28 Oct Hockey Camps
Hockey Camps: 5 Tips to Selecting the Right Christmas Camp for Your Kid
With Christmas a few months away, your email inboxes should start to become innundated with hockey school brochures any day now! With great options comes great responsibility! How do you know which hockey camp to choose …
1) Know Your Kid
At the end of the day it all depends on little Billy or Sally’s personality. If they are recreational players that are there more for the social aspect, you want to sign them up for more of a keep them moving, skate around pylon’s with no correction style camp. A hockey camp that stops the sessions to teach, correct and demonstrate might not be their bag. How do you know which camps are which? Word of mouth and personal observation.
2) Don’t Be Fooled by Ratios
Student:Instructor ratio has to be one of the greatest marketing tools in the world. Sure a 5:1 ratio is great, but not if all the instructors except the main guy are standing around collecting dust! The most important thing to watch for is the instructor to student INTERACTION ratio. how many times little Billy gets pulled aside and how many times little Sally gets encouraged. It’s better to have a few solid instructors hustling for an hour, creating legitimate learning opportunites, then to have a bunch of Shleppers in tracksuits, holding up the boards.
3) Is learning taking place?
At the end of the day, is it a place where your son or daughter will be corrected and encouraged to try new things? How do you know? Well, there are a few things you can observe :how often the instructor stops to explain/correct, whether the instructor is an effective communicator, whether your son/daughter is corrected when doing a drill wrong. Or you could kick it up old school and… ready for this… Ask them what they learned on the way home!!!
4) Yelling Doesn’t Mean Teaching
We base good coaching on what we remember our coaches to be like, but as kids are differet now a days and don’t respond to the Ra-Ra hoopla the animated individuals with the whistle used to coach us with. I see it time and time again: Happy parents smiling and handing over their money after an hour long yelling session, just delighted that little red faced Timmy is dripping with sweat and self inflicted asthma.
5) Beware of False Prophets
You know that “Hey I have a great camp, my kid just loves this instructor” hockey parent person? the one that says “We should put the kids in together, come on, they are friends!”. Chances are that person is helping the instrauctor assemble a group in return for a free registration. Nothing outwardly wrong with someone helping the instructor get kids for a camp for a favor in return, but what is good for their kid may not be good for yours! Always keep their unique learning style and needs in mind.