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Three Tips For Integrating Soccer Into Your Summer Camp

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If you run a summer camp, it is always nice to introduce new activities each year. This keeps the camp interesting for those children who come back year after year. It also helps attract new campers who are interested specifically in the new activities you add. 

Soccer is a sport that has become widely popular among youth over the last several decades. There are over 3 million members in the U.S. Youth Soccer League, making it the largest youth sports league in the nation. And many other children are interested in beginning to play soccer or learning more about the sport. This makes soccer the perfect activity to add to your summer camp this year. Here are three tips to help you do so.

Have a Soccer Wall Built

One of the hardest parts of soccer is kicking a goal! Kids will need a lot of practice with this part of the game, and a great way for them to practice is against a soccer wall. You can hire a portable soccer wall builder to come put up a wall that is marked with several targets. As a part of your early camp practices, have the kids practice kicking the ball to hit the targets. Also have them practice returning the ball after it bounces off the wall.

The standard practice wall has space for four or five kids to practice. So if you have a larger camp, you may want to have several walls built. Even if you do not have enough wall space for all the kids, half of them can use the wall while the other half practice passing—and then they can switch.

Hire a Coach

Soccer is a game that seems basic—until you get into it and realize how intricate the moves and tactics really are. The campers will learn more—and you will also attract more advanced players—if you hire an actual soccer coach to come teach them at least a few times during camp. Even if you just find a coach to come for an hour a day, this will provide the kids with some good instruction, and they can use "free time" during camp to get more practice. 

If you're having trouble finding coaches in your area, reach out to a local college. They may recommend some of their collegiate players who are looking for part-time work over the summer to help you out.

Create a Dedicated Field

Your players will need to practice passing and drills, but at some point, they will want to play actual games. To make this feasible, you need to have a dedicated soccer field measured off and marked. An official soccer field for high school players is between 55 and 80 yard wide and 110 and 120 yards long. Use a diagram to make sure you put the half-line and quarter-line in the right spot, and make sure you set a goal to either end of the field, too. 

You can use the soccer field for other activities as needed, but make sure you don't light camp fires or do any other activities that might leave holes or debris in the field for players to trip over. If you are really short on space, a half-size field is better than nothing. You may just have to modify the game to ensure fair play—but the coach you hire can help with that.

If you add soccer to your camp activity list, you're sure to attract some new campers this year! Kids love this sport, and it's a rather easy one to teach as long as you have a coach, a portable soccer wall, and a measured field. To learn more about your options, contact a company like URBAN SOCCER PARK.