Sports camps aren't just for the summertime.
With cold weather locking in thousands of young athletes during the winter months, the opportunity to attend a winter camp is a perfect solution for those with cabin fever.
After all, winter camps aren't at the mercy of Mother Nature. Anticipating the worst, camps located even in the coldest of climates have indoor alternatives ready. Which means athletes--including those in outdoor sports like baseball, softball, soccer or lacrosse--can continue to get instruction even if everything outside is buried in snow.
"That's huge," said Sean Lyons, an assistant baseball coach at Eastern Illinois University who coordinates the EIU Winter Baseball Camps. "We're fortunate enough here to have an indoor fieldhouse, basically the same size as a football field, that allows us to do long toss with pitchers. We have a large area for hitting and our winter total skills camp can set up a full infield and work with infielders and outfielders."
The access to facilities is just one benefit for attending a camp during the winter months. For spring sports like baseball or lacrosse, winter camps can be a head start before tryouts--a way for a player to gain an early edge. Holiday camps can fill the void in the day when school's out and not much is going on.
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It's also a chance for players to receive top-notch coaching, which never hurts.
"The offseason is when conditioning and working on your stick skills will help you get ahead of your competition when spring ball starts," said Tony Smith, defensive coordinator of the Belmont Abbey men's lacrosse team.
Smith said winter lacrosse camps are different from summer camps mostly because of climate changes. Hydration and heat awareness isn't as crucial during the cold season, but making sure players leave camp improved is a goal that's consistent.
"Technical lacrosse instruction is still relatively the same depending on the coach's style," Smith said. "I prefer no standing around, no lines and making every drill or learning experience as game-related as possible."
Winter camps, of course, are available in warmer climates like Florida, Arizona and California as well. Wherever there's hungry athletes wanting to get better--and with some free time to do so--there are camps out there ready to feed the need.
"I think the biggest boost is that we can provide them maybe a new way of learning to do things that they can take from what their high school coach or summer league coach had used with them," Lyons said. "We just try to advance them one step further from where they finished back in August or September."sports camp to improve your game.