Ask Coach Houser: How to Get Your Team to a Volleyball Camp

Coach Houser:
The summer camp options seem limitless. And overwhelming. And my girls have always balked at attending any. I know that you’re a camp director, but I don’t know who else to turn to. Can you give me some advice for choosing a summer volleyball camp?

Hey Coach:

I’ll try! Here are five tips to convinces your young athletes to attend a summer volleyball camp.

Get Your Kids To Camp Tip No.1: Enthusiasm

Top priority: Be excited about the camp, and promote it.

Reasoning: If your kids can’t be convinced to go, if they look at it as a pain, as drudgery, as an inferior choice over working at Burger King, then all your other work, all the hints below, are worthless.

No don’t do all the promotion alone. Ask your graduates to use their influences on the high school players. Get the parents on board. Have your older players talk it up to the middle schoolers. Have some of your high school players even go with you to the middle school! That’s always cool!

Hint: Kids will do what their friends are doing, regardless of what they say. If you can get 10 girls to commit, then they’ll bring five more with them. Twenty girls will bring 10 more. It’ll snowball.

Warning: If you have to pull out all the stops to get your kids to attend camp, then the camp BETTER be a fun experience. Or the next time you cry wolf, then parents and players will ignore you!

Get Your Kids to Camp Tip No.2: Help Them Fundraise

A few weeks ago, I told you how I didn’t take, “We can’t afford it” as an excuse to not play club ball. Even more so for summer camps.

My school teams have all winter and all spring to fundraise. We got to raise whatever money it takes to get the kids in the gym and out of the house.

Coaches: If your kids can’t afford the camps you choose, then all your planning, encouragement, marketing, etc. will fail. No parent is going to trade their rent payment for a camp for their kids.

This is especially true in the more rural, more inner-city, more low-income areas. “I never went to a summer camp, why should my kids?” “We can’t afford a vacation. Cindy ain’t taking one.”

My response: There has to be a way! Sell, find donations, wash cars, pick up trash after the football games, clean the gym after basketball games, sell concessions, etc.

The fundraisers we do are not for the team, but for individuals. Cynthia can make $300, Jody $150, Samantha $580, and Jenny $0. I have a little book and keep up with each girl’s money, and she can check her balance at anytime.

You want to increase your fundraiser activity? Then do what I do! Tell your players that they’re not raising money for their teammates, but for themselves! They can participate in our activities as much as they desire.

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