Good Game: The Unsung Benefits of Soccer Summer Camps

summer soccer camps

Summer soccer camps are undeniably beneficial for budding superstars.¬†At the end of the day, 92% of participants say that camp helped them feel good about themselves, definitely one of the most valuable things in both sport and life. But, how does a soccer summer camp develop skills that might not have been cultivated otherwise? What’s the real difference between soccer school outside of school and during the school year? The differences are subtle, and they can help shape young players.

New people

During the school year, soccer teams are remarkably narrowed in who they play and practice with. Getting to know the squad you’ll be primarily teamed with is important, but summer camps take players into the unknown. Young players need to play the game with people they’ve never met, really mesh into a team and learn how to communicate on the pitch. If you’re talking to the same 11 players day-to-day, it’s good for your main team, but mixing things up in a camp setting builds communicative skills beyond a narrow scope.

Coaching

Camps take players used to the same coaches and drop them into conditioning and skill training they’re not used to, taught by strangers who won’t tolerate the antics their usual coaches might. Stack this atop being around players they’re not used to playing with and they’ll be forced to adapt.

Developmental differentiation

As intense as the game may be, everyone develops at different paces and has different skill sets. Camps provide environments for players to specialize in their strengths and train extra on the weaker parts of their game. While teams largely practice as a unit, summer soccer schools allow groups of players to break away from the main camp population and train in ways that they want to see grow.

These three points stem from the idea that young soccer players get into the junior varsity, varsity, and club routine, playing with the same people, interacting with the same coaches, running the same battery of drills. While at camp, diversifying game time and training experience will help them become adaptable players. No competitive soccer player will play with the same team, players, coaches, and trainers for their entire career. Summer soccer camps are marvelous ways to drop young athletes into the fray of the game and teach them to learn outside their comfort zones.