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Get to Understand U.S. Soccer Camps
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* 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
so I can get noticed to make an ODP or college
* Where can I find
good camps for girls?
there camps for adults?
Should I be concerned about by kids security at camp?
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
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
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
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
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
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
We are looking for a soccer camp in August for our
17-year old boy. Any suggestions would be very welcome.
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
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.
An ideal plan of attack for your junior year of high school if you want to be
noticed by college coaches:
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.
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
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/
An alternative to these camps are colleges with summer camps for women,
such as Penn State, North Carolina, and others listed in the Directories
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).