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Summer Soccer Camps

Summer is the perfect time for young soccer players to hone their skills and sow the seeds for college recruitment. With the warm weather and break from schoolwork, athletes can spend more time on the field. If you’re hoping to play soccer after high school, this is when you need to take steps to stand out from your peers. The key to strong development is attending summer soccer camps. 

While league play and scholastic competition can be fun, soccer camps are even more important for college-bound student-athletes. Youth soccer clinic sessions are vital for developing the necessary skills for competing at a higher level. Furthermore, showcase soccer summer camps offer a way for coaches and recruiters to see older players. 

How do I find summer soccer camps near me?

Find Men’s Soccer Camps Near You

Find Women’s Soccer Camps Near You

There are thousands of summer soccer camps offered every year in America. With a bit of online research, you’re sure to find a camp in your area that matches your skill level. Coaches and fellow players can also help you find the best soccer camps. Before you choose where to invest your time and money for the summer, it’s important to define your needs and understand your options. 

Here are the different types of summer soccer camps:

How do youth summer soccer camps work?

For the youngest players, summer camps are all about introducing the sport and developing fundamentals. Daily sessions could range anywhere from three to seven hours. During that time, instructors keep players continually moving and working. Expect lots of drills on dribbling, passing, endurance and teamwork. If the camp is for all ages, attendees will be separated into different groups based on skill level. 

As players get older and more dedicated, they may opt to attend overnight soccer camps. These give athletes a chance to be totally immersed in the sport over a three- to five-day period. Attendees will room with their peers, usually in dormitories, and get meal plans. This offers the perfect chance to experience a college-like setting and bond with fellow competitors. 

How do summer soccer camps compare to fall, winter and spring camps?

Advanced players will eventually play in club leagues and for their high school teams. Since these seasons generally run fall through spring, this leaves the summer as an open window for camps and skills development. Summer soccer camps are often more competitive as they cater to elite players looking to improve for the upcoming seasons. The major organizations for soccer camps generally offer more sessions during the summer as well.

Men's soccer defending jockey

Why do players go to summer soccer camps?

Players attend summer soccer camps to get a leg up on the competition and be seen by coaches. Only 5.5% of boys and 7% of girls who play high school soccer go on to make an NCAA roster. This makes securing a scholarship quite competitive. While there are over 1,270 men’s programs and 1,440 women’s programs competing in NCAA soccer, there are precious few scholarships available. 

Here’s a breakdown of the available scholarships for men’s and women’s soccer:


Scholarships per men’s team 

Scholarships per women’s team 
















What can I do to prepare for a summer soccer camp?

If you want to make the most of your summer soccer camp experience, you’ll need to prepare. Start by making sure you’re healthy and ready to work hard. If the camp will involve lots of competitive play, you’ll want to be conditioned and mentally focused.

It’s important to think about your strengths and weaknesses. By identifying how you want to improve, you’ll be able to make the most of your camp experience. You may want to choose a camp with coaches who can help you address your weak spots.

You should also research the facilities and instructors ahead of time. The latter is especially important if you’re going to a showcase tournament or college soccer summer camp. Even if there aren’t going to be any official recruiters or soccer scouts at the session, you should always be giving full effort. Remember, coaches like to talk and spread the word about promising talent.  

What can I expect to take away from a summer soccer camp?

If you’re attending developmental soccer summer camps, you’ll be refining your skills through repetition drills and scrimmages. Hopefully, you’ll also learn something new about the game. It’s important to get new perspectives and experience different coaching styles. Your club or high school coach may approach the game in a completely different manner than your future college coach. As a player, it never hurts to learn new strategies and be open to critiques. 

What are the major summer soccer camps in the U.S.?

US Sports Camps: Sponsored by Nike, US Sports Camps has one of the biggest networks of youth soccer camps in America. You can find Nike soccer camps throughout 19 states as well as Canada and the U.K. Most of the Nike soccer camps are co-ed for players of all skill levels between ages 7 and 18. 

IMG Academy: As a sports-centered preparatory school in Bradenton, Fla., the IMG Academy boasts some impressive facilities for young athletes. Non-students can also take advantage of those campus resources by attending an IMG summer soccer camp. Athletes between ages 10 and 18 can choose three-day, five-day or customizable camps that last up to 12 days. 

Barca Residency Academy: FC Barcelona is one of the most lauded soccer clubs in the world. By attending a Barca Residency Academy summer soccer camp, boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 17 can actually learn from some of the club’s coaches. Camps are held at the club’s U.S. facilities in Casa Grande, Ariz. 

