Return to Play

June 15th, 2020-  This Monday has marked the return to play at in-person camps for the National Academy of Athletics since the stay-at-home order was announced in California. The NAofA drafted new protocols to safely reintroduce youth sports with preventative measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. These new protocols came directly from guidelines announced by the National Centers for Disease Control, Aspen Institute, State of California and local counties.

The team at the NAofA has spent countless weeks monitoring the stay-at-home order.  These orders have created many challenges for kids involved with sports and physical activities. Finding ways to develop safety protocols to get the youth in our communities back to exercising and having fun has been the NAofA’s number one priority.  Aaron Locks, CEO and Founder of the NAofA, stated, “I have seen the negative impact that the Shelter-In-Place order has had on kid’s lives. I am proud that our team has put in the work to be prepared to provide safe, engaging sports opportunities for kids again.”


The safety precautions that the NAofA has developed to implement at the youth sports camps can be read here. It includes smaller group sizes, one coach per group, temperatures taken daily, no equipment brought from home, etc. The NAofA Certified Coaches also participated in a mandatory COVID-19 Policies and Procedures course. The NAofA sets high standards for their coaching staff. Each have a background check, take concussion protocol training, mandate reporter training, bullying prevention, sexual harassment training, as well as their own NAofA Certification Program to teach their trademarked TALK.TEACH.PLAY® teaching method.

Return to Play kids


Parents were equally as enthused as their kids about the return to camps.  As a father himself, Aaron stated, “Seeing kids back on the field and court warms my heart!” The National Academy of Athletics knows the importance of kids being able to run around, exercise, and engage with friends and coaches.

At the beginning of camp, as expected, there was a small adjustment period as everyone adapted to new safety procedures. However, due to the highly trained NAofA coaching staff, the camp was executed very smoothly.  Samantha Thaxton, NAofA Certified Coach and Area Captain, explained, “The small groups made it really easy to focus on individual skills for the campers.  It was obvious how excited each kid was to be able to attend summer camp and play sports with their friends again.”


The National Academy of Athletics has created Virtual 5-Day Sports Camps to keep kids active and healthy while they social distance in their own homes. Many of their existing Community Partners, both Recreation Centers and Schools, have shared these camps with their communities. In addition, 27 new organizations from all over the country have partnered with the NAofA to provide their community with On-Demand Sports Camps.

The National Academy of Athletics’ number one commitment is the safety and enjoyment of the children attending their organized activities. The NAofA is closely following all guidelines and procedures in order to protect campers, staff, and the community.