Every summer, millions of young Americans look to increase their social and athletic skills by taking part in organized camps that allow them to build lasting relationships that go beyond the boundaries of a traditional 100-yard field.
The importance of youth sports in community building was emphasized in a recent article published by South Carolina news source, the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. The piece, by reporter Kevin Milton, profiled a four-day camp in the city that hosted roughly 80 football players of various ages who attend local elementary and middle schools.
Bennie Gibson, one of the coaches who teaches young players at the camp, spoke to the source about why programs like this benefit the community.
"First of all, it gives those young men exposure to a great facility and gives them a chance to play with each other," he told the report. "Right now we have two leagues in the city, so some of these young men don't get to play with each other until they get to Spartanburg High School."
According to the source, the staff of Viking Youth Camp look to teach attendees the fundamentals such as stance, alignment and character skills. However, they are also getting a helping hand from local varsity football players.
Speaking to the source, Daquan Fuller, a standout sophomore wide receiver understands his impact on young players, compared his local league to the NFL in terms of the influence it exerts on the area's young players.
While quality coaches can't be bought, quality equipment is also a necessity. As such, youth coaches should look to purchase the flag football belts, makers and flags they need to conduct the kind of organized drills that can truly make a difference in the ability of their young players.