BENEFITS OF SOCCER CAMPS/CLINICS
Every youth player in organized sports has aspirations of enhancing their skill level so they can perform at their best. I’ve noticed, from my experience in competitive youth soccer, that players are not encouraged enough to experience and learn different aspects of the game from other coaches. I believe this is an important part of their development. With several ways of achieving a high skill level, attending specialized soccer camps/clinics is one of the most beneficial for young players. All-though there are camps/clinics that can be unproductive for a player.
It’s important to choose the appropriate clinic and learn what to look for depending on the player’s age and desired aspirations. I want to highlight why clinics can be so crucial in a player’s development and how it can also become a draw back.
With so many different levels of expectation, philosophies and opinions players are asked to perform at their best and generate an understanding of the game on a consistent basis.
There is currently an urge to jump from one aspect of the game to another quickly, mainly because young players are exposed to top-level players through social media and the best league games around the world. Kids naturally want to emulate what they see and can easily overlook the sacrifice and hard work that went into acquiring the skill level they are trying to imitate.
One of the biggest hindrances behind the lack of ability on the ball and positional understanding in the game, for the majority of youth players, is not specializing in a specific area. Attending soccer camps/clinics gives players the opportunity to discipline themselves and hone in on specific components of the game.
Unfortunately many camps available have a generalized approach and try to cover multiple areas of the game in a short space of time, giving players brain overload and limited time on the ball. These clinics can be good for the player who simply wants to have fun and enjoys playing.
For a player with aspirations to either play in college, at the highest level or achieve a high skill level (realistically this is the main motivator to attend clinics) should seek clinics/camps that focus on specialized training and small groups where the coach to player ratio is limited. No matter how good the coaches are, players will not receive the required attention with excessive group numbers.
The aim isn’t to become an expert in all aspects of the game (which is impossible) but become specialized in a few areas, in turn creates your identity therefore giving you a platform to work off.
EXPOSURE TO DIFFERENT COACHES
Another advantage for players attending specialized clinics is the caliber of coaches selected, do your own research as well to insure they have and high level of expertise, giving players rare access to learn different philosophies and different cultural methodologies.
Like any other educational system you want to be learning from the right people early on and as frequent as possible. Ideally you want to learn from coaches who’ve accomplished what you’re trying to achieve.
Camps/clinics give players a break from the weekly routine of training and an opportunity to train with fresh faces and hear new voices. This gives players an advantage to practice with other players who may have a higher skill levels. Whether it’s clinics, teams, or individual training youth players should feel and be in a relaxed atmosphere; alongside being stimulated and engaged by sessions which are beneficial and fun.
All these things combined specialized training, exposure to new coaches, smaller groups, relaxed environment and stimulation will contribute to players having fun and advancing their skill level. I hope this will help guide your decision on what camps/clinics will benefit you the most for your desired outcome.
As it was once said if youth players aren’t having fun then what’s the point!
Become clinical or what’s the point!!! of spending time energy and money on something that doesn’t enhance a players development.