How to run a successful youth soccer camp

Soccer camps for young soccer players

We do a day camp in June or July. We have done one-week and three-day camps, but now we only do one-day camps. Our goals for these preseason camps are just to take a look at what we have in terms of talent, to get the kids to understand how they should interact with the coaching staff, and to have fun. We have a full month to prepare for our first game, we can get any conditioning we need during regular soccer practice.

Conditioning this from the very first practice and for such a short time is counterproductive to what we are trying to accomplish during camp. We are very convinced that with very strictly defined soccer practice priorities that we adhere to, we can implement our assessments, basic skills and schemes during the month of soccer practices before that first game. We found that a lot of what the kids learned in these soccer camps was forgotten once we started in August, and often the kids played in different positions, once the teams were optimized. We do not present any of our football plays or playbook during these camps.

We found that anything more than 2 hours in a day was counterproductive, even for older children. We rarely got much out of the kids once we hit that 2 hour brick wall, especially if it was hot. We do not exceed an hour and a half for children under 8 years old.

We always bring in at least one NFL player to give a little talk at the end of football camp. We also called the Nebraska Cornhuskers and got players from their FCA group to attend, most college teams will be happy to help you, all you have to do is ask. NFL guys can often get money from the NFL to pay for hats, jerseys and food, every time we invited a local NFL guy they did it for us. All they ask you to do is set up the camp, get the kids there, and put out a press release so the media is there.

Our format has changed quite a bit, but this is the one we use now:

Group dynamic warm-ups

Group position and starts/cadence

Mini Group Fun Assessments/Competitions: This is where we do all of our team fun assessments.
games/exercises detailed from page 69 of the book. This gets the kids excited and excited to be at your camp and playing for your team and tells us what we have and where most of the kids will be playing.

Skill-building stations (no conditioning or frappy agility drills)

Team Hawaiian Rules Football: on page 80 of the book.

By the end of the clinic, the kids understand how they should interact with the coaches. As coaches, we have a very good idea of ​​the athletic level of our team in general and where 80-90% of our starters will play. Children have fun and clearly understand that playing soccer for us can be fun and rewarding if they follow a few simple instructions that we will hold them accountable for. We often get more kids to join our program after camp as parents and kids get so excited about how fun and well organized our practices are and often invite their friends to play for us.

Our youth soccer league has no restrictions on these types of activities, check your league for any restrictions and stick to them.

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