When it comes to getting noticed by coaches, soccer players with collegiate aspirations know that attending ID camps can be a terrific way to showcase their unique talents – and hopefully earn a coveted roster spot with a college team. To get the most out of ID camp opportunities, deciding whether to participate should be about more than simply choosing dates that fit your schedule. Instead, families should evaluate the pros and cons of each ID camp and keep the bigger picture of their college goals in mind when making these important decisions.
Ultimately, a practical approach to choosing ID camps will yield better results – and will be easier on your wallet! – than filling your calendar with commitments. So, how should you approach the decision-making process and what criteria should you prioritize when creating your strategy? Here are eleven important questions to ask yourself before selecting an ID camp.
What’s the coach’s philosophy? Does it align with yours?
Are you comfortable with the personalities of the coaching staff?
What’s the team’s playing style? Have you experienced this type of environment before?
Do you know how many seniors will be graduating and potentially opening up spots for underclassmen? What positions do they play? Did they start?
Does the school’s geographic location match your wish list? Furthermore, are you comfortable being this far from/close to home?
Are your academics up to the school’s standards (i.e. do you have a strong chance of being accepted academically)?
Will you enjoy the climate in which the school is located? Do you prefer to play in warm or cold weather?
What’s your budget for ID camps – and for other recruiting expenses like campus visits, recruiting advisers, etc.? Does this camp fit into your recruiting plan?
Have you spoken to your coaches and/or guidance counselors to confirm that you’re a player the school would ultimately want to recruit?
How will you get feedback after the camp? Do you have a coach or recruiting advisor who can get an evaluation of your performance if the coach doesn’t (or can’t) contact you directly?
Has anyone you know attended this camp before? What was their experience? Was the coaching staff actively involved or did they congregate at one or two fields with already committed and/or current players?
ID camp selection requires careful thought and consideration. While it can be tempting to try to get more exposure by attending multiple ID camps, families should evaluate both the camp and the college before making a decision to participate. Like most things in life, a little bit of pre-planning can save you significant time, money and regrets in the long run. Taking a measured approach and carefully selecting just a handful of camps can create positive momentum in your recruiting process.
Chris Bart-Williams is the founder and owner of CBW Soccer Elite. After an extensive career in the English Premier League, Chris now uses his vast soccer knowledge to assist families throughout the college recruiting process and prepare players for the mental and physical challenges of collegiate soccer. You can reach Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.