However, coaches may find that they can enhance team relations and minimize overuse injuries, if part of each camp day is devoted to non-sport, getting-to-know-each-other activities.

The off-season stimulus brings athletes back to the sport they love, to connect with their teammates, and to rejuvenate their desire to train in the off-season and reach their full potential for the next season.

There may be some restrictions as to when these camps can take place because of NCAA non-traditional season timeframes and state high school athletic association regulations. This would be an important issue to raise with the coaching staffs during the planning phase.

The off-season stimulus format would be similar to the pre-season format with the type of activities offered, but because the teams are not at the brink of their playing season, more can be accomplished with respect to strength training, speed training, leadership skills, and individual skills development.

Taking time to specialize in the skills that can deteriorate during the off-season can be a special focus of this camp. Additionally, time can be devoted for athletes who play in the same position to work together to improve. This is especially effective in the off-season, where vying for the starting position is not imminent.

The Camp’s Role

Having the coaches and camp staff meet in the early planning stages is essential. Camp staff can inform the coaches what is possible for their athletes to do at the camp and they can provide the project adventure and icebreaker activities with ease.

The camp staff has the training and experience to run these and it also gives the coaching staff some time to rejuvenate between practice sessions.

Meeting early also gives the coaches an opportunity to plan what types of equipment and facilities they will need from the camp. This can prevent surprise requests from coaches during the camp that can be costly and frustrating for everyone involved.

Developing Packages

Affordability is always a concern for athletic teams who are already fundraising for their extras like team gear and banquets. Developing packages that give incentives for bringing more athletes and providing discounts for larger coaching staffs are always attractive.

However, value can be just as attractive… The more services that your camp can offer, like team meeting areas, water stations, indoor facilities for bad weather, and snacks available on a cash basis, can make all the difference.

The payoff of these teambuilding programs extends far beyond the additional revenue that is generated by these athletic teams’ business.

If the athletes and coaches reap the benefits of teambuilding in an exemplary camp setting, they will promote the camp through word of mouth and that will enhance the public relations of your traditional camp programming.

The result? This teambuilding at camp venture can truly be a “win-win” situation for everyone involved.

Dr. Susan Langlois has more than 20 years of experience as a college professor, athletic administrator, camp director and sport facilities consultant. She is currently the Dean of Sports Science at Endicott College.

James Wells is head football coach at Endicott College, and became the program’s first coach in 2001. Before coming to Endicott, he served as the assistant head football coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks and receivers coach at Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, Ill. Wells is a 1991 graduate of Trinity College, Hartford, Conn., where he earned ten varsity letters in football and track.

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