In the 2012-2013 academic year, DeSales University sports combined for a 69.6 winning percentage in the MAC Conference, leading the conference for the second time in the past five years. There is no doubt that this is a huge testament to the coaching staffs and their dedication to their respected programs. Their passion for coaching, however, does not end there. Each summer, nearly every coach at DeSales leads some sort of camp or clinic for local athletes and sports teams.
From June until early August, more than a dozen camps are run on campus, helping the culture of success created by DeSales coaches and athletes trickle down into the youth of the community. The sports that offer camps are the baseball, soccer, softball, and basketball teams. The baseball coach Tim Neiman is the most active of the camp facilitators, holding up to four camps each summer; two weeks of a 12-and-under camp, one for 13 to 17 year olds and one high school camp.
“The instruction in a college environment is more planned out, more disciplined,” says Neiman, “It’s a lot of fun, but at the same time we try to create good habits and correct the bad ones before they get to high school.”
Neiman incorporates his players into the camp instruction, giving them a chance to pass down their knowledge and be role models for the kids.
“They respond much better to the players than they do to the coaches,” says Neiman, “the kids really take to the athletes who have played here, and our guys do a great job with the instruction.”
According to Neiman, attendees show definite improvement by the end of each session. By tightening their fundamentals and encouraging repetition, Neiman and his players keep the kids from losing a step during the summer.
“Practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes permanent, which is why we get them doing the right thing over and over again,” says Neiman.
Though she has only been a part of the DeSales community for under a year, the women’s soccer coach Heather Kemp is wasting no time in her attempt to organize camps and become active in the community. Kemp runs two camps for 7-13 year olds on June 24-27 and July 15-18.
“I think it’s really important for kids to stay active in the summer,” says Kemp, “It’s also a lot of fun for them, and a good chance for them to express themselves socially and meet new friends.”
Kemp has been running soccer camps since she was 16 years old, and has culminated what she has learned over time into her own “practice-like” itinerary. Much like the other summer clinics, Kemp’s camps are led primarily by DeSales athletes.
“The kids love to see college players,” adds Kemp, “they love to work with them and to receive advice from them, and that’s really what makes it fun for them.”
The coaches at DeSales are not satisfied with clocking out once the regular season is over. There is a consistent effort put forth from the athletic staff during the off season that stimulates the surrounding sports community as well as the culture of the athletic programs taking part in the summer activities.
To view a full schedule of DeSales’ athletic camps and clinics, please visit www.desales.edu/summer.
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