For a number of years I had the opportunity to coach high school football in the fall after summer camp was over. While our team suffered many ups and downs on the field, the offensive line I coached performed well consistently from season to season. I used a simple but effective strategy in coaching my offensive linemen.
First I identified a few absolutely critical skills to teach. Rather than having players be mediocre at many skills, we focused on being great at a few key skills. After I decided what to teach, we practiced those skills relentlessly. My goal was for these skills to become habits that my players performed almost automatically. I then developed a system to measure, provide feedback and hold the players accountable for using the skills. The final piece of the strategy was to develop a culture where our players took great pride in how they performed the skills we focused on.
Each spring as I begin planning staff training for the summer I revisit my offensive line coaching experience. I think about how I can apply the same strategy that led to success on the football field to camp. I ask myself and our leadership staff...
- What are the most critical skills our staff must excel at performing?
- How can we practice those skills so they become a habit?
- How can we measure the use of the skills, provide feedback and hold staff accountable?
- How do we create a cultures that encourages, values and celebrates using the skills?
Welcome to the Summer Camp Leadership blog. For those of us who lead summer camps, making a positive difference in the lives of young people is our passion. Turning that passion into a reality, however, takes more than the ability to lead songs, teach archery or plan craft projects. Creating camp experiences that truly transform lives takes leadership. Leadership that creates a vision for the future, leadership that inspires and engages others, leadership that remains focused and stays the course. My hope is through this blog you'll find ideas, inspiration and tools to help you be a great summer camp leader.