Young athletes hone skills at sports camps

SYCAMORE – Bailey GIlbert has been going to summer sports camps since the first grade. It’s where the Sycamore High School senior first learned to play basketball.

“I used to look up to the older girls who ran the camp,” said Gilbert, who will be a four-year varsity starter this winter. “It’s awesome that now I’m doing it.”

According to SHS girls’ basketball coach Brett Goff, there are a number of reasons schools host summer sports camps. It’s a chance for younger players, in first through eighth grades, “to learn the skills they’ll need to know.” And it gives high school players a chance to learn the offense they’ll be running when the next season starts. It also gives older and younger players an opportunity to meet and form bonds with one another.

“It’s really good for summer because there’s not that much going on,” said Kylie Feuerbach, 13. “You meet new friends.”

Most sports camps are only for a week, but Gilbert said players often work out on their own. Besides weight training three times a week, she gets together with girls from her team for games.

For many, Goff said with a laugh, the highlight of most summer camps happens at the end of a session, when each player is given a Popsicle.

“That’s become the big thing,” he said. “They wait to get the flavor they want.”

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