have for the game of tennis. Many tennis camps provide campers with 5.5-6 hours of tennis each day. For many, if not most, this will be much more tennis then they have ever played before. However, great efforts are made to keep the environment engaging and to break up the days with a comprehensive progression of tennis activities. Providing a variety of technical work, drills, games, team competition, all in a fun and competitive environment is the goal of most tennis camps.
This exposure and variety of tennis, often ignites the passion and gets players really focused on learning and improving their skills. By immersing young players in this sort of learning environment, we help kids understand the game, the social aspects of the sport, the individual focus and to sort out where tennis fits in their lives. Our goal is to have tennis become “their game”. A good tennis camp will also recognize the importance of building passion for the game that they will be able to play for the rest of their lives.