Ep. 25: Sports Camps and Competitive Athletics with Susan Reeder and Steve Proulx
“We want kids to learn to love the game.”
In Episode 25, I’m talking with Steve Proulx and Susan Reeder, the husband and wife team, along with daughter Aimee Reeder, who have owned and directed Carmel Valley Tennis Camp for the past 24 years.
Questions for parents to ask about sports/specialty camp programs
Is the camp accredited by the American Camp Association?
The primary purpose of the ACA-accreditation program is to educate camp owners and directors in the administration of key aspects of camp operation, particularly those related to program quality and the health and safety of campers and staff. ACA standards establish guidelines for policies, procedures, and practices. The camp is responsible for the ongoing implementation of these policies.
The second purpose of ACA accreditation is to assist the public in selecting camps that meet industry-accepted and government-recognized standards. ACA’s Camp Database provides the public with eleven separate ways to search for the ideal ACA-accredited camp.
Who will be supervising my child every hour of the day?
Who will be looking out for my child’s social and emotional needs?
Do you accommodate all levels of players?
What is your technology policy? Do you allow cell phones? Can they have access to them constantly? Any time limits?
What is the philosophy of the camp in regard to the sport?
What does the camp teach kids about sportsmanship and how to handle winning and losing?
“I’m here at the London Olympics, and I’d rather be at CVTC.”
-Former CVTC Counselor
The CVTC philosophy is that they want kids to love tennis, so they encourage kids to play a variety of sports.
I learned so much from talking with Susan and Steve. I especially liked Steve and Susan’s advice for parents of promising athletes, “Let them have fun with it!”
As well as Steve’s input about how much to push kids, “I don’t care what the sport is. If the child reaches a point where they’re not loving it, they’re not going to keep playing it, no matter how talented they might be… You’re creating a job for a child.”
For parents, we can take a cue from Steve and Susan and instead of asking our kids whether they won or lost, we can ask them:
How did you play?
What did you well?
What did you do poorly?
That will go a long way in teaching our kids about both their sport and life.
More pictures from CVTC, where kids love to play tennis AND enjoy doing other fun activities as well: