Soccer Camps
Guide
Soccer Camp--Good Questions
Go to the Guides

Get the Most Out of Camp

Get to Understand U.S. Soccer Camps

Good Questions

Go Home

Scroll down for answers to these questions:
     * SECURITY
     * Do camps help serious skill problems?
     * Do you know any year-around U.S. soccer schools?
     * Do you know any overseas camps?
     * How do I find a good indoor/winter camp?
     * Where can older players (15-17 years old) find a good camp?
     *
Where can I find camps with ODP evaluators or college coaches
        so I can get noticed to make an ODP or college team?
     * Where can I find good camps for girls?
    
* Are there camps for adults?

Should I be concerned about by kids security at camp?

Yes. Many camps are conducted in towns or on campuses and involve rooming arrangements that could be a concern. A good camp will use walkie talkies and pairs of adult leaders or a buddy system when walking kids around. A really smart camp avoids an adult leader alone with a kid. Sleeping arrangements are with friends or alone in dormitories of the same age group and sex. Always check the camp out in person or use the coach. Do not assume any information you receive over the Web or by mail tells the full story--that includes the Guide.

I am looking for camps that will provide good developmental instruction for a 13-year-old who dearly wants to develop his skill level. He may need remedial instruction and 1v1 instruction as the local camps have never provided that.

I don't think a single camp can achieve the level of improvement desired in this case. Soccer requires a patient acquisition of skills;  more patience is needed where there is less natural ability. A soccer camp is part of that process, not a substitute.

At 13 years old, the door of easy motor-coordination and development is beginning to close, so I recommend an immediate course of skill development using videos to replace what appears to be inadequate live instructors:
1) Buy Hubert Vogelsinger's "Videocoach Vogelsinger's Ball Control" and "Dribbling and Feinting" tapes. (It is produced by Westcom Productions and available from amazon.com, www.reedswain.com, www.soccervideos.com and others. Wiel Coerver's "1-2-3 Goal, Tape 2" on 1 v. 1 moves is also suitable; you may want to try Vogelsinger's "Socceraerobics," too.)
2) Pop one in a VCR player with a TV outdoors or in a rec room where your child can imitate the moves. Practice one or two moves 20 minutes a day, 6 days a week--just like piano lessons.
3) The player should go through the whole tape until he has the moves down and is starting to get very, very bored--probably 3 to 4 weeks..
4) Now, every other day, half of the 20 min. session should be doing moves against a parent in a small space about 10 to 15 yards square. Also, progress to Tape Two.
5) Add juggling the ball with feet, thighs, head.
6) Reinforce this experience at a Vogelsinger Academy (www.vogelsingersoccer.com) or Coerver camp (www.coerver-coaching.com) near you. In two to three months, your player will improve from the combination of self-instruction, self-correction, and challenge.

Is there any place that offers a year around academic school along with soccer?
In the U.S., we have part-day and residential soccer camps that may last several weeks. Some call themselves a "school" or "academy", but they aren't in the European sense. In Europe, a well-known school is  the Ajax youth training programme--a full-day, year-long academic and soccer school that can be attended by invitation only (www.ajax.nl). In England, many large clubs run youth training academies, also by invitation. The only claim to a year around soccer school in the U.S. is the Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton, Florida (www.zonesoccer.com). This academy got started for young tennis players and now includes the Project 40 and U-17 U.S. national soccer teams. Academic learning occurs in the morning--soccer in the afternoon. In any case, more and more U.S. "camps" are operating year-long, after-school clinics and teams--notably American Global Soccer School (www.agss.com) in Burbank, CA. This seems like a more humane option than a soccer boarding school.

I've been trying to find soccer camps for kids 14 and up in Europe--someone told me that Manchester United had one, for instance--but I've been unable to turn up anything on the Web.
"Soccer camps" tend to be an American thing. Basically, international coaches come over here for vacation and a few bucks. Increasingly, however, U.S. camps are arranging overseas gigs:

  • Eurotech (www.eurotechsoccer.com) offers "International Performance Centers" April 6-16, 2000, at the Felsted School, London, England, and in June at Empuria Brava Sports Complex, Barcelona, Spain.
  • BRUSA International Soccer Institute (6600 Pensacola Blvd. Ste. 5, Pensacola FL 32505/904-484-8666/800-782-9901 or www.brusa.net) conducts camps in Brazil.
  • Brit-born coaches running US camps offer "tours."  Check out Ralph Lundy Soccer Academy (888-RLSASOC or www.soccerinof.com/camps/rlsa) and Soccer Academy (www.soccer-academy.com). This Brit-based firm offers  "tours" for U.S. teams: www.1stsportstours.com/soccer99.htm#10
  • As a long shot, try the AC Milan contact in my Soccer Camp Directory for a possible Italian "tour." (They may not be better than ManU, but Italian weather and art sure are.)

I have a 13 year old daughter who lives for soccer. We live in Westchester County, NY and are looking for indoor camp/team for winter months. Can you help?
Check www.futsal.com for an indoor soccer league or facilities near you. Failing that, you or your local soccer association could create a team renting space in a gym using non-scratch PVC pipe goals and a felted ball for hardwood floors.

I'm a 17 year old girl.... I played JV for two years but got injured and haven't played in over a year. However, I would like to improve my skills and have fun. What type of camp should I be looking for? I don't want to end up in a camp for ODP level highschool players.
It's very tough finding a camp for late teen players-- boys or girls. Check out nearby colleges who may run training camps in August for their women players. Since you're also from southern New York, contact northern PA (the Lehigh/Nike Camp at Lock Haven University-- 610-758-2267) or New Jersey camps (such as www.tabramos.com), but that's sold out for this year. Let me know where you go so your review can be in the guide.

