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December 5, 2013

The Benefits and Concerns Around Kids and Sports

types of summer camps sports summer camp parenting kids camps 2 girls camp summer camp activities boys camp A recent article from the NYU Child Study Center interviews the Center’s sports psychologist and Clinical Assistant Professor, Dr. Marianne Engle, on some of the benefits and concerns around kids and sports. Sports summer camps not only offer many of the benefits mentioned by Dr. Engle, but they also address a number of the concerns in their diverse and health-centric programs.

Sports Summer Camps Capitalize on the Benefits of Sports

According to the article, research shows that sports boost self-esteem while reducing anxiety and depression; they also provide a venue for building social skills and individual strengths like critical thinking, respect, leadership and coping. While club teams and leagues offer many of these benefits, sports summer camps are unrivaled in the character development arena. For many kids, sports summer camps are the first experience away from home in which kids can explore full independence and their personalities in a totally foreign environment. They immediately learn to relate to a new social group while building athletic confidence and respect for new teammates.

Diverse Opportunities of Sports Summer Camps

Dr. Engle explains that school-age children should focus on skill development and team building before specializing in one sport. Even if kids have chosen a particular sport, trying different positions is helpful to build mental awareness and fully understand the game. Sports summer camps encourage this sort of diversification – especially traditional summer camps with many sports offered in a long list of activities. Campers can test out individual sports like martial arts or horseback riding in the morning, and then team sports or crafts in the afternoon. Even if they stick with baseball all session long, they have the flexibility to try out different positions.

Sports-based Concerns Addressed by Sports Summer Camps

This article addresses a dramatic decrease in physical education, claiming that fewer than one out of four children attend a school PE class. This alarming statistic makes summertime physical activity all the more important. At the other end of the spectrum, Dr. Engle warns against early competition and specialization – a rising trend in young athletes that can lead to physical injury and burnout. Sports summer camps encourage variety as well as safe and proper mechanics taught by qualified coaches and counselors to avoid both of these issues. The whole point of sports summer camp is to get kids excited about being outside – whether they find a passion, a new friend or a simply an enjoyable experience.

Camppage provides information on all sorts of summer camp programs all over the US and Canada.

Photo by: Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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