|Go to the Guides
Get the Most Out of Camp
Get to Understand U.S. Soccer Camps
||A successful camp experience is in
everybody's interest. So this page is for camp directors who may be interested in the
likes and dislike of players and parents.
1) Personal bonding.
Young players (U-14) especially note how a camp coach takes personal interest in
them and helps them improve with a specific move or two. They like picking up
new soccer skills, but also forming friendships with a good role model. Moral: It's better
to have a few coaches who can interact personally with campers like an "uncle"
than hot-shot college or pro players who can't bond with kids.
2) Pleasant facilities.
Residential camps should be convenient and clean. No long walks to the cafeteria.
No monotonous food. No musty, banged up college dorm rooms. No astroturf practice
fields. A swimming pool is nice. Clean showers and toilets. If your host facility can't oblige--go
somewhere else even if you have to charge campers a few bucks more.
3) Good security.
Parents want their kids safe. That means head counts, cell phones, safe, well-lit
walkways, qualified trainers, and coaches with clean backgrounds. Using the Boy Scout
"two-deep" leadership principle is a good idea (in private, no adult is
one-on-one with a kid, always two adults present).
4) Definite results.
Players (and parents) want results! DO NOT let a player go home without either
improving in a key problem area or knowing how to improve. (This Guide recommends that
every camp run a remedial track, either with a tutor or separate sessions, to improve key
problem areas, like shooting or first touch. Start your camp with a multi-skills
evaluation to identify player problems.) Pay attention to small but easily correctible
equipment issues--like shoes that are too big, flat arches requiring corrective orthodics,
Personal bonding, pleasant facilities,
good security, definite results. If your camp can provide these qualities
consistently, you've got yourself a winner. And you'll get our Fourth Fundamental
Seal of Approval.