Is Tech Making Summer Camp Programs Better or Worse?
In today’s society, technology is everywhere, so it’s no surprise that technology is an integral part of summer camp programs. Although technology is often a wonderful thing, it plays both sides when it comes to Squash camps, offering both positive and negative attributes to the programs.
When Technology Can Have a Negative Impact
While the majority of technology use for summer camp programs is positive, there are ways it can have an extreme negative effect on campers and on coaches if used in the wrong ways.
1. Squash is 50% Mental – It’s no secret that the game of squash is made up of 50% physical abilities and 50% mental capabilities. When technology enters into the game, it can often cloud a camper’s head with following their friends on the various social media platforms and what is going on in the world around them, instead of focusing on what is going on in the gym.
2. Technology affects your learning ability – If your head is not in the game you are not going to remember what you are being taught, which defeats the purpose of attending a summer camp. Learning new techniques and improving your skills is an important part of becoming an elite squash player, but you have to be mentally present in order to succeed.
3. Coaches need to pay attention too – Just as the campers have to give 100% to each and every day, so do coaches. If a coach is not fully engaged with the students and is, instead, reading a text or surfing the web on his phone, then the student is not getting the full value of the camp. Coaches need to be completely focused on their students in order to best serve them.
The two most common sources of negative technology for summer camp programs are social media and texting, mainly via smart phones. “Unplugging” during camps can be an extremely effective measure for making sure students are in the zone.
When Technology is a Positive Thing
Technology is not always a negative thing. When it comes to summer camp programs, technology can actually be a very positive tool to engaging campers and attracting future campers. Technology can also play an integral part of the learning process while at camp also, when used for the right reasons. Below are a few ways technology brings a positive impact to summer programs.
1. Importance of Social Media – Social Media probably plays the biggest role in attracting new campers and engaging registered campers. It allows the students to interact before even getting to camp, which can take away worry and doubt and make the first day of camp easy for even the most anxious student.
2. Training benefits – For the first time, technology allows us to track our training without using things like treadmills and other stationary gym equipment. Devices such as the FitBit enable athletes to hit the pavement for long runs and other training, tracking everything from your activity level to your sleep and food intake. This technology makes training easier and gives coaches a thorough look at what needs work when it comes to building endurance.
3. It helps families on the fence – With the development of technology that allows us to view pictures and videos of exactly what goes on during these camps, it places value on the importance of attending a good squash summer camp program. It gives parents and students alike a glimpse into camp life before registering, giving them both piece of mind that they are getting exactly what they are paying for. In addition, it lets parents and students connect while the student is away at camp, which can ease fears for both parties.
4. It plays a big role during camp – While putting technology away during camp hours is mostly a must-do, it can also have a positive effect to implement certain technology into the camp itself. When working on a new skill or technique, it can be very effective to be able to visually see the steps you need to take to perfect the technique. This is doable via video of professional squash athletes that have already perfected the skill. Whether viewed during practicing hours or evening hours during down time, students can watch and prepare to master skills with the help of their camp instructors.
5. It gives a recap and a place to socialize – There is nothing more depressing after a week of camp than going home and missing your new competitions and friends. Between website updates, emails and social media posts, you can stay in touch with the people you have trained with and follow their squash progress as well as make plans to attend the same camp the next year.
Technology is Here to Stay
Regardless of its negative or positive impacts, technology is only growing and is not going anywhere anytime soon. Summer Camp Programs can really benefit by utilizing the newest technology to its fullest potential to gain new students and to keep current students wanting to come back for not only the duration of their age group, but also to keep progressing through all of the camps offered. Beyond that it helps with training and motivation for current camp participants.