right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

ID Camps - soccer

dogsmama1997dogsmama1997 460 replies29 threadsRegistered User Member
Have any of you had experience with soccer ID camps? I have read several times that kids should be going to school specific camps but I wonder if there are multi school camps that are worth it. Because soccer recruiting for girls starts so early the girls have no idea what they want in a college. I wonder if this is a good way to begin "casting a wide net." Specifically wondering about EXACT Academic 50.
60 replies
· Reply · Share
«13

Replies to: ID Camps - soccer

  • kidzncatzkidzncatz 971 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    I'll be following your thread, as my 9th grade daughter plays both high school and club soccer and is interested in playing soccer in college. Her club coach says she is recruitable for all but the highest level D1 teams. You're right that most kids at this age don't really know that much about what they want in a college.
    · Reply · Share
  • gointhruaphasegointhruaphase 525 replies3 threadsRegistered User Member
    Camps/showcases are a mixed bag. When attending a number of them, it can be expensive. My personal feeling is that they can play an important part of a recruiting plan. On the other hand, I know of kids who have been recruited on tapes alone. As far as any one given camp/showcase goes, it is hit or miss. Once I stepped back from wondering how well mine were doing, I came to realize that most of the kids in attendance at camps were pretty good players. Standing out can be tough.

    Rather than letting the camps drive the process, I suggest the reverse. First make an excel list of, say, 50 schools that could be of interest. Fill out the recruiting questionnaires (a very time consuming venture). Then start reaching out to D3 schools. Go visit one and talk to the coaches. Not all schools will respond to the emails, but many will. In the communications, have your daughter ask which camps the coaches like and why. Recognize that most schools have their own camps, which may be smaller and may provide a better opportunity to stand out. A school camp may be a better use of money, or it may not.

    My personal view was never to have the most important camp be the first. Give your kid the opportunity to learn the ropes of camps. Recognize that they can be stressful.

    I don't have any experience with EXACT. It may be that some get recruited from it, but that many others find themselves simply on the mailing list for other camps/showcases.
    · Reply · Share
  • eb23282eb23282 555 replies16 threadsRegistered User Member
  • MominmichMominmich 45 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    my daughter is a sophomore and has been playing soccer at the national and now DA level. I have seen girls scouted and recruited by Big 10, Big East and smaller schools. Showcases help, however, the ID camps really can make a difference. Try one or two this winter and see how it goes - there are several more in the summer months. Keep the communication going with the coaches. Reach out often! Personally, I would not start with D3 schools if you are looking for any kind of scholarship money - the range of D1 is BROAD and not limited to Big10 etc type of schools.
    · Reply · Share
  • gointhruaphasegointhruaphase 525 replies3 threadsRegistered User Member
    @Mominmich, the reason why I suggest reaching out to D3 schools first is that there are few timing restrictions. With D1, you need to consult the NCAA rules to figure out when you can talk to them.

    The point here is to get the process going and to figure out what is right for your kid in particular. That may be D1 for some due to scholarship dollars, or D3 for another for other equally valid reasons. If you meet with a D3 coach, you may learn that D3 is exactly what you want -- or you could decide that it is not right for you. That is the point of the meetings. It is also a legitimate way of learning that particular coach's view of any given camp.

    I can't remember a time that I disagreed with @Midwestmomofboys, and this is no exception. I would not be surprised in the least if a player attended one EXACT camp and was recruited to his or her dream school through that one activity. I would be surprised if this happened to the majority of the players at that same EXACT camp.
    · Reply · Share
  • Time2ShineTime2Shine 215 replies12 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I plan to follow and hopefully add to this topic going forward. I'm at the very beginning of the process with my 9th grade son. He’s decided that he wants to play D1 soccer and his coaches agree that he has the ability and drive to accomplish his goal.

    He sent out his initial round of introductory emails to 35 schools in November, ahead of his league’s large Winter showcase in December. The schools ranged from D1 to D3 and from Ivies to state flagships. I advised him not to limit himself to D1 programs, and certainly not to target only Top 20-50 D1. He’s too young to know what he’ll want to study in 4 years, or how much he’ll grow and develop athletically, so he needs to keep his options open.

    Honestly, because the D3 coaches have significantly less restrictions in terms of interacting with potential athletes, I figured he could get some valuable experience communicating with them before we unleash him on D1 coaches.

