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Understanding U.S. Soccer Camps and the Guide's Categories
played in their backyards, they wouldn't need camps."
Coaches run soccer camps to make money--sometimes, lots of it. Fortunately, there are other motivations, too. But you need to the know the organizing principle of the camp to select the right camp ... and enjoy the best camp experience:
There are five types of coaching arrangements that create the U.S. soccer camp "system":
A sixth-type of arrangement is becoming more
common, whereby international coaches set up a camp in the U.S., or
international camps or soccer tours are set-up for U.S. kids. In 2003,
Manchester United's "soccer schools" made a big impression in the
U.S. See: http://www.manutdsoccerschools.com
For example, a "lesser" Type 1 camp may be run by USSF A-licensed coaches who use high school players that may have a good rapport with kids--or not. But a "higher level" regional or national camp may simply trade off the name of a coach or player, who "directs" the camp by remote control.
Big camps may provide resources smaller
camps don't have, like fitness or mental- performance training. But check
them out carefully. The actual coaching staff may be "hired guns, whose motivations
will vary depending on their stake in the camp's success, their salary, and their
burnout level, particularly at the end of the camping season. Similarly a camp you liked
last year may reprint their brochure, but the camp could be significantly worse (or
better) due to changes in ownership or personnel.
Thus, the buyer should beware--the reason for this Guide!