Pittsburg State University prides itself on providing high-caliber athletic programs led by seasoned coaches, and each summer students in elementary through high school have the opportunity to train and play like Gorillas at one of the many athletic camps.
For Amanda Davied, PSU women’s basketball head coach, summer camps are an exciting time of year. This summer, a total of 157 teams participated in the two Team Camps for varsity and junior varsity divisions held June 13-15 and June 20-22.
“The camps are geared more for teams across the Midwest to come and play eight pool play games of similar competition,” Davied said. “Over two weeks we will have about 1,300 girls and high school coaches come on campus to compete against other high schools. We even stretched to Texas and Iowa this year, and also had Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, and Missouri teams in attendance of course.”
In addition to the Team Camps geared toward high school athletes, Davied said there is also a camp available for grade school and middle school students.
“We have grade school camp for third through eighth graders June 25 through 27,” she said. “This is a great camp for teaching overall fundamental skill development as well as position skills. We work hard to teach the basics of ballhandling, lay-ups, and shooting form and be sure and get them as many reps as possible while here. Our players are very involved in teaching and coaching the youth.”
In addition to learning valuable playing skills, students who enroll in the basketball camps reap many other benefits, such as bonding with team members and improving their own athletic abilities.
“… Our grade school camp introduces basketball to girls at an early age, but for those returning it gives them an opportunity to have some time with our players and allow them to see their role models in real life,” Davied said. “It is such a fun and influential age for our young girls, and I think it is great to get our players a chance to have that impact on them.”
The camps also benefit PSU’s athletic program and all those involved, including the coaches and Pitt State athletes volunteering their time.
“The team camps help our program on many levels,” Davied said. “Our players will get to work camp and stay here for the month of June and workout as well as work camp. It gives them time to get to know each other and is our first challenge to show how well we work as a team. Secondly, we will have a ton of talent here for us to recruit players. If you look at our freshman class this year, you can see the impact it has made on our program as five of the six were in attendance last year. We have a great time networking with the coaches in attendance, and even more importantly, we expose 1,300 to ,1500 girls to Pittsburg State University.”
Davied said she enjoys the camps as well and looks forward to working more with the young women athletes eager to learn and improve upon their talent.
“I’m really enjoying watching our new staff and players get to know each other and take on this challenge, it’s a great team bonding opportunity,” she said. “… I have really been enjoying watching the talent so far. What a great opportunity to recruit these great players!”
Other athletic camps Pitt State offers include football, which took place Thursday, June 14 and Friday, June 15; baseball June 12 and 18-20; and men’s basketball June 3-5 and 10-12.
There are two more opportunities for athletic camps this summer. Men’s basketball will hold the 2018 Elite Camp August 4 for male students in ninth through 12th grade, and there will be two volleyball camps July 12-14 and 16-18.