Gymnastics camps offer a lot of benefits: they’re a great way to gain new skills, train with talented gymnasts, and showcase your talent in front of college coaches. Learn about the different types of college gymnastics camps and factors to consider when deciding the best camps to attend or search the list of women’s gymnastics camps below to find one near you.
Gymnastic camps are a great way to focus on fundamentals and building skills, especially for gymnasts who want to improve in certain events. College camps also give recruits a chance to see how they measure up against the best gymnasts in the country and learn the different teaching styles of coaches. Plus, some college camps are invite-only, which is a strong indication that a recruit is on the coach’s prospect list.
As the season progresses, remember to check with gymnastics camp organizers for the most current information on camp availability and receive timely news about the college’s gymnastics program.
There are a variety of camps that gymnasts can attend, most of which take place over the summer. Overnight camps, college camps, weekend gymnastics clinics and local camps are all popular options among top gymnasts, and each provides a different experience. Here’s an overview of summer gymnastics camps:
Overnight camps create a unique experience for gymnasts by mixing recreational activities into their daily schedule. In between morning and afternoon instruction, campers can swim, play laser tag, sing karaoke and more. Popular overnight camps, like the International Gymnastics Camp and Camp Woodward, also include former Olympians on staff, so for athletes with long-time heroes, it can be a memorable experience. Typically, though, no college recruiting takes place at these camps. They’re designed more to develop new skills, learn different teaching methods and bond with fellow campers.
For gymnasts hoping to get recruited by a college coach, they should attend college-run camps, where gymnasts train directly with the college staff and college-athletes. Most of the top-ranked gymnastics colleges in the country have high-performance camps for levels 7 and up and also offer 3-day camp options, including the University of Oklahoma, the University of Florida, UCLA, the University of Utah, and the University of Michigan. Some of these camps are invite-only, where coaches evaluate the top prospects on their recruiting lists.
However, it isn’t as simple as signing up for camp and getting recruited. Many of these coaches already have a list of prospects that they want to evaluate before camp even begins. To improve your chances of being evaluated, it’s important to reach out to coaches ahead of time with your highlight video and recruiting profile, so you can get on their radar early and maybe even get a personal invite from the coach.
For gymnasts looking to develop their skills or concentrate on a particular event, clinics and gymnastics camps at local gyms are a great place to start. Here, gymnasts can focus on problem areas and get specific training to help them move on to the next level. The biggest benefit of going this route is that athletes can improve their performance while staying closer to home, making it a more cost effective option. Usually younger gymnasts, those who haven’t been hearing from college coaches yet or those who aren’t quite ready to make their college decision benefit from clinics and local camps.
The best gymnastics camps will offer a safe and competitive environment, high-performance training and skilled coaches. Here are some of the best gymnastics camps available to high school athletes:
Before signing up for camp, it’s important to do a little research. Student-athletes should first understand their intention for attending camp. Do they need to work on specific problem areas? Want to train with certain college coaches and get recruited? Answering these types of questions is vital to picking the best camp to attend.
For example, if a student-athlete is an underclassman and is currently aiming to move up a level, a camp or clinic at a local gym would be a great option. For upperclassmen, who are actively contacting college coaches and sending their recruiting profiles, a college camp can boost their chances of getting a verbal offer. But in this case, it’s important for the recruit to establish a relationship early on with the college coach, so that they can be sure to receive an in-person evaluation once at camp.
Additionally, cost is a driving factor for many families. Popular overnight camps average a little more than $1,000, while 3-day collegiate camps are typically $500-$700, depending on the school. Sometimes it’s better to wait to spend money on traveling to a camp and staying there overnight when the student-athlete has received personal interest from coaches or is further along in their recruiting process.