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Selecting A Football Camp
At it’s very essence, football is a highly competitive team sport which incorporates individual physical strength, agility, speed, coordination; all in the context of an integrated team dynamic which relies upon a coordinated effort in the context of an overall strategy or “game plan”.
Summer camps which focus exclusively on the sport of football will invariably carry over such a competitive undertone to some extent and may vary in their approach to the sport in terms of a camp program.
Although it can vary, many football camps allow campers as young as 6 or 7 and as old as 18 years of age. When there is a wide variation of ages, campers are normally broken up into age appropriate groups.
A few basic questions to consider when choosing a football camp:
- Are you seeking a football camp which offers full contact or non-contact?
- Are you interested in attending a residential football camp (sleepover), or do you plan to commute from home on a daily basis? The latter requires you to live within driving distance of the camp facilities; however, you can attend a sleepover camp in just about any location … although such programs typically involve added expenses such as transportation, room & board, and more supervision by counselors or staff.
- How long of a session(s) throughout the summer are you seeking to spend at a football camp? Many football camps offer single week sessions; however, there is no across the board rule about any sort of standard session length. You might find some programs which offer an abbreviated session over a long weekend, while others are multiple weeks in duration. It really depends upon the particular program. If you are seeking to attend multiple sessions at the same camp, you may wish to ask about the nature of the different sessions and whether they differ substantially in programming or even if there’s a “progression” of sessions where it’s necessary to have taken Session 1 to advance to Session 2.
- Most importantly, you may wish to evaluate the general nature and scope of any given football program which is of interest to you in light of your personal goals and objectives. Some football camps are extremely competitive and geared toward players who have aspirations to not only improve their current skills, but to advance and continue playing at the collegiate level and perhaps beyond. Other programs – while still competitive in their basic nature – might be a bit more rounded in their approach.
While most football camp programs will include some degree of on field instruction with respect to either offense skills or defensive skills, they may differ in regard to the specific area of focus. Some football camps might be specifically billed as a “quarterback camp”, while others might include a wider focus of “passing & receiving”. Likewise, there are kicking & punting camps as well as programs tailored specifically to being a lineman. Just as there are programs which focus on position specific skills, there are also a great number of football camps which cover all positions and skills across the entire gridiron.
Most programs will include drills, scrimmages, game play, and on field instruction. Some may get into great depth about strategy and team play – depending upon the particular program. Similarly, fitness, strengthening, and agility training may also be components of an overall program to one degree or another. It is important to inquire with the director about the amount of time allocated to any given facet which might be of interest to you, since activities and the time dedicated to such can vary greatly from camp to camp.
Some programs are geared for athletes who have aspirations of playing football at the college level and may offer the opportunity for recruiting connections. Likewise, many colleges and universities offer football camps which are affiliated with their school or coaching staff. Some professional football players and coaches run camps and may even take a daily role or make special appearances.
In your quest to find the best football camp for your interests, you may also find there are also many “general sports camps” and other non-specific football camps which offer very strong football programs while also offering other sports or activities – providing a bit more variety.
Ultimately, most football camps will seek to offer a general environment which allows campers to learn about teamwork, self-discipline, and to simply have fun playing football … regardless of the level of competitiveness.
Since there a great number and wide variety programs offered, you may wish to search the Camp Channel for a football camp which is of interest to you.
Typically, a camper is responsible for bringing their own helmet, mouth piece, cleats, as well as other clothing items; however, it is important to ask the director about what particular equipment a camper will be responsible for bringing along and which will be furnished. Often there is list provided by the program.