Signing up for a soccer camp is an investment of time and money.
It's important to know what to look for so you get your money's worth and time worth.
The first step before signing up for a camp is knowing what you are looking for. Fundamentally the first thought should be questioning what type of camp it is, and what experience you are looking for.
Are you looking for a fun environment/developmental camp for your child to learn the basics of the game?
If, so it wouldn't make sense to sign up for a camp where the players are at a higher level than your son/daughter. You may be thinking "How do I know the level of the camp?" The easiest way to find out is to contact the coaches/organizers of the camp directly.
Are you looking for a high-level elite camp with a competitive environment?
In this case, it would be a mistake to sign up for a basic developmental camp. Since the player is looking for a challenge being around players not at their level, and participating in basic drills won't really be doing anything to help improve.
To sum it up blindly signing up for the first camp you see isn't the route to take. That can lead to a waste of a potential experience. It's important to be thorough and use the resources provided to find the best fit possible.
Now let's talk about some of the other attributes of "bad" soccer camps.
Player to Coach Ratio
There are camps out there with a ratio of 50 players to 1 coach. In those situations, it's almost impossible for any player to receive individual attention because there are so players. Without that 1-on-1 attention, how can there be an improvement?
It's impossible for a coach to properly evaluate 50 players by himself. Also, with so many players and little guidance, it's very hard for young players to maintain focus.
Basically, what a player gains from an experience like this is just the access to play with people around their own age. That can be done for free, so this isn't really a worthwhile experience.
Often, the camps that say "limited spots available" are the ones who actually make an effort to not oversaturate with the camp with a poor player to coach ratio.
Train A "Certain Way"
Have you ever seen a camp ad that says "learn the Brazilian or "Ginga" style of football? How about the "Learn how to play the game the English way."
Camps like these will try to pull you in with good marketing, and "taglines". They will also be very expensive to go along with that. Yes, it may be interesting and they will teach these styles of football/soccer but it isn't worth paying $400 to learn stuff that will probably never be used.
This goes hand in hand with the poor player to coach ratio as well. These camps try to maximize the amount of money they can make, and that often leads to way too many players.
In my soccer career I've attended both camps like these and then local camps, and 10 times out of 10 I had a better experience at local camps.
One of the biggest keys to any soccer camp is proper organization. Without this, it can't run correctly. The most alarming thing I've seen is a camp where all the age groups are together.
This is a horrible idea, you have young players who are completely different in terms of physicality, size, and mentality. Mixing them together and putting them in scenarios can lead to all types of different situations.
Imagine a scenario where the campers are doing 1v1 drills, and an 8-year-old gets matched up against a 13-year-old. Not to say that there aren't some 8-year-olds out there who can compete with older players there are, but it's a rare thing. Something like this can lead to injury, embarrassment, and a loss of fun.
The best camps have a clear division between age groups, which will lead to an organized, fun, and balanced environment for all the young soccer players.
Are you looking for improvements in yourself/your child's Soccer Performance + Soccer IQ? Look no further!
Our 3️⃣-hour Elite Camp taking place on May 30th, 2022 is a great experience is for players (8-12 & 13+ y/o) who are hungry for more.
It’s for players of all abilities who want to accelerate their game to the next level in a professional training environment. ✅
Limited spots are available, and registration closes one week prior to the camp's date!
To book your spot, click the link right here!