menu close twitter facebook snapchat instagram youtube article basketball gallery graph left-arrow right-arrow search star trophy video net clipboard shield-check shield-star stopwatch filter reset
Regional Camps

4 Ways to Make the Most of Basketball Camp

  • Author:
    By Jeff Haefner
  • Date:
    Feb 24, 2016

Here are a few really simple ways for you to get the MOST out of your basketball camp experience and become a better player...

Take Notes

During the camp you will learn dozens of useful tips and coaching nuggets. You might learn about a technique to improve your shot, get quicker, become a better leader, and so on. You will most likely get so many useful pointers that you'll forget 95 percent of them by the time you get home—or even by the end of the day!

So I suggest that you keep a notepad handy in the gym. As soon as you get a break or you're between drills, write down what you learned. This is what the really good players do.

Then when you get home, organize your notes, and put together a plan for you to improve.

Knowledge is power. Use the knowledge you gain at these basketball camps by taking notes and applying what you learn.

Leave Your Comfort Zone

This is important. You are at the camp to improve, right? Well if you want to learn a new skill, you HAVE to be willing to make mistakes and get out of your comfort zone.

Did you know the only way to learn a new skill is to make mistakes? For example, when you learned how to tie your shoes, you tried dozens, maybe hundreds of times. Then all of the sudden, after repeated failures, your brained rewired (myelination process), and suddenly you learned a new skill (tying your shoe). The same is true when learning basketball skills.

If you go to the camp and just practice things you can already do, you're not learning a new skill. You are just polishing a skill you already have (which does have value and is important). But if you want to learn a new cross over move, new footwork, or any new skill—you need to PUSH yourself out of your comfort zone. You need to go faster than usual. You need to amp up the difficulty. And you need to be willing to make mistakes.

Develop Good Habits

Again, you are at the camp to improve... right? So when you are at the camp, you should always give your best effort (100 percent hustle), listen to the coach speaking, eyes on the coach speaking at all times, and be the first player in line for almost every drill.

These are things that will get your team coach's attention. If you are always attentive with your eyes on the coach, you hustle at every moment, and you are the first in line... your team coach will love those things and you will get their attention.

Develop these good habits at basketball camps and then they will carry over into your season. The last thing you want to do is develop bad habits at your basketball camps. Get focused, work hard, and get better!

Look for Drills You Can Do on Your Own

Again, knowledge is power. Most of the good basketball camps will use drills that you can also do on your own (when you go home). When you notice a good drill, write it down. Then build a collection of drills you can do in your house, in your basement, in your garage, and at the gym. Good players find a way to practice and improve no matter what the conditions are or where you are. Use camps to learn how to do those things.

Related Videos

USA Basketball's Jay Demings (Youth and Sport Development Director) and Don Showalter (10-time gold medal winning junior national team coach) discuss the four stages of progressive player development.

USA Basketball's Jay Demings (Youth and Sport Development Director) and Don Showalter (10-time gold medal winning junior national team coach) break down the Philosophy for Player Development in this podcast.

The 1 Percent Club is that small group of players who go the extra mile in their training -- stay late after practice, do more than is required. That's what it takes to make it to the next level.

Related Content

Seven coaches from all levels explain the best and worst advice they have received about coaching.

  • Author:
    Sofia M. Lucero
  • Date:
    Aug 20, 2020

USA Basketball spoke to NBA head coach and commentator for ESPN, Jeff Van Gundy, to gain some insight and perspective on coaching.

The USA Basketball Coaches Network discuss basketball skills that can be taught and promoted by playing 3x3.

While some coaches may think their athletes are beyond the basics – mastering the fundamentals is a never-ending process.

Remember to keep these quick and simple healthy snacks readily available for your athlete because if they aren’t provided healthy options, children are more likely to eat unhealthy treats, even if they’re not hungry.

Coach Licensing & Organization Accreditation Login

Forgot Password?