Professional soccer teams will sometimes offer ID Soccer camps. These offer young players an opportunity to participate in training sessions for the purpose of identifying players for their Academy programs. They are designed for top talent players and can be very competitive.
Prospective athletes are able to showcase their talent in front of the club coaches and staff. Most of these ID Soccer Camps include not only technical training but small sided game play as well so the coaches and trainers can see the players in a variety of settings.
The camps may include an opportunity for the pool of players to scrimmage against the existing Academy players of a similar age. These programs can offer a direct path to the Professional team with which they are associated.
Many clubs offer these programs to youth players. The club benefits because they are able to see these young athletes perform and can help them select those players who may be good fits for their training philosophies. Some clubs even offer International ID programs.
My son, Jared, participated in a West Ham United FC International ID camp a few years ago. He LOVED the experience.
For the West Ham United experience, Jared first participated in a local camp. Selected boys and girls were invited to a National camp that was held in Darlington, Georgia. The program was held at the Darlington School (a boarding preparatory school) and the players lived on the campus and used the athletic facilities.
The National camp lasted a week. The players were grouped by age and experienced a variety of training sessions, both indoor and outdoors. They performed technical drills, fitness activities and participated in both small sided and full field scrimmages.
Sidenote: West Ham United started as Thames Ironworks started in 1895 as an amateur team largely composed of workers from the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company. Crossing the arms is the symbol for the irons or "hammers" that were used as a part of their jobs.
A select group of young players from each age group was invited to Upton Park to train and participate with West Ham United coaches and staff. This was an amazing experience for not only Jared, but me as well.
There were children from all over the world at the camp - Scotland, Australia... Several states were represented - California, Georgia, North Carolina.
The children worked with the youth coaches for the West Ham Academy. Several of the drills were different than what many of them were used to (I will be expanding on this in another page). If you ever have the opportunity, I would encourage you to attend.
Not every serious player is fully grown when he finishes high school. Many young men and women may continue to grow taller and stronger during the few years following high schools.
For some players who may still be growing after high school, playing at college while continuing to develop their game and grow is a good choice. There are college ID soccer camps that can give players the opportunity to be seen by D1, D2 and D3 college coaches.
You can reach out to a college or program you are interested in and ask them what their camp schedule is. It can be good to be communicating with a coach you are interested in playing for. The NCAA does have specific guidelines on how old a player needs to be before a coach can reach out to them.
The CSPA 96 program touts itself as "designed to give each player a taste of college soccer and to provide them with the skills necessary to find the right college to call home."
Here is a link to the CSPA website.
Here is a site with links to ID camps. https://www.collegeidcamps.net/
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