Once the winter months roll by and the sun starts to poke its head out more often, if your like me the warm sun on my face makes my toes itch for the sand. Beach camp providers receive a large volume of their bookings in after the turn of the new year. I don’t think it’s because everyone is super organised and plans months in advance but because that feeling of warm sun on our skin takes us back to memory of fun, sun and sand between our toes.
The Holiday Aspect
We all need a holiday! A break from the daily grind of work and monotony of life. In this fast paced world we now all live in, more and more people choose to combine things to be efficient. Many say the younger generations are lazy or addicted to social media and now that even the traditional institutes of even sport is being affected. I think it is more modern problems bring us modern solutions. The world keeps spinning faster and faster, so for people to get the most out of their hard earned money. Most decide to not wasting time doing two separate things.
So the idea of being able to have a holiday, getting a physical work-out, partying with friends and meeting new ones, all while improving you volleyball skills is just a no-brainer.
The Social Aspect
What is not to love about a group of individual people coming together and achieving a common goal. Obviously not all participants will have the exact same goal, some might come not consciously knowing what their goal is or should be.
However, if you have booked to go on a beach volleyball camp it is very likely that you all have a common goal of playing volleyball better. This collective of like minded people meeting together can create a wonderful group dynamic and vibe. What is wonderful for me personally as a coach on many camps is that as the days and nights progress, you see a wonderful spectrum of extra reasons for booking the camp start to appear. Participants start to entice others with their enthusiasm, and passionate enthusiasm is always contagious.
We see many looking to push their bodies in training to get in shape (it is always interesting when one person takes their warm up seriously with foam-rollers and exercise bands ect, how other people want to join in) or others taking each exercise fully focused on get better at volleyball (increasing the competitiveness of the exercises and the group). Maybe it’s not necessarily volleyball related, maybe it’s drinks and board-games after dinner, maybe it’s singing and playing guitar with the group, maybe it’s getting in some yoga or spikeball between sessions with your fellow campers. It might even just be to get to hang out with me and my award winning personality.
The most important part of it all, is sharing stories and experiences with others and at a beach camp there is always plenty to see, do and enjoy.
The Volleyball Aspect
If the first two where not good enough reasons I have saved the best for last. Researcher from Belgium published in the Neuron Journal found that having stimulus from a new environment increases Dopamine. (If you don’t know what dopamine is. It is responsible for allowing you to feel pleasure, satisfaction and motivation).
A fresh environment activates the dopamine system in your brain, and dopamine promotes associative learning, triggering feelings of reward that increase your brain’s ability to absorb and retain information. (Associative learning is connecting a stimulus or action with a positive or negative outcome; think connecting the dots.)
In short, the natural buzz you get from being somewhere new or as the researchers call it, experiencing „inconsequential novel stimulus“ helps you learn more quickly.
My tips in helping keep things feeling new:
- Try out some of our other destinations (each of our destinations have very different atmospheres by the ocean, by the lakes, in nature, in the mountains and in the city and unique attractions, like wine tasting in Retz, river surfing in Altmünster or even chilling on the beaches and checking out the oldtown in Porec.
- Don’t be afraid to come by yourself (this helps put you outside of your comfort zone and supercharges your learning)
- Organise a group of people (different group dynamics can change a lot to the feeling of a camp, grab a bunch of people you like and bring them along)
- Experience the differences of our coaches (each of us have our own unique thoughts and ideas)
Just because it’s not new environment, doesn’t mean that learning stops
If you’re a „Beach Camp Die-Hard„, maybe the environment is not new but you can still hear new ideas, techniques and tactics from our coaches, this can take what you already know and make it even more effective and successful. This can easily create a positive upward spiral of success giving you that dopamine hit to feel more confident and from feeling more confident having more success.
Unfortunately it is never that simple, ofcourse we have to challenge ourselves, maybe we fail a few times before we succeed, maybe we fail a lot. In learning new techniques and ideas your neurons need to be activated many times to become stronger and more efficient, it is crucial to repeatedly activate them. Take learning to serve for example, you have to practice it a lot, to establish the “trail” between your neurons.
Now that you know that neurons need to be activated repeatedly for learning to occur. It brings up another reason beach camps are the best. It gives you the opportunity to get many repetitions over an intense period of time. This brings us to the question of, how often should you practice? Scientists, who study the learning brain observed that breaks and sleep between learning periods enhance learning and minimize forgetting. It therefore seems best to train in more spaced out morning and afternoon sessions.
So, when participating in a multi-day camp, breaks for lunch, and power naps between practice allows you to do whats called a „free retrieval practice session„. Even more so while you sleep at the end of a day of, as your brain reactivates the connections between the neurons that you used during the day.
So after reading all that. Reward yourself with a hit of dopamine by booking your next camp with us at TimeOut Beach Camps, where we look forward to helping you improve while having a great time.