Attending a soccer camp is a good idea during the soccer recruiting process. Camp can help a high school soccer player in a number of ways.
- Instruction provided by college soccer coaches and players is a good way for a soccer recruit to improve his skills. This high level of teaching can be even more helpful for underclassmen who have more time to develop.
- Soccer camps do provide some exposure to college soccer programs. But it’s important for soccer recruits to realize that there’s really not much chance of being “discovered” at a camp. Coaches already familiar with you might evaluate your skills at a soccer camp. But if a coach doesn’t know who you are when you show up, it’s likely they won’t know who you are when you leave camp.
- Soccer camp lets you see how you measure up to other high school soccer players. This exposure to other players can give you a good idea of where you’re deficient and highlight the skills you need to work on the most.A college soccer camp can give you a good feel for campus life. You get to live in a school’s dorms, see its athletic facilities and experience other aspects of the college that just might make it easier to make a decision on where you want to play college soccer.
Choosing a Soccer Camp
It’s a good idea to do your research when choosing a soccer camp. It’s also important to decide if you’re going to a camp mainly to work on your game, or because you’re looking for exposure.
If you’re going to soccer camp to improve your soccer skills, learn as much as you can about the coaching staff. How experienced are they? Do they have a history of winning? Have they been able to produce outstanding soccer players? Ask someone who’s attended the camp before about the quality of the athletic talent.
If you want to gain exposure it’s a good idea to go to a camp at a college that’s recruiting you. Remember, coaches don’t really spend time scouting at camps, so go to a soccer camp where they already know who you are. Find out which soccer coaches will be there, and contact them ahead of time to let them know you’re coming.
What’s the difference between invite-only “elite” soccer camps and college soccer camps?
Elite soccer camps (like the U.S. Club Soccer’s exclusive id2 Camp, which finds players through a national scouting and intense recommendation process) are generally invitation only. Because of this, the level of talent at these camps is usually extremely high. The high quality of skills instruction at these soccer camps allows for outstanding player development. If you’re interested in attending an elite soccer camp, the first step is to have your coach submit a letter of recommendation.
College soccer camps are run by college soccer coaches, and can offer an excellent level of soccer skills instruction as well. But college soccer camps also offer a soccer recruit the chance to get a feel for the soccer program he’s considering. Attending a soccer camp at a school you’re interested in lets you check out the school’s overall campus and athletic facilities, as well as gain some level of familiarity with the coaching staff.
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