Sports camps keep athletes’ skills polished


School is over, and the summer has started. Kids should be thinking of having fun in the sun while spending time with friends.

While this is true, it’s also the perfect time for athletes to get in some extra practice and training to help them prepare for upcoming sports seasons.

June is dedicated to basketball while July is volleyball and soccer. Typically June is spring sports while July is for fall sports. However, athletes can attend camps for the sport of their interest at anytime such as football.

There are several opportunities for young athletes to get extra instruction to help make them a better player, provide the necessary fundamentals and build confidence.

“You get out of your season what you put into it, “Socorro High School Head Soccer Coach Mitch Carrejo said. If you prepare and condition from a summer workout you’re already ahead of the game when the first practice begins because that is less time spent on conditioning, and I am able to cover other methods.”

Carrejo added that “camps are not mandatory, but the athlete gets extra touches in, and small school athletes should take advantage of that.”

Very few Socorro area athletes play club ball, and that is a disadvantage because other school’s athletes play year-round. However, small schools have an advantage because many athletes play more than one sport.

“The athlete that plays multiple sports is already conditioned by the time they start their next program; this gives them an edge.” Carrejo said.

Conditioning is a must, so exercising and performing agility drills are beneficial in addition to hitting the gym. There are three gyms in Socorro that students can use (some may have restrictions) to condition themselves. Athletes also can lift weights to strengthen their muscles that will make them a stronger, whether they will pull down rebounds or kick that field goal from a longer distance.

Melissa Begay is a certified trainer at New Mexico Tech, and she can provide a specific workout program that will meet athletes’ needs. Parents should also check with the respective coach of their child’s program to determine what strength and conditioning program they have for their athletes.

Tech also offers a wide array of community college courses in exercise fitness taught by Begay and her staff that athletes can take advantage of. Please contact the registrar’s office, or vsisit Registration does close this Friday, June 13, so plan accordingly.

There are several local and out-of-town camps that athletes can participate in to obtain the skills necessary to get to the next level. While some are a little costly, there are some that are very economical. Socorro High School and New Mexico Highlands University standout Tony Valencia III hosted a camp for basketball players just last week. The cost was $65.

Below is a detailed list of camps in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and El Paso that provide a wide range of instruction. While this list is not exclusive, any parent or student athlete can search for camps on the Internet that will meet their performance and training need.

The criteria used involved reviewing the school’s performance record and knowledge of the school’s coaching staff. There is a camp for all levels of instruction, and the athlete may attend a higher level camp that will challenge them even more.

Additionally, some schools have open or closed camps. Closed camps are instruction provided specifically to athletes attending their school, or mid-school athletes in their district that will eventually attend the high school in that same district.

There are many open camps that any athlete can attend regardless of what school they attend.

There is also one-on-one instruction that personalizes the trainer to the athlete such as the services from Chris Monette, co-owner of Evaluate Your Game in Albuquerque. Monette and co-founder Brian O’Neill have a relationship going back to Monette’s playing days at Cibola High School where O’Neill was his coach.

Monette comes to EYG hoops after an eight year collegiate coaching career, most recently with the University of New Mexico Lobos under Coach Steve Alford. In his three years at UNM, the team amassed a 74-30 record while recording back to back Mountain West Conference championships, and earned three post season appearances NIT seond round (twice) and NCAA second round.

Here is a list of some camps that may be beneficial to you. To help keep costs down, parents and athletes can car pool and share a room in a hotel if needed. There may be other cost saving ideas that you can implement.

• Little Warrior Football Camp, Socorro High School July 7-10 from 9 a.m.-noon (lunch provided). Registration will begin at 9 a.m. Price is free for City of Socorro Summer Camp participants. All other participants $10. Contact Coach Quevin Redding at 505-927-7018 for questions

• Camp Pros – general camp information

• Elevate Your Game – Albuquerque

- Chris Monette

• Rio Rancho High School – Rio Rancho

• Cleveland High School – Albuquerque

- Basketball

- Volleyball

• Hope Christian High School – Albuquerque

• Sandia High School – Albuquerque

• University of New Mexico – Albuquerque

- Volleyball

- Softball

• New Mexico State University – Las Cruces

• University of El Paso-El Paso, Texas