Summer comes with lots of outdoor activities. Young soccer players look forward to attending soccer camps that will allow them to hone their skills. However, not every parent is comfortable with the idea of sending their children to soccer camps.
- Soccer camps are usually categorized into different age groups
- Soccer camps help in the physical and mental development of children and young adults
- The World Health Organization has a stipulated minimum daily activity for every age range and soccer camps help children and young adults to hit their daily physical activity goals
- College soccer players that want to go pro can leverage soccer camps to find opportunities
Although soccer camps are one of the most popular types of camps, a few parents and kids still think it is a waste of time and money. This is obviously because they have not considered the full benefits of soccer camps.
Soccer camps provide the right environment for soccer enthusiasts to have fun and build their skills. These camps sometimes feature qualified language tutors, professional coaches, and trained camp monitors to ensure adequate supervision of the kids.
If you are one of those still wondering if soccer camps help, looking at the benefits they offer may just be enough to change your perception. If your child is excited about playing soccer, you may be doing a disservice to their soccer career by denying them an opportunity to feature in a soccer camp.
Why did we say that? Keep reading to find out.
Soccer camps overview
A classic soccer camp will provide soccer players with a rounded soccer experience by exposing the kids to a broad range of soccer skills, techniques, and tactics. The experience will also challenge the kids depending on their level while keeping the environment positive and fun.
Soccer camps are usually grouped into age categories and the activities designed for the camps will depend on the age category. The youngest soccer camps are for children from 2 to 3 years.
One of the soccer camps that offer enormous opportunities to children in this age category is the Parent & Me Soccer Squirts. The sessions for children in this category can last from 45 minutes to 1 hour. The children get a certificate of participation at the end of the camp.
The intermediate soccer camp by The USA Soccer Camp is designed for children between the ages of 5 and 14. In this camp, children are separated into groups based on abilities.
The camps usually run for an entire week, starting from Monday to Friday. Sessions can last anywhere from 3 hours to a full day (6 hours).
Advanced soccer camps like the one offered by High School Team Camps are usually reserved for high school students and feature activities for soccer players from 14 to 19 years old.
Here, soccer players are drilled through all the soccer abilities and techniques. The camps serve as an incubator for professional soccer careers.
Incoming freshmen dominate such soccer camps which typically last for a week (Monday to Friday). The players may be offered souvenirs including balls and soccer jerseys. You will find other soccer camps across the United States for different age categories here.
It is crucial to enroll your child or young adult in the right soccer camp for their age. If soccer player participates in a camp for kids higher than their age, they may return home with injuries.
Do soccer camps help?
Soccer camps provide the right environment for kids that hope to hone their skills in the sport. However, it is not just a place for learning. It can also be a place for social integration.
Unlike in schools where children may be bullied which eventually affects how they interact with other children, soccer camps usually have stricter monitoring that deters such behaviors.
To get the full benefit of soccer camps, you have to be thorough when choosing a camp for your kid. Pay attention to the camp curriculum topic to make sure that they cover all that you want your child to learn. Also, look at the quality of the camp instructors to be sure they are certified, professionals.
For the question, ‘do soccer camps help kids and young adults?’, the answer is an emphatic YES—if you pick the right soccer camp for them. However, the benefits go way beyond just honing their skills in the game to affecting their overall well-being as you will see below.
1. Improves physical fitness
When children are left alone at home, there is a high tendency that they will end up bingeing on movies or video games or lying on their beds. According to the World Health Organization, children from 5 to 17 years need a minimum of 60 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity daily. Below are the WHO-recommended daily physical activity times for different age groups.
|Age group||Physical activity time within a 24hr period|
|Less than 1 year||30 minutes of tummy time spread throughout the day|
|1—2 years||180 minutes of physical activities of varying intensities spread throughout the day|
|3—4 years||180 minutes of physical activities of varying intensities spread throughout the day|
60 minutes out of this time should involve moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity
|5—17 years||60 minutes of moderate to physical aerobic activities|
|18—64 years||150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical aerobic activities|
75 minutes should be vigorous-intensity aerobic activity
|65 years and above||150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical aerobic activities,|
75 minutes should be vigorous-intensity aerobic activity
The WHO warns that those who are not physically active enough face 20% to 30% increased risk of death compared to those that are physically active enough. Interestingly, the minimum physical activity required for the different age categories is usually satisfied in sports camps.
