June 15, 2024

Sports Enthusiast

Professional Sports Purveyors

How to Choose Youth Soccer Camps

Youth Soccer camps in Maryland has grown over the last 30 years in the United States to a multi-million dollar industry. Is it really about the kids or the money involved? In the 70’s and 80’s the North American Soccer League (NASL) led the way with stars such as Pele (Brazil) and Giorgio Canalia (Italy) who helped to build the country’s interest in soccer. After a decade long drought without a league in the US, Major League Soccer (MLS) came about 10 years ago, and then came the growth of youth soccer.

Youth Soccer in general as a whole has reached the magnitude of a billion dollar industry. US Soccer alone makes $100 per player/season, and with 17+ million children registered to play youth soccer across the country you go ahead and count up how much money they make. To think, they did not even want to pay their US National team players during World Cup qualifiers in 2005. How selfish!

With hundreds of organizations around the country, one can only question whether soccer has become a fun, instructional sport with various lessons to teach children in the sport and life, or, has it become a money making industry where adults who have never played the sport before, read a book, and collect monthly checks from teams that they coach.

With the sport being such a large industry, there will always be a few organizations that are in it for the money. When determining whether an organization is beneficial for your child and whether the money that you have spent on your child is worth it or whether you have just given it to an organization, here are a few things that you must consider.

1) Monitor the weekly improvement of your child. See if your child has improved his or her running, technical, and tactical skills.

2) Look and see how attentive your child is to the lessons of the coach/trainer. If your child is talking in practice and the trainer/coach does not recognize it or care, picture it as your child talking in class. What happens when one talks in class? They get nothing out of it and cannot understand anything that the teacher is teaching. Is it the child’s fault, maybe or maybe not, but please do take in consideration that maybe the teacher can’t teach.

3) How are the sessions organized? Are the sessions all over the place? Does the practice start off with sprints, then have the group stand when only 2 players complete the drill, and then the group plays. If so, this may not be very productive to the player because one, there is no structure, two, the player has gotten nothing out of the session.

4) Does your child love to show up to practice? If so, then that means that the player is learning something and the trainer/coach is teaching something.

5) How cheap is the cost of the clinic, practice, camp, etc? If a clinic is cheap in cost, then chances are the best trainer is not working with your child. Paying more than less for soccer can be very beneficial to a kid for a lifetime. Paying $20 or $30 for a recreation season may see the child get nothing out of the training. Quite frankly, you get what you pay for. If your child is energetic and loves to kick the soccer ball, then pay for him/her to get quality training. For example a youth soccer camp in Maryland now goes for about $325 a week. This is about the right price for a camp with good coaches. Choose your camps and clinics wisely.