    We’re actually flying down to his first D1 school specific ID Camp in a few weeks. It will be his first “recruiting” camp of any kind. We talked about doing some larger, multi-coach camps first but scheduling wasn’t going to allow for that this Spring and early Summer. I think he’d prefer to be at his end of season form and fitness level going into camp, but it’s only 1 day and it isn’t as if he’s stopped training since his Fall season ended in December. He’s currently competing at a high level in futsal and his soccer team began training for the Spring season 3 weeks ago. As a 15 year old he’s competing in practice against a U17 national team player and several seniors committed to D1 programs next fall, including Michigan and UVA. I’m hoping he can make an early impression with this camp, but we’ll see how things pan out.
    · Reply · Share
  • anon145anon145 610 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited February 3
    @dogsmama1997 the most time consuming part is figuring out what level of soccer your kid can play and being realistic about it. Also, keep in mind coaches can answer phone calls from kids at any time and high school and club coaches can also email/communicate with college coaches at any time.

    IF folks are realistic about which schools the kid is a soccer fit, going to a school's camp is much more useful than going to an exact 50 camp even when the head coach is there. Also, sometimes the exact 50 type camps have assistants who have nothing to do with recruiting. I've seen an example of a big time soccer school name but the coach had zero to do with the team; it was a media relations person.

    Also, always emailing in advance to specific coaches/schools the kid is interested in is always a good idea whether a camp or showcase
    edited February 3
    · Reply · Share
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5728 replies10 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    One other possibility is a regular, skills-based camp run by a decent program. DS did one of these for his second sport (new to him at BS) the summer after 9th because he really just wanted to improve but many kids were there for recruiting input. (That cohort was definitely more skilled and serious,). All of the coaches gave great feedback on what the player should work on as well as general recruiting direction.

    For soccer, many coaches have their favourite tournaments so getting input on those could be helpful. We were under the impression that ID camps were less valuable (or unnecessary ) if your team showed up at these.

    DS decided that he did not want where he was recruited to drive his college choice so did not follow through with coaches again until after he had been accepted (so my knowledge is definitely not as extensive as that of @Midwestmomofboys , for example. )
    · Reply · Share
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22993 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    When deciding where you want to play, it is also important to decide how much you want to play. My daughter was recruited at all three divisions, but at some of the schools she wouldn't have gotten much playing time. She wanted to play, so focused on teams where that could happen. There were a couple of academically top schools where she could have been a top player, but the teams weren't that good and she didn't really like the LAC type schools. Some of the D1 schools that wanted her weren't really her style either (private, smaller, middle of the road). If was a balancing act.

    A couple of her youth teammates went to big D1 programs. None saw much playing time and all I can think of left after 2 years on the team. Honestly, it's boring not to play.

    I could look at teams play and see where she could fit in. If there are some colleges in your area, go watch a few games and see if your child can play at that level (adjusting, of course, to age and size and guessing what those will be in 2-3 years). I think you'll find it easier than you think. At some schools, I knew my D wouldn't be big enough. Sometimes size really does matter! But I could judge speed and stick skills pretty well.
    · Reply · Share
  • projectmgrprojectmgr 133 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @dogsmama1997 - my daughter did a one-day EXACT ID camp in Connecticut a couple of years ago and it was an excellent experience. They offer a lot of extra content aside from drills and player evaluations from coaches that I think was really helpful early on in our daughter's process.

    One example is that they spend about an hour during the camp having them develop and practice an elevator speech for use when meeting coaches at tournaments: "Hi Coach, my name is..., I'm a midfielder and I know I can really help your team in this way, etc.", then they rotate around the dozen or so college coaches in attendance and practice using it. They have them email all of the coaches in attendance before the camp as practice and they'll get a written and oral evaluation within a couple of days afterwards. Our daughter's was done by an assistant women's coach at Northwestern and it was very player-specific.

    They also have recruitment Q&A panels with the coaches there which was also very helpful for the players and athletes as they navigate the recruitment process.
    · Reply · Share
  • Time2ShineTime2Shine 215 replies12 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I love the post by @Midwestmomofboys

    There's so much here to unpack that I feel the need to comment paragraph by paragraph.
    D3 Men's Soccer parent here -- for boys, the D3 process really picks up during 11th grade so we didn't have to deal with some of those big unknowns a younger student has. By 11th grade, my kid knew he wanted to play in college and knew he wanted a small school, so his search was already narrowed to D3 LACs. By spring of 11th grade, we figured out the money and realized he needed merit award, so D3 LACs without merit awards came off the list.

