GCU gets a kick out of summer camps

Participants practice their soccer skills at the Canyon Activity Center during the day camp led by men’s soccer.

Photos by Ralph Freso / Slideshow

The word for Tuesday was attitude.

Instructions on soccer dribbling and passing techniques, balance and weight distribution also were hollered to the youth at Grand Canyon University’s day camp with the men’s soccer team.

But attitude was free to all talents.

“Today is about having an attitude that complements others,” said TJ Madero, assistant coach of the GCU men’s soccer team, who is leading boys, ages 7 to 14, through a weeklong day camp on campus.

That’s no mere coach speak at the GCU camp, one of 42 sports camps to be held this summer with nearly 12,000 athletes signed up so far.

GCU assistant men's soccer coach AJ Madero instructs day camp youth at Colter Field.

Madero picks a word each day. Yesterday’s was courage, and on that first day of camp, not knowing anyone, that’s what it takes. Day two, in the rising morning heat off Colter Field, was attitude.

“If someone is down, how can you lift them? How can you have a positive attitude so you can uplift them?” Madero explained. “In life, there are going to be times when you have to uplift others.”

After three more days of camp, completed with the words motivation and passion, Madero ties them back to a spiritual element and a Bible phrase, such as this day’s from Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

GCU assistant coach Casey Shaw watches as participants practice their basketball skills at the Canyon Activity Center during the day camp run by men's basketball.

GCU sports camps range from individual camps for elite athletes to those for beginners or for teams in numerous sports, such as basketball, soccer, volleyball, baseball and tennis.

Numerous other camps are held at GCU throughout the summer, as well. One of the biggest through Thursday this week is Christ's Church of the Valley’s junior high camp, when about 2,500 CCV campers are swarming various locations both outdoors at the Quad and Prescott lawns and indoors in campus auditoriums, gyms and Global Credit Union Arena.

 At sports camps, the goal is to help youth improve their skills and also experience GCU.

“Every one of those kids and families will see the campus, how beautiful it is and what we have to offer – and it’s a real viable option for them to continue their education,” said Theon Carrier, director of camps.

“Our coaches do a good job of promoting an experience for the kids that is fun.”

Adelynn Nguyen, 11, returns a volley during the GCU Tennis Camp.

Coaches don’t just make an introductory speech here, they’re involved. Madero wants to get even more involved as his camp grows and is exploring a soccer ministry camp for next year.

“Anytime you can share in a small environment, you never know where it will go,” he said. “For younger kids, it might be one or two words that will resonate with them.”

Or it might be the GCU players, who are encouraged to go out in the community and be servant leaders.

“Our dream is that they come back and say I know that player on the field. I worked with that player over the summer and got to know that player over the summer,” Madero said.

To find summer sports camps for each sport, many still with open registration, go here.

Grand Canyon University senior writer Mike Kilen can be reached at [email protected]

***

Related content:

GCU News: GCU coaches place stamp on youth basketball camps

GCU News: Record number of students living on campus this summer

Calendar

Calendar of Events

M Mon

T Tue

W Wed

T Thu

F Fri

S Sat

S Sun

0 events,

0 events,

1 event,

0 events,

6 events,

3 events,

2 events,

0 events,

3 events,

3 events,

3 events,

3 events,

2 events,

0 events,

0 events,

2 events,

5 events,

0 events,

0 events,

1 event,

2 events,

0 events,

0 events,

GCU Magazine

Bible Verse

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

To Read More: www.verseoftheday.com/