My Summer Plan

By Greg White

April 6, 2016 - St. Paul, MN, U.S. - First-year football coach Arnulfo Flores is a key figure in the effort to revitalize varsity sports at Humboldt High School in St. Paul, his alma mater. He led a basketball practice for young kids in the high school gym. ]  JEFF WHEELER • jeff.wheeler@startribune.com   First-year football coach Arnulfo Flores is a key figure in the effort to revitalize varsity sports at Humboldt. He is among the coaches hired from the community in an effort to stem the decline in participation. He was photographed before coaching some young kids in basketball fundamentals in the Humboldt High School gym Wednesday afternoon, April 6, 2016 in St. Paul.First-year football coach Arnulfo Flores is a key figure in the effort to revitalize varsity sports at Humboldt, his alma mater.  ]  JEFF WHEELER • jeff.wheeler@startribune.com   First-year football coach Arnulfo Flores is a key figure in the effort to revitalize varsity sports at Humboldt. He is among the coaches hired from the community in an effort to stem the decline in participation. He was photographed before coaching some young kids in basketball fundamentals in the Humboldt High School gym Wednesday afternoon, April 6, 2016 in St. Paul. (Credit Image: � Jeff Wheeler/Minneapolis Star Tribune via ZUMA Wire)

It’s almost summer. Which means a few things to High School programs: skill sessions, weight workouts and team camps. Every state has different rules regarding coaches and their teams. Here in the great state of Arkansas we are allowed to work with our teams all but 2 weeks of the year. Whatever your rules are, this is clear for all of us: we want to improve.

Team camps became really popular in the mid 90s. Playing summer games with your team was a great way to build relationships and also get a glimpse of the upcoming season. My question is this: Is it worth it?

I’m not a big fan of summer team camps. I have a few reasons to back that up. I’m also in a different situation so at the end I’ll give you my personal plan.

1. Most of my parent problems come from team camp.

In most cases, players pay to attend camps. So it is a pay to play situation. If they pay, most coaches are going to find a way to play the player. Then November rolls around and they aren’t playing. “Coach, they played all summer…”

2. Team camp causes you to play players who normally won’t be in your rotation.

Three games a day three days in a row takes its toll on players. Add in players who are multi-sport athletes, family vacation, church camp and you can find yourself with a very depleted roster. Some coaches will just take new players which is a great idea.

3. Summer is selfish

I want players focusing on themselves in the summer. I want them getting better. Better players make for a better team-in most cases. Your top players are probably going to be playing with a summer team. Coaches need to be selfish too. Coaches should spend much needed down time with their family and also go get better as a coach.

My summer plan is this:

3 days a week, 3 hours a day.

1 hour strength training

1 hour shooting

:30 skill

:30 team concept

Whatever you decide, make it fit you and your program. Don’t go to team camp just because every one else does. Do it because you believe it makes your team better.

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April 6, 2016 – St. Paul, MN, U.S. – First-year football coach Arnulfo Flores is a key figure in the effort to revitalize varsity sports at Humboldt High School in St. Paul, his alma mater. He led a basketball practice for young kids in the high school gym. ] JEFF WHEELER • jeff.wheeler@startribune.com First-year football coach Arnulfo Flores is a key figure in the effort to revitalize varsity sports at Humboldt. He is among the coaches hired from the community in an effort to stem the decline in participation. He was photographed before coaching some young kids in basketball fundamentals in the Humboldt High School gym Wednesday afternoon, April 6, 2016 in St. Paul.First-year football coach Arnulfo Flores is a key figure in the effort to revitalize varsity sports at Humboldt, his alma mater. ] JEFF WHEELER • jeff.wheeler@startribune.com First-year football coach Arnulfo Flores is a key figure in the effort to revitalize varsity sports at Humboldt. He is among the coaches hired from the community in an effort to stem the decline in participation. He was photographed before coaching some young kids in basketball fundamentals in the Humboldt High School gym Wednesday afternoon, April 6, 2016 in St. Paul. (Credit Image: � Jeff Wheeler/Minneapolis Star Tribune via ZUMA Wire)
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