As a parent, you want only the best for your child. If they just so happen to be a budding soccer superstar, you’ll want to do everything in your power to grow their athletic ability so they can one day grace the Orlando City soccer field. Sending your child to a soccer camp is one way to enhance not only your child's soccer skills, but also their developmental and social growth.
Whether the soccer camp is a day, overnight, weekend, seasonal, or year-long program, it is not easy to send your child away without your supervision. To reduce your anxiety, we suggest researching each camp with the following items in mind.
Who’s on staff matters to the quality of training they will receive. You’ll find that some camps are run by high school volunteers and are the equivalent of a sport-focused daycare. You should review the directory for staff qualifications. Some questions to consider:
Are they active coaches?
Are they former professional players?
Do they work for the MLS Academy?
Do they have any collegiate affiliations?
Do they have any certified Coaching Licenses?
Another camp consideration is staff background checks. Does the camp take the extra step in protecting your child by conducting background checks on all their staff members?
Another vital element when determining which camp to send your child to is the program. Of course, what the program entails can vary based on the type of program you select, but there are still four fundamentals to consider:
Will your child have the individual training?
What is the ratio of campers to staff?
Does the program include skill-development activities?
Are there opportunities to practice self-discipline, teamwork, and social skills?
Now that you know what to focus on when selecting a soccer camp, you want to make sure your child is properly packed for the occasion. The duration of their camp will affect the quantity of what is packed, but here are the basics:
Clothing & Footwear
Your child should have clothing and footwear for warm-ups, practice, inclement weather, and downtime activities.
While the camps should provide the soccer balls, your child should include their shin guards, shin guard sleeves/tape/straps, kinesiology tape, a towel, water bottle, and soccer bag.
If your child has specific dietary needs, it would be prudent to include their favorite healthy or protein-rich snacks, electrolyte drinks, and water.
Whether it is to be used out on the field or during downtime, everyday accessories like lip balm, hair ties, sunscreen, and bug spray will come in handy.
If the camp requires an overnight stay, these additional items are necessary:
Extra warm-up, practice attire, and casual clothes
Extra athletic socks
Electronics and chargers
Deodorizing spray or air freshener for your child's room
We hope this checklist alleviates your concerns about sending your child to a soccer camp and provides you with a comprehensive list to make sure your young athlete has everything they need to become the soccer superstar of their camp. If you are looking for a local, highly acclaimed seasonal camp, Orlando City has several programs to choose from. For more information on Central Florida soccer clubs and their training, click here.