Lots of summer camps, which ones are right for your child? This year we have more camps locally than we have ever had. As in the past many high schools and youth clubs all run their own camps, from Pre-Tryout camps to high school’s holding camps for future 9th graders. GSI and Challenger also host their camps. Both the KCFC Blues and Sporting are holding camps this summer. The Blues also will send a player to come to a team practice. Then you have small organizations that are hosting camps. Fitness camps are starting to take off along with fitness programs. Personalized goalie camps are also growing. New this year we have the Coerver Soccer Camps, which are heavily geared to skills training. Most of the area Colleges are offering camps for younger players as well as College ID camps starting in 8th grade. Which camps are right for your child.
At the younger ages camps that focus on skills and individual training are the best camps. Their are so many of these camps available it would be difficult to list them all. Some of the smaller camps like the Huw Savage Camps , Finesse Soccer Camps, which is geared more to girls, and the Coerver Soccer Camps are good smaller camps. Challenger Soccer Camps and GSI’s Huw Williams Camps are larger camps. Both have been around for over 20 years. GSI’s Huw Williams Summer camps are also working with FCKC Blues this summer. They have a camp being held the week prior to tryouts as a pre-tryout camp. Challenger Sports is the largest soccer camp operator in North America. They also offer camps to other countries. Both Huw Williams and Challenger have over night camp options.
Doing camps focused on individual skills is very important for all ages but if you have an older player in 7th grade or higher they need to be evaluating what they want to be doing after high school. If your player is only focused on high school doing one of the camps above and/or your local high school camps is a very good option. I recommend all players who are interested in playing high school to do their high school camp the summer between their 8-9th grade years so that they high school coach gets to know them. For players who are looking to play in college after high school they need to start looking at doing college camps. Many colleges have camps that start in the 5th grade level, and ID camps that start in 8th grade. I recommend that if your child’s dreams are to play in college by the time they are in middle school they should be doing some college camps. This will allow them to start comparing colleges and make it easier as they enter 8th grade and 9th grade to have a short list of schools they will be contacting and expressing interest in. In our area we have a plethora of colleges ranging from D1 schools with KU and UMKC both having camps. We also have a lot of smaller schools in the area from D2 and D3 to NAIA and Junior colleges all holding camps. All of these college camps are good for players looking to play after high school. Recommend doing not only the big schools but also the smaller school camps to be able to compare, and learn which school would be a better fit for your child.
Goalie Summer Camps. We are blessed in the area to have many top level goalie trainers. If your child is a goalie you will want to make sure which ever camp you choose has specific goalie trainers to work with your child. Most camps don’t, so make sure to ask. Lots of organizations that do summer camps will have separate goalie camps apart from their main camp. Even some of the college camps will not have goalie trainers so it is always good to ask. Most goalie trainers also do private training. Some goalie camps in the area are Hue Savage and Payton Warwick have a goalie camp in the Overland Park area. David Webinage and Excel Goalkeeping do personal training and camps in Lees Summit. Finesse Soccer camps and Laura Boyer and Rebecca Ewing do personal goalie training and academy sessions, there focus is mostly on training girls.
Heading into the Fall season more and more camps are focusing on fitness. There are lots of camps that just started in the last three years to work on players fitness. These camps have a good purpose but be aware that if your child is out of shape laying around all summer, a week long camp will not be enough to get them into shape and could come cause injury. I recommend if you want to be in shape over the summer and feel the need to do a camp and not just get out on your own. You will want to do something that is twice a week and over the entire summer. Programs like Soccer Fit have had great reviews on improving both fitness and speed.
I would like to hear your thoughts and experiences with various camps. Share your favorite camp experience with us in the comments below.