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Five mistakes wrestlers and parents make when choosing a summer wrestling camp

When picking the best summer wrestling camp there are a few things to consider and a few things to avoid. The goal of a wrestling camp should be able to provide a new training opportunity that fits your budget, wrestler’s goals and needs. And it should be fun – but it should challenge and push the wrestler. That’s why parents are busy researching the best wrestling camps in the nation and pouring over web sites and brochures trying to find out what is the best wrestling camp to choose.

That’s where the idea for The Ultimate Guide to Wrestling Camps was developed. As the former editor of an award-winning amateur wrestling web site, I heard it all the time from parents and wrestling fans. What is the best wrestling camp out there? What age should I start sending my kid to wrestling camp? What do you know about the J Robinson Intensive camps ? What do you know about Oklahoma State Wrestling Camps? How about Rob Koll’s Cornell Wrestling Camps? What have you heard about Ken Chertow Wrestling Camps? What do you think is better, sending your child to the same camp year after year, or mixing it up and going to a smaller local camp or traveling across country to a big, nationally known camp, such as say, Iowa wrestling camps, or Cael Sanderson’s Penn State Wrestling Camps?

Flip through any magazine or publication this time of year and it’s almost overwhelming. There are ads galore promoting wrestling camps. And you know what? They all look good! They all look like they could fit the opportunity you as a parent or wrestler are searching for. For many, the key to picking a wrestling camp is often location, cost and instructors. Those are good reasons no doubt, but let’s look at some factors to consider and some mistakes to avoid:

Mistake #1 – picking a wrestling camp because your best friend or regular training partner wants to go to that camp

This makes sense, right? You want to go to camp and not feel out of place. So going somewhere where there is a comfort level – knowing you will have your workout partner or best friend there with you seems like a no-brainer, right? Not necessarily. When picking a wrestling camp, choose one that is going to challenge your wrestler. Call the camp and ask how many kids are registered at your son or daughters weight class, or around that weight class (taking into consideration weights fluctuate in the offseason). You don’t want to get stuck working out with your regular workout partner. You can do that at your school any day of the week. You want to find workout partners who can challenge you and provide you with a new experience. That’s what camp is about, getting a new experience. This is an extreme case, but let’s say your best friend is a lighter weight, where there are typically more wrestlers. And you are a heavyweight, maybe even a bit inexperienced and big for your age. If you go to a camp where there are only a few big men, mostly older and more physically mature, you will not be able to train/workout with many new or different partners. While the goal of a camp is to learn, learning and applying what you learn is important. If you are a young wrestler make sure you are not going to a camp with kids who are much more advanced than you. Sure, you want the challenge but you don’t want to lay on your back during all the workout sessions counting lights on the ceiling.

Mistake #2 – Picking a camp based on a big name clinician

Who wouldn’t want to go to a camp where Dan Gable is a speaker? Or perhaps Jordan Burroughs is a guest clinician one day. Or maybe it’s Cael Sanderson, Jake Varner, Kellen Russell, Sam Hazewinkel, Luke Becker, Jesse Krebs or any local or national standout. Who wouldn’t want to meet or get a chance to be in the room with the best of the best? However, if they are only going to be there for say, one afternoon out of 5 days, be sure the rest of the camp still fits your needs. Explore all options, understand the whole camp program to get a strong overall understanding of the camp. Don’t let one big name be the determining factor. Ask what role that one person will have in the overall camp experience.

Mistake # 3 – Dismissing the local camp/small camp

Not everyone can travel across country to go to a top Wisconsin wrestling camp. Sure, a kid from New Jersey might want to try Chris Bono’s Florida wrestling camps. Or someone from Nebraska may be intrigued about wrestling camps in California. But you don’t have to spend big money and travel long distances to find a camp to learn from great coaches and teachers. For example, in Minnesota Clay Nagel and Matt Nagel put on the Concordia Cobbers’ wrestling camps every summer. These attract kids from throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and other regions. Concordia is a smaller DIII wrestling school, but Nagel has excelled as a coach at the high school and college level. He knows how to teach youth. His son, Matt, was a Division I All-American at Minnesota. Both have connections to former standouts from North Dakota State University, the University of Minnesota and Augsburg, for example, that will be at the  camp, not to mention, the wrestlers Clay coaches at Concordia. The camp will draw up-and-coming wrestlers from a wide area. Bottom line, sure this may not be a camp at a DI powerhouse where Tom and Terry Brands are putting you through intense workouts that will make you cry uncle, but there are good teachers in every state. You don’t have to go to the big national camp to find a great training opportunity. For parents on a budget, wrestlers who don’t want to travel far, explore the local wrestling camp to meet your goals.

Mistake #4 – Not getting out of your comfort zone

The goals of kids and parents attending summer wrestling camps vary greatly. Some just want more mat time. Some want to be with their friends. Heck, some just want to wrestle, no matter where and no matter with who. And while I recommend the smaller local camp, I firmly believe those who have the best success try a camp that gets them out of their comfort zone and trying something new. While I am a big advocate of the local camp, it might be best to reconsider going to a summer camp led by the same club coach you see every week, or the youth wrestling coach or high school wrestling coach you train or learn with every day. By all means don’t dismiss this if it’s the option that’s right for you, but if you choosing between options, why not try something new one year? Chances are, your coach may even encourage it!

