Dropping my son off at Basketball Sleep Away camp in Lakeland at Southeastern University was definitely a milestone for both of us.
Zack has never been away from me for more than a couple of nights, and even that was rare. He was struggling with wanting to go and not wanting to be away from me.
After just finishing 8th grade and gearing up for high school I knew it was a great opportunity to go to this Nike NBC Camp and learn from experienced coaches and college players.
Luckily, his friend wanted to go as well, so they were able to share a dorm room together. When we walked into the dorms I had flash backs of my college days and forgot how empty a dorm room can feel until you decorate it and make it your own.
Due to Covid my son didn't get the playing experience with groups of kids for over a year that he would have normally had without the pandemic. He made the middle school basketball team this past spring, so he was able to get back into practicing with his team, but their season was only 6 weeks long. Just enough time to get going and then it was over.
This basketball camp is put on by Nike NBC camps and he was taught by the Southeastern University Basketball Coach Kevin Lubbers, and Shawn Stetson, President of NBC Camps national, was there as well. I felt like I was leaving him in good hands.
But after the first night, he didn't sleep well in the dorm environment and wanted to come home. Some moms would have caved and went to pick up their son, but I knew this was a good experience for him ~ to stay in the dorms, play with other boys as focused on basketball as he is, and gain some confidence staying away from me for 4 nights. I gave him a pep talk and let the coach know that he was having a tough time with the adjustment. They ended up speaking with him later that afternoon and making him feel better.
Four years in High School will fly by in a flash, so it was also a good experience for me to see how I would cope without him around for four days. Life is ever changing and going through small doses of change before the real situation hits can be helpful for both people.
He made it through, but was happy to be going home when I picked him up. But it did get him geared up for playing in the summer league of basketball with his upcoming CDS High School team.