Challenger Sports: With over 3,000 summer sessions across North America, Challenger Sports camps have a major effect on youth soccer. Its programs are known for bringing an international experience to developing players. Camps range from “TinyTykes” sessions for ages 2-5 to advanced clinics for older players. 

How do girls’ camps compare to boys’ camps?

Most youth soccer camps are co-ed. At younger ages, boys and girls play at a similar level. This changes by high school, when certain nuances and differences in style emerge. That’s why there are soccer summer camps dedicated solely to girls who want to play in college

For example, Barca Residency Academy offers summer soccer camps for girls every year. The Berkshire Soccer Academy in East Otis, Mass., also offers many well-regarded camps for girls. Attendees can expect to receive plenty of feedback and instruction from coaches with experience in women’s soccer. These soccer summer camps are designed to create a welcoming atmosphere for girls who are serious about reaching the next level

What are college soccer camps?

If you’re hoping to make an NCAA roster, collegiate soccer camps will give you a taste of what to expect. Most college soccer programs hold summer soccer camps that are open to all skill levels. While these are not official recruiting events, they do give attendees the chance to visit the college and use the training facilities. Most importantly, players will be able to get valuable feedback from instructors who know what it takes to play at the college level.  

UCLA soccer camp sessions are among the most popular for college hopefuls on the West Coast. The university hosts boys and girls summer soccer camps that are broken down into day camps for commuters and junior elite sessions for residential and commuting attendees. 

In the Southeast, Alabama’s Roll Tide Academy is one of the most notable collegiate soccer camps. The academy’s summer soccer camps make good use of the university’s legendary athletic facilities. Since Alabama does not have a men’s varsity soccer team, however, the Roll Tide Academy is more popular with girls. The top boys in the area are developed through the Tuscaloosa United Soccer Club, which also offers soccer summer camps

How do I get exposure in front of college soccer coaches?

College coaches make most of their recruiting decisions at ID camps, which are essentially showcase tournaments used to identify the best players. These camps may be held at a college or in coordination with an elite club league. To play at ID soccer camps, you usually need to get an invitation from a coach. Getting an invitation requires excelling on a club team and developing your skills in developmental soccer summer camps.

The college soccer recruitment process will usually begin in the 10th grade. By this time, you should already be playing with an elite club team in your region. Club competition will lead to marquee tournaments and other opportunities to prove yourself. These tournaments are popular with soccer scouts as they offer the perfect opportunity to see lots of talented prospects playing in a highly competitive atmosphere. 

If you’re just starting your soccer journey, it’s never too early to start thinking about joining a club team. As you search for “soccer teams near me,” focus on the most competitive clubs. These teams can help steer young athletes toward recruiters and the best ID soccer camps. 

What are soccer recruiters looking for?

 Every college team has different needs. While you may have undeniable talent as a striker, your dream program might be looking for defenders. Furthermore, recruiters want student-athletes who will buy in to the team culture and help lead others. The best way to catch the eye of a college scout is to make sure your grades are in order and always compete at 100%. All ID camps should be treated like college soccer tryouts. 

Understanding the recruiting process

No one said that securing a college soccer scholarship would be easy. However, there are ways you can simplify the recruiting process and improve your chances of making a college roster. Since 2000, NCSA College Recruiting has been helping to connect coaches with recruits. It all works through NCSA’s online network, which is the largest and most successful of its kind.  

The NCSA platform allows student-athletes to make profiles with important recruiting information. You’ll upload verified stats, highlight videos, academic info and a personal statement. NCSA’s recruiting experts can then review your profile and help you develop a plan of action. The goal will be to help you score college soccer tryouts. 

Get discovered by college soccer coaches

Coaches know that the NCSA network is a valuable resource for finding exceptional student-athletes. In fact, more than 35,000 college coaches use the platform. Roughly 99% of U.S. colleges viewed players through NCSA in 2017. Every time a coach views a profile, the student-athlete gets a notification. This is helpful for players who want to proactively reach out to interested programs. 

It’s no wonder that NCSA maintains a rating of 4.9 out of 5 on Google (with over 1,700 reviews). More than 100,000 NCSA clients have reported commitments to college teams since the network launched in 2000. If you want help with the recruiting process, start by creating a free profile today. You can also call NCSA at 866-495-5172 with any questions.

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