Mistake #5 – Expecting the camp to make you a state champ

Every wrestler wants to be a state champion, a national champion, an Olympic champion. Goals are great. Everyone should set them. But spending a week at the best summer wrestling camp you ever went to isn’t going to make you the best wrestler in the country. However, by taking what you learn at wrestling camp and applying that to your everyday training – that’s what will set you apart and help you reach your goals. Learn, apply, try and repeat. Use it as a training tool, but not the only training tool.

As a parent you spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on your child’s wrestling camps and training over the course of their career. Want to avoid more mistakes like these? Want to save money and make the best decision for your budget and wrestler? Then order your copy of The Ultimate Guide to Wrestling Camps today – and train to be a champion tomorrow!

How to pick the best wrestling camp: 3 factors every parent or wrestler should consider when making a final decision

Below is an excerpt from Chapter 2 of the book, The Ultimate Guide to Wrestling Camps.

In the book, some of the top high school coaches comment on the advice they give parents and wrestlers on how to pick the best wrestling camp. With this group of HS coaches, there is over 100 years of combined coaching experience backing up their advice.

It doesn’t matter if you are from a top wrestling state like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa, Minnesota, Oklahoma or California. Or a state like Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, New Mexico, Idaho, Washington, Montana or Rhode Island, where wrestling is popular in pockets. You can find the best wrestling camp for your skill level and budget by following these three steps to finding the best wrestling camp for youth and high school wrestlers.

To choose the best wrestling camp, you can’t go wrong following the basic advice of some of the top high school wrestling coaches in the US:

➭ Determine what you want from the camp experience.

➭ Read the promotional materials carefully, and don’t be wowed just by the names of big-time college programs hosting the camp, or superstar wrestlers or coaches.

➭ Ask your coach and other wrestlers which camps they’ve been to, and would recommend.

Want more advice like this from top high school and college coaches, parents, elite wrestlers, camp directors and elite wrestling minds like Dan Gable, J Robinson, Rob Koll and more? Then order your copy of The Ultimate Guide to Wrestling Camps today. It’s only $10 and shipping is FREE! You could spend thousands on camps and training over the course of your child’s wrestling career. But you could also save thousands by following the advice and tips gathered in this book.

You’ll become informed, make better decisions, find better training opportunities and most important, SAVE MONEY  while HELPING YOUR WRESTLER HAVE A BETTER CAMP EXPERIENCE. Save money. Train better. Become a better wrestler.

 

How to pick the best wrestling camp in your state and for your budget

It’s that time of year..

Wrestlers and parents throughout the country are searching for the right wrestling camp for their youth or high school wrestler. Like most parents, wrestlers or coaches, you are hitting the Internet and using Google, Yahoo!, Bing and other search engines to insert key words looking for camps that fit your need.

It is a good idea, to use Google and type in key words such as Best Wrestling Camps, Top 10 wrestling camps, Youth Wrestling Camps or how to find a summer wrestling camp. In fact, those questions were a big part of the basis of writing the book, The Ultimate Guide to Wrestling Camps. When I was the editor of a leading national wrestling web site, I often got asked the question: “Where do I send my kid to wrestling camp?” It wasn’t just me, however. It was others. Rick Kacher, owner of the Adam Wrestling Takedown Machine, said it too – he would get that question 200 times a year. Parents were interested in his product and then would ask “where do I send my kid to wrestling camp?” Or “How do I know the best wrestling camp out there?”

This shows that when it comes to choosing a wrestling camp, there is a lot of confusion on what is the best route to take. There is a lot of information out there, no doubt, but it takes time to sift through that information. That’s where The Ultimate Guide to Wrestling Camps helps. The book sifts through the information and asks the same questions you ask in your web searches. Questions such as:

What’s the best wrestling camp out there?
How do I know which camp is better than others?
What camp will help my son or daughter become a state champion?
When is the right age to go to wrestling camp?
What type of camp is right for me?
How do I find a camp that is affordable?

And much more…

While searching the Internet via keywords is a great way to get started, let that just be the start of your search. Here are five ways to pick a wrestling camp – once you’ve identified the camps you want to attend via Internet searches:

1. Contact the camp directly and ask questions
2. Look for online reviews about the camp
3. Talk to others in your club, on your high school team or the coaching staff, to see what more they know about the camps you are interested in.
4. Look for the right dates, cost, location and type of camp (such as intensive camp, team camp, technique camp, big man camp, commuter camp, day camp, etc)
5. Narrow the choices down to two. Pick three to five that you are really interested in, then shorten your choice down to the top two and make your final decision from there.

Or, you could order The Ultimate Guide to Wrestling Camps, and find out for yourself, from over 40 top college coaches, high school coaches, Olympians, national champions, All-Americans, parents and other youth wrestlers who have experienced and the answers to your questions.

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