    I'm so early in the process with my 9th grade son that I don't know what I don't know about the nuts and bolts of the process. He wants to play D1 and he wants to play out of state, preferably VA. Do I think his focus will be this narrow by the time he's actively searching for a school, not really. As for money, we could use all the help we can get because we don't qualify for any FA at most D1 schools. We would most likely qualify for FA at several Northeast D3 LACs. When he forms a general understanding of what path he'd like to follow in life it should help us help him target the most appropriate schools for him academically, socially and athletically. Currently, in his mind, UVA is his stretch school for both soccer and academics. I know it's a stretch school for me financially at full cost.
    Broadly, casting a wide net makes sense bc there are so many unknowns at this stage. Some filters to consider: (1) money -- does the family need athletic scholarship money to make it work? If so, then the focus is D1 and D2. (2) special educational focus -- engineering, accounting, nursing on the horizon? If so, that limits the focus to specific kinds of schools (though raises the question about whether students on those paths can make the athletic and academic commitments work together. (3) competitiveness/recruitability -- what are her club coaches saying about her projected level of play? What is her mindset -- is she the kind of kid who wants to drive herself in order to be considered by strong D1 programs or does she love the camaraderie of the team experience and loves the sport and wants to keep playing but is not motivated by winning conference tournaments, competing in the national tournament etc.

    There are so many factors that will come into play here. To complicate matters, he's a 15 year old 5'11" goalkeeper. The GK piece poses a unique challenge because there's only one on the field at a time, obviously. Additionally, there is generally a defined #1 keeper that gets most, if not all of the minutes each season. How much more he grows is out of his control. In an effort to keep him grounded I explained that there is only one D1 #1 keeper I know of that is under 6 feet tall...and he's Christian Pulisic's cousin, so his gene pool is pretty solid. Most D1 schools field keepers in the 6'2"-6'5" range. He MAY squeek out 6'2" but that would be the absolute maximum. Does he have the drive, mindset, physicality and athletic ability to play larger than 5'11"-6'. Without question he does. That doesn't mean a school will feel the need to take a chance on that when they have several 6'+ candidates to choose from.

    As for grades, if he can maintain his current trajectory they will open up his viable scholastic matches to all but the most selective schools, generally speaking. His time management skills and willingness to grind out his studies amazes me and I'm not one to give my children undue praise. He practices or plays soccer every day of the week but Wednesday. Practices are an hour away and games can be from 40 minutes to 5 hours away. He comes home from school and starts his homework. He sleeps in the car every day on the way to practices and games. He gets home from practices between 9:00pm and 10:30pm, takes a shower and gets right back to homework. He usually gets to bed between 12:30am and 1:00am. He's up by 6:00am for school. It's totally nuts. I wish he'd dial it back, but he won't even entertain not playing soccer or studying at this pace.
    My kid didn't do EXACT though we looked at some of its weekend camps when he was building his list early on. I agree with the advice to start with some "practice," low stakes camps since there is a big learning curve in adjusting t to the competition and the intensity. One approach might be to find a fairly local college/university and check their women's soccer webpage, under recruiting, to see if they are doing any winter camps, as some schools will do a single day camp. Or, a spring/summer camp which brings in coaches from a range of programs where every camper gets a written assessment about projected level of college recruitment. The key is to get a realistic assessment of the student's projected level of play.

    Admittedly, I've completely screwed this part up. We're heading to his very first camp at what is essentially his top choice("top choice" because it's where I went and where his brother attends). By his junior year I'm sure he'll have different targets in mind, but I still don't want to close a door he'd like to keep open. I will be VERY interested to see how he compares both physically and technically to the other keepers at the camp. I have no idea what to expect. It's only one day with a morning training session, a mid-day recruiting session and a final scrimmage session. The timing of this camp was the best for his hectic schedule, but I wanted him there while the other students were on campus in the hopes that current players might participate so he could get a feel for them.

    Continued....
    · Reply · Share
  • Time2ShineTime2Shine 215 replies12 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    My kid started some preliminary college visits in the spring of 10th grade, visiting a few schools that were within a several hour drive from home, scheduling tours/info session and emailing coach/asst coach to request a meeting. Our goal was for him to spend time on a small college campus and get a sense of whether that really was what he wanted. The coach meetings were generally 20-30 minutes where they talked through their recruiting process, asked about the kid, his academic, professional goals, and soccer experience. Those visits helped filter the search but also gave him practice in talking with coaches. We built a list which had safety/match/reach schools for both soccer and admissions.

    Again, at this early juncture, we haven't done much in the way of tours. He plays soccer matches on college campuses frequently so he's seen those. We made a pit stop at Wake Forest during a tournament trip and he loved it because it was their homecoming. We'll start touring this spring and summer to get a better feel for the type of campus he's looking for. At this point he doesn't have an actual GPA and he hasn't taken any standardized tests so he doesn't have much for coaches to get a read from. I like the timeline of visiting D3 coaches the spring of his sophomore year. I'll definitely adopt your filtering process for safties/matches/reach schools.
    Along with scheduling some "practice, low stakes" visits and camps early on, I agree with not overdoing the camp schedule -- camps are stressful and usually several days of intense work outs, and the kids need downtime before picking up and doing it again. We met a few kids who were doing back to back camps who burned out before they got to the end. We tried to have at least 5 days between camps, especially if they were 2-3 day summer camps. I don't know if this is true of EXACT camps, but my kid's experience at the one massive recruiting camp he did -- Future 500 -- highlighted the risks of a mega camp, at least for him. There was no training/skills work, just games and every player on the field wanted to make an impression, so there was very little "team" play. The stakes were high, and we know at least one school of interest lost interest because of my kid's failure to impress in the 10 minutes the coach saw. A single school camp, or a smaller, multi school camp, can provide more sustained exposure to coaches.

