Ask a parent who believes that investing in their child’s athletic potential today means ensuring the costs of their retirement in the future, and they will tell you that sending their child to an elite sports camp at any cost is absolutely worth it.
It is not uncommon to hear stories of parents willing to drive 12 hours to another state just so their young athletes can attend an elite sports camp. They will share stories of how they did overtime at work just to save up $400 or more for their child to attend a three to four-day camp. And they will tell you that the physical, emotional, and financial strain will be worth it in the end when their child signs their first professional contract.
For a few, these sacrifices do pay off. But for many, there is heartbreak for both the parents and the child. Let’s explore the top 3 myths when it comes to sending your kid to an elite sports camp:
1. The more you invest, the better your child will becomeIs there a quantitative value for your child’s athletic ability? Does playing for an elite sports camp automatically make your child an elite athlete?
How much you spend has no correlation to your child’s athletic ability. While it is true that shelling out more money will mean your kid will get more one on one time with a specialist, there is no guarantee that your child will improve to the point of being considered elite. Your child’s athletic peak may still pale in comparison to that of another child who had no formal training whatsoever.
2. Playing other elite teams will improve my child and their team’s skills“Elite” teams are not necessarily made up of the most skilled, fastest or strongest players. Rather, an elite team would be composed of kids whose parents could afford to reserve them a slot in the program. If your child and their team were to play against other elite teams, they would not be competing against the best; they would be competing against other kids just like them whose parents paid the fee.
3. Showcases are my child’s best chance to get noticedConsider the hundreds of children who participate in these events. Take into account that you are not the only parent out there willing to drive for hours or work overtime to pay the fee required for your child to take part. Think about all the coaches who were also paid a fee to attend these showcases. Coaches who are focused on finding the best talent are aware that while these camps are by invitation only, they are open to willing participants who can manage the expenses.
The reality is that the truly elite athletes are the ones there by invitation. Coaches already have them on their radar. Sure, they are also on the lookout for unknowns but ask any experienced coach and they will tell you that they come to showcases knowing exactly what it is they are looking for.