With the summer months fast approaching, you are probably deep in thought about summer camp season at your gymnastics gym. These camps are revenue boosters in the months when school is out and are a great opportunity to get the word out in your community about your gym.
Making sure the summer camp attendees have a positive experience is the best way to convert them into regular students. When it comes to young students with shorter attention spans, it may seem hard to engage them throughout the entire camp and make sure they leave excited about gymnastics. Here are a few ideas for keeping these young gymnasts engaged during your summer camp sessions.
Start With Safety and The Basics
Ensuring your students feel right at home from the second they step through the door of your gym is the best way to foster comfort. Explain policies and procedures, introduce the other coaches and staff, and give them a tour of your facilities. While it may seem simple, when students know how to get to the locker rooms and to the space where their fellow campers meet, they will feel more comfortable at your gym.
Set Summer Camp Goals
At the beginning of camp, give students an overview of what they’ll be working on and what they can expect to achieve by the end of camp. Obviously, most of this is due to the length of the camp and the skill level of the campers, but this is a great way to give students something to work towards throughout the length of camp.
Generate excitement and interest ahead of camp by communicating with families about what their kids will be working on, whether it be a theme-related craft or a special skill. Whether you communicate through a Parent Portal, push notifications, or email, give them an overview of what to expect at the camp. You can even send a small message before camp each day if you want your students to be thinking about goals for that specific day.
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Set Your Curriculum in Advance
Plan your summer camp hour by hour, day by day. Setting your camp curriculum and daily schedule will ensure you have all the supplies you need. It also minimizes wait times during the day keeping young gymnasts engaged the entire time.
Keep a pulse on industry trends and consider theme days for your gymnastics summer camp. Is there anything pop culture-related that you can bring into your summer camp themes? Have fun with it. Ask students to dress up or frame the daily activities around the theme.
Focus on the Foundations
If possible, divide your students by age group. If you are unable to have individual camps based on age, utilize small groups. The gym can be a loud and distracting place. By placing students in smaller groups, it will be easier to communicate individually.
Focus on skills that cater to the students in your small groups. For younger students, focus on foundational gymnastics skills like L-Sits, cartwheels, rolls, and balances. You can incorporate games to capture attention and encourage creativity. For older students, focus on making sure they are experts at whatever skill they are learning or equipment they are using.
Encourage Your Gymnastics Students
As a gymnastics coach and instructor, you know that the lessons your students learn on the mat will influence their lives off the mat. By encouraging your campers and giving them feedback, both their skills and confidence on the mat will grow.
Gymnastics summer camps are a great way to create excitement over the sport and by keeping your young gymnasts engaged, you can create positive experiences at your gym. This is a great way to attract new students for summer camps and beyond.
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