    There is a 4 day residential multi-school camp locally that he should attend this summer. It's run by the BU head coach and there will be some great schools there(Bates, Colby, Dartmouth, Harvard, Holy Cross, Northeastern, Tufts, UNH & UVM). It will be good practice for him before he gets serious about individual camps that will really matter. I wouldn't want him to do more than 2 camps per summer until he starts to narrow things down and we can glean any interest from prospective schools. To your point, I'd like to register him for smaller camps with actual keeper specific training programs.
    Search this board for posts by "Keeperdad" (I think) -- who wrote at length about his GK daughter's D1 search. While some is specific to a GK, a lot of good info which is generally applicable.

    I took this advice and it was very helpful for me to read the posts.

    Again, thanks for your detailed and thoughtful post. Hopefully this upcoming camp isn't a dealbreaker for him and he walks away with a decent understanding of where he can target in the future.
    · Reply · Share
  • lucky18lucky18 32 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @timetoshine I have a 9th grade soccer player as well so I'm there with you in the "you don't know what you don't know." Very grateful for the guidance and advice here and happy to be educating myself and my son early in the game. I have a daughter who's a senior (but not an athlete) so I can attest to the approach of getting an early start on figuring it all out sooner rather than later.

    As the parent of a keeper, you might find a podcast helpful (actually it could be helpful for any soccer parent) - called "Between the Posts" by Tyler Vaughan. Episode 13 is the first of 2 episodes called "So, You Want to Play College Soccer?" He has quite a few keeper-specific episodes as well. I've learned more about the whole process of soccer/athletic recruiting through podcasts and this forum than anywhere else!
    · Reply · Share
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22993 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Because you are looking at D1 and want athletic money, spend some time figuring out the combos that are possible. You can combine merit and athletic aids at some schools (some schools do not allow it). Try to get an idea of how much aid is available and how the coach divides it. Do most athletics on scholarship get 10%, 20%, $5000? Is merit aid common at the school or very competitive? In all cases, you should be comparing your OOP, not the flashy $20,000 if the amount left for you to pay is still $50,000.

    He could be in a better situation at a lower cost school with better merit and better athletic aid, and he may get more playing time.
    · Reply · Share
  • gointhruaphasegointhruaphase 525 replies3 threadsRegistered User Member
    @Time2Shine, you are absolutely correct about the "keeper challenges." It seems at pretty much every level (including high school), only one plays. This certainly can be a challenge if you are the no. 2. There is quite a bit of bench time for all but the No. 1. To top it off, it is a physically challenging position. That is not to say that there aren't a host of injuries in all the positions, but when a keeper goes up for a ball surrounded by opposing players, and he comes down -- well lets just say that a lot is missed by the refs.

    That said, those challenges also provide some opportunities, as most teams seem to have their eyes out constantly for keepers. This means that keepers -- more so than other positions -- need to keep an open mind about all sorts of schools. Communicate early and often with a range of coaches.

    To be sure, height is an issue. It just isn't the only issue. I have seen some 6'4" goalkeepers in the NESCAC, but then again, there are some that are under 6 feet and have done quite well.
    · Reply · Share
  • Time2ShineTime2Shine 215 replies12 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @gointhruaphase To your point about the position being physically challenging, my son may have broken his right hand during the semi-final of the US Futsal Northeast Championship yesterday. My wife is taking him for x-rays today. To complicate things we're scheduled to fly out to a college camp in 3 days. Fingers crossed....
    · Reply · Share
  • lucky18lucky18 32 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Crossing fingers for you @gointhruaphase! Hope he's OK and heals quickly.
    · Reply · Share
  • Time2ShineTime2Shine 215 replies12 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Nothing is broken, but his palm is quite bruised across his right pinky and ring finger. He went to keeper practice last night and it hurt like hell but he managed. Hopefully it will improve slightly by Sunday for the camp.
    · Reply · Share
  • eb23282eb23282 555 replies16 threadsRegistered User Member
    He sent out his initial round of introductory emails to 35 schools in November, ahead of his league’s large Winter showcase in December. The schools ranged from D1 to D3 and from Ivies to state flagships.
    I didn't see any reference to how this played out. What did his email say? Given that he's a freshman, did anyone respond and what did they say?
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity