Camps develop future athletes


The Tar Heel Lacrosse Camp kicked off Friday with the team camp, bringing athletes from across the country to Chapel Hill to learn fundamentals.

While the North Carolina athletes are enjoying another summer without practice or games, the UNC coaches are staying sharp by hosting their own camps and clinics both on and off campus.

Seventeen UNC head coaches host their own camps that bring in kids from the elementary school age to potential Division-I athletes about to graduate from high school.

Coaches not only work on fundamentals and other nuances of their individual sports, but also preach the importance of character.

“Obviously we want to teach the kids and help develop them as lacrosse players,” UNC men’s lacrosse coach Joe Breschi said. “Initially I think that’s why they come to camp.

“We in the recruiting process look for character kids. The message is pretty clear: the lacrosse aspect is why you’re here, the other things are academics and being a good person.”

Breschi, who just finished the first team camp and has two more camps this summer, said he doesn’t use the clinics as a recruitment tool, but he is always on the lookout.

“We’re able to attract kids from all over the country,” Breschi said. “There could be a diamond in the rough somewhere where a young man could jump up at a young age and catch our attention.”

UNC women’s soccer coach Anson Dorrance could not say the same. The owner of 20 NCAA national titles, Dorrance said he absolutely uses the camps as a vehicle for recruitment.

“We hope that some of the top players that we haven’t seen will come in so we can look at them,” Dorrance said. “One year, seven of 11 starters on one North Carolina championship team were former campers.”

The five-day, four-night College-Bound Players’ Academy camp for women’s soccer will be held in late July for girls ages 12 to 18. The camp is set up to provide players “with the skills necessary to become a highly sought-after collegiate-level soccer player,” according to the website.

Currently, Dorrance and his staff are at Guilford College hosting their second five-day team camp in July.

“What we’re trying to do is share with them the choices they have to make if they want to become elite,” Dorrance said. “They have to select to compete, select to have self-discipline and select to believe in themselves — the three most critcal platforms for any sport.

“We tell stories of these great players that played here and their platforms of athletic greatness.”

Other camps on campus include the Roy Williams Carolina Basketball Camp, which had two sessions in mid-June.

Butch Davis and his staff held football camps for a week in June, having three linemen camps and other specialists camps.

The Tar Heel baseball staff hosts seven camps in total, including two prospect skills camps that showcase current high schoolers who have potential to play Division-I baseball.

Since the NCAA does not allow sports to practice right now, some athletes help with the camps hosted by their coaches. Dorrance said he believes the camp participants are part of a great training platform.

“They’re demonstrating the techniques that we want the campers to perform,” Dorrance said.

“To demonstrate and play in front of 300 to 500 campers is a wonderful, positive pressure.

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