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May 11, 2016

How to Plan Summer Training & Fun

How to Plan Summer Training & Fun
“Nothing compares to the skill work they get through you.”
– a mother of one of our hardest working Mo’ Motion alumniBefore we get to how to approach camps outside of Mo’ Motion, here’s what we offer and why it’s distinctly different from other camps that a) are much larger in size b) are longer in duration (hours per day) and c) offer a travel or sleep-away factor (some not all). Camp Mo’ Motion, which includes yoga, boxing, cross-training while we count reps, skills, and scrimmage time, is slated for the beginning of the summer (early to mid-June) and then again in August. We have a cool and fun hoop/train/travel NYC option and a multi-sport option. We’ll also be in the Hamptons later in August for private and small group training.Click here for all of our summer training options Grades K-3, Grades 4-6, Grades 7-10.

Below is a breakdown of what to look for if your child is expressing more of an interest in doing mostly basketball—or basketball and one other sport—over the summer. Summertime presents the greatest time to make gains that are tough to make during the school year and in-season.

(Please note that Mo’ Motion is going to ID the best camps this summer so that we can recommend the best experiences for our players. Ideally we will narrow the camps to these cities: NYC, Philadelphia, Boston and Chicago.)

Let’s start by picking the approach based on the age/interest level of your child: Grades 3-6: The Beginner Who Knows Proper Skill Work is Critical We feel a balanced approach is good for grades 3-6. A general sports camp is fine, but it’s also good to tack on basketball-only. Try for one big camp experience and then a smaller one (like Mo’ Motion), so your child can see the benefits of both.

Grades 7-8: The Curious Player Who Wants to See What’s Out ThereRead below in the “Options” section on how to start out at the first tier with local and regional camps to see what interests your child the most – the social aspect or the training aspect. There is nothing wrong with multiple camps of both types for a player who simply loves hoops and wants to be the best player she or he can be in high school. Mo’ Motion Camps are excellent for this age group from a reps, skills and mechanics standpoint. We also map out the Motion 250 Club at Camp for those who want to set the goal of reaching 250 training hours. Not all camps offer this much skill work.

Grades 8-12: The Player Who Works To Be in the Top 1-3 Percent Players who desire to play at the next level have to display an effort that will put them ahead of 97 percent of the competition (only 1-3 percent of top high school performers play next level). In addition, they must be willing to plan their summers with a mix of game action (in front of the college coaches they want to play for), and the right amount of showcase camps with opportunities to show coaches individual skill and drill work, work ethic, etc. Only in rare cases can you find an exceptional high school experience where coaches are in the gyms regularly, and the school is well-connected to an worthwhile AAU experience. You need proper training for several years, exposure opportunities, talent and desire to be in the top 1-3 percent of high school players.  Some players enjoy the early camp experiences where they end up seeing big-time players who emerge a few years later as best in class.

Options from Beginner Level to Top Performer

Skill Camps (usually 1-2 days) – Intense, long days, but good to mix with other camps, and players get to network with coaches. Serious players should write down and/or memorize all the drills and practice them on their own.

Team Camps (usually 3-4 days) – Players are placed on a team if they don’t arrive with a team or part of a team. These are positive experiences if you get on a good team and are a player who can easily adapt. Many of these camps have good to excellent Division II and Division III coaches (most of the Division I coaches are out vetting recruits during the NCAA’s live recruiting period.) Ideally players should be roughly the same age. Ball hogs are everywhere, but at the 17U division, when kids are looking for college opportunities, it can be much worse to be on teams with them. Jump into as many bonus sessions on skill work with different coaches as possible.

Academic Elite Camps (usually 3-4 days) – Fewer ball hogs, more serious students, Division III academic coaches and some Ivy coaches. Some of the free periods are great for players to opt-in to extra coaching time with coaches on staff who are outstanding at teaching different aspects of the game. Camps at Ivy League Schools (3-4 days) – These are quite common for our players who have an interest in high-academic schools.

At the Ivy Camps, the school hoops staff is working along with several Division III coaches. It’s a great opportunity for players to network with Division III coaches. It’s important to point out here that Division III basketball draws excellent players and counts in that top 1-3 percent of performers. Usually Division III players genetically aren’t the build of the prospective Division I players. Best Reviews Please note that we are working with limited information this summer. What we’ve heard – again, luck is a factor when it comes to teammates, strength of camp, right situation – is that Hoop Group and Hoop Mountain offer nice options overall. In Chicago, there’s a great overnight Nike Camp series by DePaul coach Doug Bruno.

Also, for younger age levels, in addition to the Doug Bruno Camp, there’s Hoop Group’s Future All-American option (in spite of the name), which is a good start for grades 7-8 and rising grade 9. Older age levels, more serious players and students, attend their Academic Elite Camp. Keep in mind that some of the sleep-away camps are just right for kids who enjoy the social aspect as much if not more than the hoops aspect.

Post/Big Player Position Camps – They are excellent for post players if you find the right one for they are few and far between and often spread out across the country. One of our players enjoyed Bill McClintock’s post-player clinic last year. (This year’s site is outside of Denver.)

Even a local one that has a post-player label on it is excellent because most camps are so weighted by guards that post players don’t get the expertise and attention they need. What to Avoid/What to Ask For Too Much Sizzle Camps that look awesome from a marketing standpoint often pack the gym with players, making it tough to get real training done. Some of these camps do a lot of chalkboard talk, lectures, and X’s and O’s. Many kids get bored with this after the first day and want more action, sweat, skills, game time. Be sure to ask about: the ratio of basketball hoops to players, number of basketballs to players (basketball in hand all day), the ratio of coaches to players, and the age breakdown.

Seek and Learn from Great Coaches

Get a list of the coaches from previous years. Mo’ Motion will be doing this early in the summer of 2016 so we can reach out to coaches on staff and get another opinion on the camps we think are the strongest.

How to Balance Training Time with Family/Friend Time

Our Mo’ Motion 250 Club shows kids how to balance their week from a training standpoint (everything counts from yoga to skills work to mobility to swimming to biking). It also shows that you can take family time and still reach your goals by planning carefully in advance and perhaps doing some training while away on family time. Recommended hours for a grade 7 and up serious player is about 250 hours. (Younger players can set their goal around 200 hours. Players splitting two sports can shoot for 125-150 hours for hoops, and easily adjust their training program to log time dedicated to both sports.) The Mo’ Motion 250 Club breaks down to about 75 days of training, around 3 hours a day. Training 2-5 hours a day (and again, counting all fitness) is great for the body, mind and soul. It can easily be overdone if they kids aren’t taught how to self-regulate and pace. We make sure they understand how to balance their weeks and spend time with family and friends, even if it means inviting them into the workout!

Other Things To Do In/Around Camp & Training Time
• Invite family and friends to join you in training by rebounding, drilling, meditating, boxing, swimming, biking
• Visit the city where the camps are being held and have fun. • Visit the colleges nearby.
• Visit friends and relatives. It’s a team sport!

Don’t forget to sign up for Mo’ Motion Camps this June and August!

You’ll see how we pace it all out and keep it fun. And if your child (a Mo’ Motion participant) is interested in trying The Mo’ Motion 250 Club this summer, please email Here’s what one mother said about Mo’ Motion Camps:“I’m not saying this just because I’m talking to you, but nothing that he’s done has come close to what your program offers because of the combination of what you offer – the attention to detail, the skill work and repetitions, the small group setting as well as how you complement your training with yoga and boxing, and how you emphasize eating and sleep habits. You don’t get any of these at bigger camps, but many kids like the other camps for other reasons even if the quality isn’t near what you offer.”