For all soccer players wishing to develop their skills properly it is important to attend soccer camps. Camps vary depending on the different age and skill level a young soccer athlete is at in his/her life and should be chosen accordingly. It is important to remember that all youth athletic camps are a business and created to make a profit; with this being said, parents and athletes need to be very aware of their skill level in addition to what they want in exchange for paying for a camp. Wisely chosen soccer camps are based on these factors and will help the athlete get the most out of their experience. Most soccer camps that are worth attending will have a good reputation because of their professionalism as a business in that they are successful in their methods. The following are types of soccer camps for soccer players of various age ranges:
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DAY CAMPS – Beginner to Intermediate
These types of camps are typically run for beginner soccer players to develop the most fundamental skills. The fact that they take place during the day helps most beginner soccer players, who are typically very young, adjust to the early games that will likely take place throughout their future career should they choose to travel. Additionally, they help young athletes who are not used to being away from home improve their skill level while still providing a fun environment to enjoy the basics of the game.
COMMUNITY CAMPS – Beginner to Intermediate
These camps are similar to day camps but typically cheaper as they are offered by many local soccer clubs in an attempt to promote youth soccer in the United States. Again, these are excellent for beginner players who want to learn the fundamentals of the game while still competing on a beginner’s level.
RESIDENTIAL/OVERNIGHT CAMPS – Intermediate to Advanced
Camps like these are typically for older, more advanced, and more knowledgeable soccer players. Athletes spend the night, are provided meals, and accommodated lodging at these camps. They can last from a weekend or a few days to up to three weeks at a time. Some advanced camps typically only involve travel players on premier, select, and Olympic Development Program teams. These types of camps are for the most committed and dedicated of soccer players who wish to take their skills to the next level. The athletes in these advanced camps are instructed on advanced skills and strategic intricacies of the game. There are some camps that even offer sports psychology training, nutrition advice, strength training, and college soccer camp connections.
SKILL SPECIFIC/POSITION CAMPS – Beginner to Advanced
Specialized camps like this are recognized as enjoyable and beneficial for almost all levels of soccer players but are typically very expensive. Camps geared towards beginners help them decipher what position is best for them based on their current skill set, which can be problematic for an athlete too young as he/she has not fully physically developed yet. However, they are still recommended because they provide specific skill sets not always taught in other beginner camps. As for intermediate/advanced athletes, these camps provide an opportunity for specifically targeted skills to be improved based on a position the athlete has already established.
COLLEGE CAMPS – Advanced to Elite
Camps that take place on college campuses are typically run by coaches and players of the college team and are excellent opportunities for the most skilled athletes to display their talent. Most even offer the typical college experience in addition to the college level soccer demands on the field. A camp like this will strategically offer athletes help in areas beyond soccer like NCAA education (scholarships as well as rules/regulations), SAT/ACT prep, and admissions advice.
Keeping in mind an athlete’s skill set and age is vitally important to getting the best value out of any of these camps. Additionally, ones skill set will be most improved by competing with athletes that are on a similar talent level as they are. Attending soccer camps is crucial for youth development but parents and athletes must make sure that the proper camp is chosen. Recognizing that the types of soccer camps are not the only area of concern for athletes interested in improving their skill and attending camps, I will soon post more on how to choose a soccer camp.
- Youth Soccer Drills & Skills : How to Make a Pass in Soccer (soccer-training-drills-blog.com)
- Soccer Dribbling Drills - How to be better at Soccer - The Soccer Essentials (soccer-training-drills-blog.com)
- At Home Soccer Skills and Drills: Exercise #7 - Advanced Drag Backs (soccer-training-drills-blog.com)
- Adult beginner soccer training/camps in the U.S.? (ask.metafilter.com)