Tahoe Training Camps aims to elevate your game
South Tahoe native Leon Abravanel founded Tahoe Training Camps (TTC) to provide a comprehensive approach to sports training, and now going into in its second year, TTC is prepping for a busy July. Although Abravanel said that he plans to expand into other sports, soccer is the main focus as of now.
TCC will host a camp for six San Diego Surf Soccer Club teams, July 8 through 16, and a youth camp, July 28 through Aug. 2. “Our camps are designed to showcase South Lake Tahoe for all that it offers,” said Abravanel. “There’s a lot of benefit from just being up here. Our tagline is ‘elevate your game’ and that’s our whole desire—to make people better at whatever sport they do.”
Aside from getting the benefit of altitude training, Abravanel says his approach is to incorporate a well-rounded curriculum and not focus too much on one area of improvement. “Our curriculum is comprehensive,” said Abravanel. “We’re doing mental skills training, we’re doing yoga, soccer on the field, soccer on the beach, or futsal drills. We also do some character development and have this idea that you work hard, but you have time to relax too and just be a kid.” Abravanel said that by offering training that ranges from fitness and mechanics to mental training and recovery, he is trying to create a model that even colleges or professionals could use.
Abravanel said that he also tends to keep the groups small so the training can be as individualized as possible. “With other camps the experience isn’t necessarily the ultimate goal,” said Abravanel. “They will try to make as much money as they can and get in as many kids as possible. That’s the opposite of what we do. We keep the numbers small, with 10 players per one coach. Most people don’t even consider that an option in the camp world.”
According to Abravanel, the mental aspect of training is one of the most important, but is often overlooked by other coaches and trainers. “Most coaches talk about focus and being mentally tough, but there’s no real mental training for that,” said Abravanel. “We have a progressive approach to that where we have a mental skills training session every morning. That’s 90-percent of the game that nobody focuses on.” Abravanel said a lot of what they do in mental training is visualizing goals and developing strategies to achieve those goals. Abravanel said TTC tries to expose campers to a mental training session at least once or twice a day.
Abravanel has several staff members that each focus on their given area of expertise and he said he looks for the most qualified coaches. “It’s a long process of interviews and vetting potential coaches,” he said. “I need to know if my yoga instructor is well-versed in sports yoga or if my mental skills coaches understand the youth athlete. These are the people I trust and understand our mission.”
Abravanel said that on top of bringing in people that have experience specific to what they will be teaching the kids, many of the coaches have the education to supplement. “We have a guy that played professional soccer in the MLS for 12 years,” said Abravanel. “Almost every coach has played professionally in some capacity and there are some that have master’s degrees or are working on a PhD.”
The camp isn’t the traditional day camp either, according to Abravanel. The camp is an overnight, residential camp. “It’s kind of a different vibe than a day camp,” said Abravanel. “We have a full day with a lot of different things going on.”
Abravanel said that he gets a lot of support from local coaches and it’s not all about recruiting outside talent. “We have local coaches that are excellent at what they do,” said Abravanel. “Their presence elevates our camps. We have a very balanced split between local coaches and non.”
There are still a few slots left for the July 28 camp and anyone who wants to participate needs to register as soon as possible. For information, visit tahoetrainingcamps.com
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