Sports camps, good or bad?

Are summer sports camps good for kids or should kids be allowed to be kids.

OK, as I start on this hot topic, I'll say this, where I grew up there were no summer sports camps. I come from a small town and we played what ever was in season. Baseball in the summer, football in the fall, basketball or even football in the winter. Yes, I'm from where it snows and some of my favorite football memories are games played in six inches of snow.  Heck, my friends and I built a fence so we could play ball during the summer and mini goal posts for football. We never even thought about going to a sports camp.

Now a days, camps run wild. You name the sport, there's a camp for them. So here's my question are they good or are we not allowing kids to be kids?

There's no question to be a top notch athlete and grab one of those elusive college scholarships, the odds are good camps have been the norm, not the exception. But think about this, the odds of getting a scholarship, probably about 1 in 100, at best!

Now I'm not saying I'm a proponent or opponent of camps, I'm just saying let the kids decide. If they want to go play on summer travel leagues, go for it. If they want to play lacrosse at the Y, good for them.  It just becomes tough  when you hear the stories of parents pushing their kids in one direction. There have been way too many stories of youngsters who are burned out way to early of the sports overload. 

It seems like you rarely hear about multi-sport kids now a days. I think it's awesome when you hear of a youngster who's a standout in basketball and softball. Someone who excells in cross country and is found on the volleyball courts as well. To me, that's what it's all about.

Summer sports camps, I can live with or without them. I'll admit this too, which may not sit well with some coaches, but I don't think its right to favor a youngster who went to camp against a youngster who didn't. While I'm sure a lot of times it's not intentional, I'm sure it happens. Sometimes yes, there is too much emphasis on winning. It's our nature and I can live with that. But let the kids decide what they want to do and don't hold it against them if they want to enjoy summer and forgo all those sports camps. 

Questions, comments, your thoughts. They're always welcome here.

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