The idea of going to camp is always exciting, especially if it means going to camp for your favorite sport. Soccer camps are a great way of working on your skills with other players under the watchful eyes of well-qualified professional coaches. Plus, soccer clubs are used as a way to identify players and recruit them for high-level teams. However, all these come with a hefty price, which makes you wonder are soccer camps worth it?
Know the Types
There are two types of soccer camps you can attend, youth soccer camps and ID soccer camps. Youth soccer camps are suitable for kids of all ages and skillsets as both beginner and elite soccer players have an opportunity to develop their play all year round.
Not only do they train during off seasons, but some even train during the holiday season. Children starting from the age of 3 up can enroll in the camp to develop their skills.
ID soccer camps come in two stages, a pre-tryout camp and a college ID camp. Pre-tryout camps are for pre-college players where instead of developing their skills, they get identified by club coaches.
Moreover, it allows the players to know about the club and gives them an idea about how the tryouts work. College ID camps are for those who want to play college soccer and use this camp to get noticed. Recruiters participate to organize these ID camps so this is an effective way to be identified.
Benefits of Soccer Camps
There is a reason why soccer camps are so popular. Players can use this opportunity to develop their skills. This is done with the aid of new drills, by playing against others, and in different game situations, throughout multiple training sessions during the day.
All of this is done under the guidance of professional, well-qualified coaches. Over time the training will be done by different coaches. Each coach has their own training style, which essentially, allows the player to improve themselves as a whole.
Not only do you get to improve yourself, but you get to enhance your soccer awareness. The exposure to different soccer experiences and everything that can be expected in the game will prepare you for the upcoming season.
Soccer is a team sport and requires you to work as a unit keeping in mind everyone’s shortcomings and limitations. If you only play with your high school team or players from other clubs, you are only familiarizing yourself with limited playing styles.
Soccer camps allow you to observe and play with diverse playing styles as there are players from all sorts of backgrounds. The benefit of diversity extends to making friends who share your love and passion for soccer. You will be meeting friends from all over the world, or rekindle old ones. Camps offer plenty of off-the-field activities that also work on your social skills.
The biggest reason why soccer camps are sought after is because of the exposure your get to recruiters. If the camp has a college ID aspect then you know that you will be trained by collegiate level coaches who know what they are doing.
If you have the right skill set, training focus, abilities, and work ethic chances are you are going to be spotted by a recruiter to play college soccer. Many times players go to a soccer camp simply to get noticed.
Things to Consider
Despite being able to learn and explore college soccer, there are a few factors you should consider when thinking about soccer camps. First and foremost, the most important point is the cost. Soccer camps will cost you hundreds of dollars.
The price increases according to how long the program is and its exclusiveness. Shorter day ones are usually under $300, but if the soccer camp is longer you can expect the cost to be somewhere between $500 to $700. You can also expect the price to go up if it is an exclusive camp, which entails training from international coaches.
There are those rare opportunities of going to a soccer camp for free. Recruiters come to high school soccer games often. If they are impressed with your gameplay, they may ask you to join their camp. However, the possibility of that happening is very slim.
Once you join a club, you will be given a list of soccer gear you are required to bring with you. Although most soccer players need them, it may be deemed an unnecessary waste of money for those who do not wish to pursue soccer later on.
In youth soccer camps, the coach to player ratio is usually 1:50. So as much as being trained by a skilled coach sounds appealing, chances are in a big group of 50 players, your child is not getting the individual attention you expect.
Plus, their focus is likely to deter. In soccer camps, the drills are designed at the lowest level, so that the players can learn as they go. Of a skilled player, this is particularly useless, as they are at an advanced stage.
The number of drills is limited as it is, and then if it is done in a large group the effectiveness is lowered. Even if we look past these issues, the duration of youth soccer camps ranges from a week to a couple. This time frame is not sufficient to learn as well as develop those skills.
Are Soccer Camps Worth It?
Soccer camps may sound appealing and is a worthwhile experience. But you should always do your research about the camp, as a lot of the times they are not worth the time and money.
If you are not going to invest in soccer then soccer camps are a waste of money. However, if you looking to get recruited and believe you have what it takes, then soccer camps are a great way to getting exposure and are totally worth it.
You can also read: How Long is a Soccer Game?