It can be a nerve-wracking experience dropping your player off for their first volleyball camp, especially if they’ve never played before. But volleyball camp is a source for some of our fondest volleyball memories. Here are some tips for a smooth first day:
Dress the part
A t-shirt on top and shorts on bottom is a perfect combo for volleyball camp. Lightweight, comfortable, athletic apparel is what you are looking for! Spandex shorts are the popular choice for girls’ volleyball, but many first-time players aren’t comfortable wearing them – and that is okay! Being comfy is more important, so any athletic shorts will work.
Get the gear
Knee pads are highly recommended even for first-time players to protect from bumps and bruises that can be associated with the sport. There are many inexpensive, good quality options out there, making it a smart choice even if your camper doesn’t go on to play in the future.
What you wear on your feet for shoes is important too! Volleyball-specific shoes exist and for good reasons. They serve as great tools to enhance play, safety and traction because they are designed and tested for the sport. Volleyball shoes come in many design options and varying price points, meeting the needs of players at all levels. While they are recommended, they are not required for first time campers…simply because volleyball shoes cannot be worn outside the gym making them impractical for those who aren’t dedicated players yet. Other alternative athletic shoes are cross trainers, running or tennis shoes. And as soon as your camper falls in love with volleyball, make sure to pick up a pair of volleyball shoes!
You might be going to an unfamiliar facility or school to attend the camp. Even if you’ve been there before, it can look different in the summertime! Navigating the parking lots and finding the gym could be a challenge. Arrive early to give you plenty of time to find your way and get settled.
Find the registration table
Accompany your first-time camper to the table to check-in, get the camp t-shirt and find out where to go next. The workers behind the table are typically coaches or older players who are happy to answer any questions.
Let’s play volleyball!
Encourage your camper to meet others and warm-up until camp officially starts. When it does, the head coach will call the group and introduce the rest of their camp coaching staff. Camp curriculum differs from camp-to-camp depending upon age groups, skill levels, whether the camp is skill specific or all-skills and more. But all are focused on having fun, trying hard and learning new things!
Remember: even the pros were first timers at one point in their careers. Camp is about learning new things, making memories and having fun playing the awesome sport of volleyball!