Americans are fighting an obesity pandemic. A 2022 report shows that 41.9% of American adults are obese. Sending your child or young adult to soccer camps can be a way of helping them to fight this menace.
2. Assist mental development
Soccer is a physical and mental sport and the training that players undertake drills them physically and mentally. The physical exertion on their body helps them to build endurance.
On the other hand, technical training helps them to improve their decision-making time. Soccer players are taught when to pass the ball and when to take a shot. This boosts their decision-making ability.
Ideally, some soccer camps set personal goals for each soccer player and assist them to accomplish the set goals. The accomplishment of goals improves the player’s self-esteem and confidence.
Soccer camps can also be a tool for managing anxiety and depression in children and young adults. Researchers show that physical activities lead to the release of endorphins that reduces stress and improves relaxation.
3. Develop their skills
Ball control, shooting, passing, dribbling, spatial awareness, attacking, and defending are some of the skills that you will likely find in most camp curriculums.
Most soccer camps employ professional soccer coaches with many years of experience working at the highest levels of the game. No doubt, spending time with such coaches will have a great impact on your child.
The most successful soccer players usually have a set of skills that makes them unique. It can be an amazing dribbling skill like Lionel Messi or an unstoppable speed like Kylian Mbappé.
Soccer camps provide the right environment where young soccer players can discover a skill they never knew they have, perfect the skills they already have, or learn new skills.
The more skills soccer players learn, the better they will perform on the pitch. Improved gameplay also increases their chances of being discovered by a scout.
4. Personal development
Some of the soccer training offered in camps can chisel the character of your ward and equip them with important life values. In addition to teaching young soccer players about soccer skills and techniques, they are also taught teamwork and sportsmanship.
Young soccer players will learn sportsmanship when they win and self-control when they lose. Another important skill that they are likely to pick from a soccer camp is time management.
When they become part of a team, they are given a sense of responsibility through the various roles they play on the pitch. The cumulation of these values helps them to grow on a personal level.
If you have a rebellious kid or a kid that never takes instructions, sending them to soccer camps can help them to act better. In soccer, coaches dish out instructions and the players have to obey.
During soccer camps, young soccer players mingle with soccer players from different nationalities and languages. Lifelong friendships are often made in such enclosures.
For some, it would be a time for learning about different cultures while others will seize the opportunity to learn a new language—especially when the camps are held in a country different from their home country.
People will usually discriminate against other people when they don’t understand them. Soccer camps can be a tool for bridging the racial gap.
6. Find opportunities
Soccer scouts often organize college camps or may visit established college camps to look for rising talents. If you are a young soccer player that dreams of playing soccer at the highest level, college camps can offer the exposure you need to land your first club contract.
College soccer camps also give young soccer players the opportunity to meet and form friendships with professional soccer coaches. These coaches can also be a source of referral that will link these young players to big soccer clubs.
7. Help parents to bond with their children
The last thing you want as a parent is to give your child the impression that you don’t support them. If you have a child that is crazy about playing soccer, one of the ways you can show your approval and support is by enrolling the child in a soccer camp.
Even if you are not a fan of the game, the camps can be a great place to learn the basics. Acts of involvement in a child’s development always leave a lasting impression on the child.
Most people reduce the benefits of soccer camps to physical fitness alone. That is why you will hear the question ‘do soccer camps help?’
In reality, soccer camps are not just a luxury but a necessity for every child’s development. The environment created by soccer camps helps in the physical and mental development of children and young adults.
They pick up important life lessons and make lifelong friends. Parents can also use the break to reassess themselves and reorder their priorities.
Even if your child is not a fan of soccer, it is important to find a camp organized for the type of game they like. Camps do help in the development of a soccer player.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
The Pitch is Ours is a new beginning for me and a stepping stone to prepare before retiring from the professional soccer team. Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!