Or at least that’s what I’ve heard a handful of times lately. Look, I’ve been there, and I get it. Running a camp is hard. Even if you have a large staff of coaches plenty of support, there’s a lot to juggle.
You need trainers available, coolers full, and concession stand stocked. You need lunch to be delivered, lines to be orderly, and lots of energy from your players. You need pens, packets, polos, Powerade, and paper towels to clean up the Powerade that Johnny Knucklehead just spilled in the stands. You need a lot of things.
And that can cause some serious stress. I get it, I really do.
BUT like anything else, running camp is about attitude. If you think it sucks, they will, too. If you decide it’s a blast, it will be for them.
Like most people who have been in coaching, I’ve worked a lot of camps. I’ve worked long camps, short camps, well-structured camps, and full-on circuses. In all cases, what separates the good from the bad is simple: the coaches have fun.
They had fun teaching campers and learning from the staff. They had fun drafting teams and connecting with their players. They had fun officiating, running stations, and coaching all age groups.
And as a camp director or someone on a staff running a camp, it’s your job to set that tone. You’re the leader—the pacesetter—and if you’re lackadaisical in what you do, the coaches you hire to teach young players will be, too.
If you care about the future of the game, you’ll want to teach it, and there’s no better time to do that than camp. And if you’re a support staffer, it’s your lone opportunity to get on the floor and coach. Take advantage and enjoy it.
It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy: If you believe camp sucks, it will. If you decide to make it great, though, you could be in for a special week.