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Dear Camps: A Thank You Letter

Girl at a soccer camp

Camps are more than just a summer activity or a chance to improve skills. They are a vital part of the college sports scene, creating a space for aspiring college-athletes and coaches to connect. And let me tell you, as someone who has been both a D1 college coach and athlete, camps hold a special place in my heart.

In this blog, you’ll hear inspiring stories and insights directly from a former D1 college coach and a former D3 athlete. They’ll share their own camp experiences and shed light on how camps play a role in shaping the journeys of young athletes like yourself.  

From the small-town kid who got their shot at greatness to the coach who discovered star recruits that took their program to the top, camps leave an unforgettable mark.

A former D1 college coach’s letter to camps

Meet Ashley Heidelberger, a former D1 college soccer coach and player. Camps had a massive impact on her coaching career, shaping her personal coaching style and helping her discover talented athletes. Without camps, Ashley wouldn’t have had the opportunity to witness the growth and potential of incredible student-athletes.

ashley camps video

Dear Camps, 

You have opened the doors for so many potential student-athletes to be seen who would not have otherwise had the opportunity to play in front of me and my coaching colleagues.  

You opened the doors for athletes who weren’t at the showcases we attended, didn’t travel to the biggest events, or missed a crucial part of the recruiting process with injury. You opened doors for athletes who we simply needed to see in a different environment and gave us an opportunity for a second or third look. You allowed those players to show me what they can do, even when it’s not their best day.  

You have allowed me to showcase my coaching style, and gauge how players respond to it. You gave me the opportunity to identify which players listen, learn and soak in feedback. 

You have allowed me to showcase the team, athletic department, facilities and school through the lens of the athletes who call them home. 

You have given a future Team MVP a second chance when they otherwise would have been overlooked. That second chance led to an offer, then a commitment and ultimately an incredibly successful career. 

Thank you for opening doors for the athletes willing to bet on themselves, who only need a stage to showcase what they’re made of. 



A former D3 student-athlete’s letter to camps

Meet Zack Adamec, a former D3 college soccer player who made his dream of playing soccer in college a reality. Despite initial doubts, Zack attended ID camps and showcases, impressing coaches with his skills and determination. His camp journey shows that with a little hard work and the right opportunities, your dreams are within reach.

zack camps video

Dear Camps,  

Without you, I honestly believe that I wouldn’t have received any attention from colleges. Attending soccer ID camps provided me with invaluable experiences. I had the chance to speak to college coaches, witness the level at which college soccer is played and demonstrate my skills to show them what I could bring to their program. 

I’ll never forget one particular moment as a timid 17-year-old goalkeeper, fresh off a college showcase. I remember a coach walking up to me, clipboard in hand, asking about my goalkeeping experience and ambition to play in college. I’d never even heard of this college before, but the idea of continuing my soccer career at the collegiate level sounded like a dream come true.  

That conversation led me to connect with the coach through my club coach, and before I knew it, I found myself visiting the school and knew deep down that it was the right fit for me. Without the opportunities provided by camps, I would’ve never had the opportunity to leave little old nowhere Kentucky and head to the Windy City! 



Discover how camps can help you reach your college sports goals

Feeling inspired? You too can discover the value of camps in your own college sports journey, just like Ashley and Zack. Whether you’re a young athlete excited to show off your skills or a coach searching for their next MVP, camps can be a powerful tool.  

So, take that first step. Create your free NCSA profile and discover your path to college sports. Don’t miss out on the chance to make camps an essential part of your own story!