We are looking for a soccer camp in August for our 17-year old boy. Any suggestions would be very welcome.
   --Berlin,Germany
Many 17-year-olds are in school training camps in August. But try the
Bollettieri Soccer Academy (800-872-6425/www.zonesoccer.com) in Bradenton, Florida. They are expensive, but they have a week by week program and our 17 & 18 year-old National Teams train there. (I do not list many European camps, but this site does: www.bysw.net)

Where can I find camps with ODP evaluators or college coaches where I might be noticed to make an ODP or college team?
Camps and ODP teams:
Some state soccer associations, such as EPYSA here in Pennsylvania, run high-level camps that could expose you to State ODP coaches if they are involved in the camp program (call the state office to confirm this). Similarly, college coaches may run college-affiliated camps. But, again, check to be sure the right coaches are attending the week you're going to camp.

Camps and college teams: College coaches are not counting on a soccer camp to turn up talent. They use:
* player-submitted resumes and video tapes
* high school all-star rankings
* scouting reports
* major tournament results (e.g., Dallas Cup)
* player performance on championship club team
* ODP programs
* recommendations from alumnae
* word of mouth

As a summer camper, you are competing against a group individuals who the coach has already been talking to form his roster. Your performance at soccer camp is not likely to change his conversations and commitments to these players. On the positive side, coaches won't overlook a very talented player if he or she is a camper, just as they won't turn down a very talented walk on.

Given the subjective nature of recruitment, you should be looking at a range of colleges that meet your academic and economic goals primarily and soccer interests secondarily--unless you have professional potential. At about age 16, you will begin to see if soccer is going to be a career option, a semi-pro hobby, or just a life-long recreational activity. This perspective will influence your college choice. 

NCAA Division I schools can offer athletic-related scholarships (but it could be as low as $100 or less). Division II has restricted funding available. (See www.ncaa.org/eligibility/faqs/faqs_general.html) Division III has no financial aid based in any way on athletic ability.

An ideal plan of attack for your junior year of high school if you want to be noticed by college coaches:
1) Pick 6 to 12 schools that are academically and economically feasible
2) Match these schools up with soccer rankings of Division I, II, and III schools, which can be obtained at www.collegesoccer.com or www.ncsaa.com
It is very difficult, however, to make the varsity roster for these top teams. So be sure to consider colleges that have a junior varsity program. Also consider colleges that are trying to build a soccer program. These schools will be eager to give good players a hearing. But schools that are building soccer programs often don't conduct soccer camps, so sending the coach your resume or video tape is a must.* Finally, consider colleges that have a vigorous fall and spring intramural soccer program. With the increasing competition to fill varsity slots, it's no shame to keep active by playing a fun sport at less than varsity levels.

3) Use www.soccercampguide.com and contact the school to find out about any soccer camps. Register in spring for summer camps IF THE CAMP IS SUITABLE TO YOUR SKILL LEVEL. (There's no need to go to a camp designed for U-14 players.)
4) Prepare a soccer-related resume and video tape for the prospective schools. In coordination with the college's admission office, submit these to the coach in the spring of  your junior year. (According to NCAA rules, coaches cannot recruit juniors until a specified time after the conclusion of their junior year.) Also let the coach know you plan to be at camp, if you're going.
5) When visiting the school or attending the camp, arrange to meet the coach and confirm he got your resume or video tape.
6) After the camp or school visit, follow-up with a thank you letter and any relevant clippings or video tape of your senior year performance to keep communication open. Keep your grades up.

(* Often, Division III colleges and top Division I colleges conduct affiliated camps. For example in my Northeast area, Messiah College, Gettysburg, Elizabethtown, James Madison, and George Mason have good academic reputations and all have camps. Duke and Penn State are examples of Division I schools with camps.) 

The bottom line for high-school juniors:
Talk to your high school guidance counselor or former students at your high school who have done what you want to do. Contact your targeted soccer coaches at least by the spring of your junior year by mailing them your sports resume and video tape and arranging a school visit through the admissions office--don't wait for a camp in summer. Then in summer, visit the schools, talk to the coaches, and go to more than one college-related camp if appropriate. Your goal:  visit many good colleges, interview three to four good coaches, and try to get one or two good college camp experiences. Seniors, it's not to late for you--but get moving!

What are good soccer camps for girls?
It's not that girls can't learn in a co-ed camp. (In many cases, these camps will have women instructors for the girls and single-sex drills, but mixed full-side game play.) But it's simply that several camps associated with women from the U.S. national team are providing some unique opportunities. Unfortunately, training and qualifying for the 2000 Olympic Games will affect the U.S. Women's camp appearances this year. A brief list of outdated links for camps held in 1999:
Michelle Akers: (http://www.michelleakers.com/schedule99.html)
Joudy Foudy (http://www.michelleakers.com/schedule99.html)
Brandi Chastain (http://www.santaclarabroncos.com/soc/wsoc/)
April Heinrichs (http://www.fansonly.com/schools/va/marketplace/events/
events-camps-releases/events-camps-release-6.html)

An alternative to these camps are colleges with summer camps for women, such as Penn State, North Carolina, and others listed in the Directories and Guides.

I am a 40 + soccer player still playing and enjoying the game immensely. In the off-season (winter in New England) I usually play some indoor and stay reasonably in shape, but I do find that my skills deteriorate. Given the games' popularity with the adults, why aren't there camps for us, too?
Good question--most camps are run by school or club coaches with youth teams, so they use the camps to develop kids as better players for the future. But there are some camps available for adults--such as www.soccer-academy.com --and I think there will be more in the future. Until then, taking coaching courses, such as those offered by the USSF or NSCAA, will help. Another possibility--a group of adults could get together and hire a coach--in essence start there own camp and include kids. There are a number of qualified individuals looking for summer camp jobs (see the link on home page).