6 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Basketball Camp

We are excited to share this post, written and sponsored by Breakthrough Basketball, with you!
Summer basketball camps are a fun and challenging way to make your youth players better this off-season. The question is which camp to choose. Parents and coaches often have different considerations in mind when making this key decision for their youth players.
Kids playing basketball at a Breakthrough Basketball youth summer camp
If you are a parent:
How old is your child?
How much time and money do you have to send your child to summer basketball camps?
If you are a youth basketball coach:
Which summer basketball camp do you recommend to your players to get better?
But what are the right questions to ask when choosing a summer basketball camp? Here are six key questions that both parents and coaches must answer to best decide which camp is the ideal fit for their player. 

Question #1:

Why does the player want to go to a basketball camp?


This is THE most important question to ask. Why does your player want to go to a basketball camp in the first place? Most players just want to have fun and make friends.

As they get to the high school level, they will want to improve their skills and be noticed by college coaches. But every youth basketball player has a unique motivation. Determine the “why” before researching camps online.


Question #2:

What is the age and skill level of the player attending the camp?


The age and skill level of the player are key factors when deciding which camp to attend. You do not want to put too much pressure on a player. Breakthrough Basketball Coach Jim Huber says there are several excellent choices for younger players just learning how to play basketball:


“You have some local camps that can be run by the YMCA, Community Centers, or even some high schools that will make them more of a babysitter-type camp. They will try to make it fun for the kids with games, competitions, and learn some general basketball skills while they are there. So before deciding, make sure the basketball camp is appropriate for your youth basketball player based on age and skill level.”


two kids playing basketball at Breakthrough Basketball in St. Louis


Question #3:

How much time does the player have to attend summer basketball camps each year?


Time is a precious commodity for families. Parents already have work obligations, preplanned vacations, and family visits. To squeeze in a week of basketball camp is much easier said than done. There are also significant financial considerations depending on the costs of the camps.


Parents must be aware of this dynamic before choosing a camp. Most basketball camps take up a full week on a parent’s calendar.


Question #4:

How much time should be spent on youth basketball camps?


After determining how much time is available to spend on summer camps, the next question is how many camps to attend. That all depends on age and skill level, and why the player wants to attend a basketball camp in the first place!


According to Breakthrough Basketball Coach Jim Huber, age is a factor in deciding how many basketball camps to choose. For older kids who want to play the sport in high school, 3-4 camps a year is ideal. For younger kids that want to develop their skill sets and see if basketball is a sport they want to pursue at higher levels, 1-3 camps a year is plenty.


Dustin Pierson, Breakthrough Basketball’s President of Camp Operations, also recommends players attend multiple camps in the summer months to see noticeable improvements in their game. He points out the benefit of the repetition of skills when you attend multiple camps, as it can be hard to retain everything you’re taught in a single week-long camp.

Question #5:

What factors should parents and players consider when choosing a basketball camp?


The logistics in terms of time have been sorted out. The parents understand the age and skill level requirements for each camp considered. Now the hard part: researching each camp (especially if the youth basketball player has never attended a camp before). Coach Pierson breaks down the most important factors when choosing a basketball camp:

“Skills taught, instructor background, company reputation, player-to-coach ratio.”

Online research can help, but can be time-consuming and not always reliable. Coach Huber believes that players need to ask themselves what they want to get from a camp. Do they want to play for fun? Are parents choosing the camp as an option to keep their child busy? Or does the player want to become a better shooter, ball handler, and finisher?

Question #6:

What type of basketball camp would help your player the most?


For older players, it is crucial to know which basketball camp would be the most impactful for their basketball future.
  • Is the best camp to attend one that gets the most possible exposure from college coaches?
  • Is the player’s priority to develop specific skills in the off-season?
If the goal is exposure from college coaches, D1 type college camps expose campers to college players, and usually allow for autographs and photos, learning basic skill sets, playing 5-on-5 games, and doing competitions.
Companies like Breakthrough Basketball offer more skill specific camps, developing the basketball IQ as well as teaching skill sets to help them succeed on and off the court. If you are looking for exposure, then attending a college camp makes the most sense. But what about skill development? Breakthrough Basketball provides excellent camps! They focus on skill development and character building so each basketball player will get better.
kids playing basketball
Coach Pierson explains why choosing a Breakthrough Basketball camp would be a great choice:

“Breakthrough Basketball became popular by teaching actual skills and drills, and working on skill development. We limit the numbers so the kids are getting a TON of repetitions, and a player to coach ratio that is 10:1 at worst. There is very little standing in line to wait for the next drill, if any. While a majority of the camp is skill development, we mix in some competitive games because the kids want to play. Finally, we’re not just about basketball – we believe in character development as well (gratitude, kindness, etc.).

Coach Huber emphasizes that Breakthrough Basketball camps teach players to succeed no matter what their future holds. They create the mentality of just getting 1% better each day. They will improve over the course of the camp, but additionally, as they apply what they learned and practice it weekly after camp, they will achieve greater improvement.

Breakthrough Basketball has no shortage of excellent camps to choose from throughout the year. Asking these six questions will help parents and youth basketball players decide which camp is the right one to choose.

For more information and a complete list of 2022 Summer Basketball Camps near St. Louis, click here.




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