Remember when summer was a time for hopping on your bike in the morning, riding around town with your friends, getting wet and muddy down at the river? Remember when the family would hop in the car on Friday when Mom and/or Dad got home and head to the beach for the weekend? I think it’s safe to say our kids will mostly never have those same memories. Youth sport has changed. Trips to the amusement park, lake, or the beach have been replaced with travel from one set of fields to the next almost every weekend. Same scene, often same teams, same hotel breakfasts, the only difference is the location.

But that doesn’t have to be your child’s only summer lacrosse experience.

When the conversation around “What can my athlete do this summer?” comes up, point out the value of teaching camps. Not the “team camp” where kids go to a location as a team, and play 3-5 games a day for three days with no real practice or skill development sessions. I’m talking about true teaching camps, where kids may go away for a few days, maybe with a friend or two and work with qualified coaches, who have motivation to help the athlete improve. They do still exist and most of them are fantastic. Not only do they provide individual instruction, but they also expose the athlete to a host of other activities; movie nights, swimming, various games besides lacrosse, dorm life, socials (anyone remember the awkward dances at summer camp?) and many other activities that not only help them grow as athletes, but as people too.

Ok, back to lacrosse. In a quality teaching camp environment, the athlete will be exposed to a planned curriculum that is focused on making them better lacrosse athletes. Camps are designed for development. The coaches are trained in delivering meaningful instruction and often have expertise in certain positions. They are there because they want to see the athlete improve. Many of the coaches are educators by trade (makes sense since most teachers have some time off in the summer), giving them a unique skill set in delivering instruction. Finally, teaching camps and summer tournaments don’t have to be an either/or situation, as many teaching camps occur during the business week or for a couple of hours in the evenings and can be relatively inexpensive while your child continue to play games on the weekends.

US Lacrosse Peak Performance Camp

US Lacrosse will hold a series of skill development camps at its headquarters in Sparks, Md., from June 19-21.

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