There are so many basketball camps out there. You could choose a local camp (maybe at your own school) or travel to more renowned camps offered all over the country. There are thousand of basketball camps offered in the U.S. every year.
How do you choose the best basketball camp?
As a skill development coach, high school coach, and someone who has seen dozens of camps, here are seven qualities that I see at the remarkably good basketball camps.
Find these qualities and you'll find a good camp.
Players Are Constantly Busy
At a well-run camp, players will be constantly busy. There will be very little standing around and NO standing in lines. Nothing is worse than standing in line at a camp with 200 other players and waiting your turn.
If a camp has LOTS of players, the good ones will be very organized and keep everyone busy (improving).
Players Are Listening
A good camp instructor will find a way to connect with players and demand their attention. If all the players are quiet and their eyes are on the instructor, hanging on every word, this is probably a good camp. The good camps have instructors that know how to get players attention and TEACH them.
They Are Focused on Player Development
A good camp will teach you fundamentals, skills, athleticism, and mentality that will help you no matter what coach or team you play for. In other words, the camp instructors should be experts when it comes to player development and that should be the focus of the entire camp.
The best basketball camps give you a tremendously high number of repetitions. The best way to learn is—see, hear, and do. In order to develop a new skill, you must get thousands of repetitions and develop new muscle memory. The good camps get you lots of reps.
Coaches Are Active
A camp is only as good as the people running it. Good camps have coaches walking around making sure everything is done properly. The lead instructor should be walking around to each station making sure all the assistants are teaching properly and the players are improving. The last thing you want is the lead instructor making small talk to other coaches or even missing from the camp. They should be dedicated and working the entire time.
Players Have a Ball in Their Hands at Almost All Times
Each player should have a ball during the majority of the camp. At times players might even have two basketballs (for ball handling). For some drills a ball is not necessary (agility, cutting, screening, defense, etc). However, to get better on offense, you need a ball in your hand during the majority of the camp.
Good camps will teach players life skills and spend time building character. Basketball provides a great opportunity for players to learn life skills. Not every player will become a Division I college player or a professional athlete. But every single player at the camp has an opportunity to learn life lessons, development character, and become a better person. Good camps use these opportunities to teach these lessons.
Players Learn the Mental Aspects
A good camp will find opportunities to help players build mentality and teach them about the mental aspects of the game. They might teach them about leadership, playing through mistakes, toughness, and teamwork. Mentality is a very big part of basketball that should not be neglected. The good camps I see out there find opportunities to help players improve their mentality.
These are all qualities you'll find in the best basketball camps out there! When searching for and choosing a basketball camp, look for these eight qualities.