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When the time comes for school holiday basketball camps, you may find basketball-loving kids begging parents for permission to sign up, however, this isn’t the reality for everyone. Some kids, even those who love basketball, experience nervousness and anxiety around attending a school holiday basketball camp. It’s not that they don’t want to, however, it’s expected, especially in adolescent years, for children to feel concerned about going to camp. Bear in mind that this can happen with any camp and is a part of life for some children. What’s important is that you know how to respond accordingly so that your child can experience the time of his or her life at camp.

What to look for and what you should not do

When children are experiencing anxiety around going to camp, it is unlikely that they will directly tell you. Instead, you may be able to pick up on signs that they are consciously or subconsciously giving off. As a parent or guardian, it is important that you don’t only notice these signs, but that you respond appropriately.

Signs your child is anxious about camp

If he or she:

  • Does not act excited about camp
  • Frequently changes the topic when you mention camp
  • Does not ask many questions surrounding the camp
  • Attempts to get out of going to camp
  • Does not sleep well in the nights leading up to camp

These are just some of the signs that your child may be anxious about camp, not all. Be on the lookout for signs that may be specific to your child.

What you should not do

  • Brush off their signs
  • Speak about possible difficulties at the camp
  • Repeatedly ask about missing home
  • Voice your low-probability worries
  • Trivialise their concerns or any signs that you may notice
  • Ask questions about nerve-wracking events/experiences (E.g. Are you nervous to play in front of new people?)

If you notice any signs of anxiety in your child regarding attending camp, then do not ignore it. This can affect their experience at camp and take away from all of the benefits it has to offer.

What you should do to help your child cope with anxiety around basketball camps

Let them own the experience
Children can develop anxiety from simply being thrust into a camp that they know very little about, even if they love basketball. Form a partnership with your child when researching camps. Go through programs, let them discuss it with their friends and present them with all of the benefits so that it does not feel extremely new to them.

Ask open-ended questions
Avoid focussing on specific questions when speaking to your child about the camp. Overly specific questions can make them feel overwhelmed or touch on subjects that are uncomfortable or nerve-wracking for them. However, you should discuss the camp with your child, so ask general questions about the program. For example: Are you excited to learn to dribble?

Speak about your own experiences
If you have had a camp experience, especially if it was a basketball camp, talk to your child about it. Let them know that it was a positive experience that enriched your life. Hearing a similar experience from a parent can be comforting and reassuring for a child because it is coming from a trusted adult.

Discuss specific goals for the camp
Go through the camp’s program with your child and set goals for each day or specific to the program. This will focus their mind away from the anxiety and instead towards this goal. It will also help them to get excited to achieve the goal. For example, let them set the goal to perfect their shooting technique or to learn a new basketball trick. Remind them that they will be coming home to show you.

Keep goodbyes short
Most children get anxiety about camp because it is the first time that they are away from their parents for an extended period of time. This is especially true with 5-day camps. Separation anxiety is normal and there are ways you can reduce your child’s anxiety levels. One of these ways is to keep your goodbye short and not to linger. This lets your child get on with their camp and friends keep them from getting distracted by your presence.

Focus on basketball-specific details about the camp
Don’t let your child get concerned about things surrounding the camp such as separation from you or meeting new kids, instead, get them pumped about the program. All of No1 Draft Pick’s school holiday programs are available online. With your child, go through them and get your kid excited about all of the new basketball skills and techniques that they will learn.

N1DP’s school holiday basketball camps offer training for kids and youths to help them master their skills–including their shooting technique. We have brought together some of the most innovative and skilled basketball minds in Australia to train Sydney’s basketball-loving youth at our camps.

Do you want to join the N1DP family or sign your kid up for our camp?

Enquire today on 1300 33 N1DP.