How Sports Fantasy Camps Work

Types of Fantasy Camps

How awesone would it be to get advice on your swing from golf greats like Tiger Woods?
How awesone would it be to get advice on your swing from golf greats like Tiger Woods?
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When it co­mes to sports fantasy camps, you've got options. Some fantasy camps are run by the entire sports franchise or team, and some are run by specific sports personalities. In the latter cases, the personality is usually retired from sports. Managing a fantasy camp is a great way for a retired athlete to "stay in the game" while simultaneously running a financially viable business venture. Most fantasy camps -- depending on what's offered -- range in price from around $1,000 to $5,500. There are also extremely high-end camps that run close to $20,000.

Here's what's out there:

  • Baseball: Just about every major league team offers some sort of fantasy camp experience. It might a spring training package, where you mingle with the players and coaches as they prep for the season. Or it might be like Cal Ripken's fantasy camp, where participants receive instruction directly from Ripken himself, as well as work with other major leaguers and coaches.
  • Basketball: The most elite of the basketball camp bunch is certainly Michael Jordan's Flight School, with its hefty price tag and Las Vegas location. However, less expensive options exist, where you can meet former NBA and college greats. You can look forward to friendly pick-up games and autograph sessions.
  • Football: You might think that a football fantasy camp could be a bit dangerous. You're right. That's why most football fantasy camps stick with flag or touch football games, as they do at the New England Patriots camp. Participants in football camps can expect to learn how to draft a team, run drills and learn strategies.
  • Golf: Fantasy golf camps let you feel what it's like to be a PGA player. You'll get your own caddie, the opportunity to play on beautiful greens and your own nameplate on the driving range. For additional fees, you can also play a few rounds with noted golf professionals. As with most fantasy camps, the featured celebrities vary depending on their availability.
  • Tennis: If tennis is your thing, sign up for one of many tennis camps available. Most take place at scenic resorts in places like Antigua, Boca Raton and Maui. Many tennis champions -- like Chris Evert or John Newcombe -- offer camps and workshops to help you hone your game.
  • Hockey: The most famous hockey fantasy camp is Wayne Gretzky's. With a $10,000 price tag, you're guaranteed time on the ice with the Great One, as well as a selection of his friends and teammates. Other less expensive hockey fantasy camps offer tournaments for mini-Stanley Cups and the chance to play with past and present NHL greats.
  • Driving: And by driving, we mean racing. NASCAR is more popular than ever, and people line up for the chance to hit 160 miles per hour (257 kph) on a professional track. You can choose a ride-along with a trained driver or learn how to drive the track yourself. Some fantasy experiences also offer lunch with various racing personalities, like Richard Petty.

So what kind of person attends a sports fantasy camp? Are there any requirements -- like age or even gender?