Elite ID Summer Camp Provides Aspiring College Soccer Players with Interactive Coaching Experience
Written by Emily Jodway
Grand Rapids, Mich.- MTS Events hosted its annual Elite ID Camp at the MSA Fieldhouse in Grand Rapids from July 10-12, a camp geared toward soccer players aspiring to play college soccer. Each day includes technical, tactical, physical, and psychological training concepts. Each day also utilizes competitive small-sided and full-sided games with competitive players from across the state. Every year, the camp gives players a chance to showcase their talent and abilities for highly experienced college coaches from Division I, II, III, and NAIA schools, with hands-on coaching and advice from the coaches themselves throughout the week.
Each day included drills, skill development, and pickup games with fellow competitive soccer players from across the state, all administered by college coaches as they shared their knowledge of the game, the recruiting process, and the life of a college student-athlete. Players walked away from a successful and informational ID Camp experience with experiences to prepare them for the next level of play.
One of the most unique elements of Elite ID Camp is a player’s ability to work closely and discuss with coaches the world of college soccer. “A camp like this for the players is great, they get exposure to coaches of all different levels, styles, they get to know the personalities of the coaches a little bit,” said Ferris State University women’s soccer head coach Andy McCaslin, in his sixth season with the Bulldogs. “That’s really cool for the kids, because sometimes there’s that impression that coaches are kind of standoffish or they aren’t allowed talk to you.
While a college identification camp has great perks for an aspiring next-level player, the coaches also benefit from attending. Working up close with the players gives coaches a unique chance to work face-to-face with players they may not have seen in action yet, all while being able to get information out to them about their own programs and what kind of players they might be looking for.
Head coach for Aquinas women’s soccer Lewis Robinson points to the player’s ability to work with coaches from all different levels, each heading up a team with their own playing style, so that they are able to leave the camp having learned something new from their sessions and seeing which coaches they might have particularly enjoyed working with. “From our side, it’s great as a coach just to see these different players playing in a challenging environment, where they’re not comfortable and they don’t know everybody and they’re adapting to new ideas all week, and we get to kind of challenge them on the field and just see how they work,” Robinson said.
As for what coaches might be looking for when they attend recruitment camp and work with high school soccer players, Michigan State and Butler University assistant coaches Cale Wassermann and Jason Perry gave insight on some of the specifics a coach takes note of throughout the college recruitment process.
“Obviously the first thing that’s going to stand out is somebody that’s working hard, bringing the energy, if they’re vocal, if they’re communicating- I think that shows that they want to be there, that they have that competitive drive,” Wassermann said. He also noted the importance of talent and execution within each position on the field, and a player’s specific awareness and skills as midfielder, goalkeeper, defender, or attacker.
Perry took a unique angle to his take on the type of players that Butler looks for, citing players that excel in their technique and speed, especially under pressure in tight game situations, but also how having a humble, levelheaded personality can benefit a team.
“We also want people that have a good personality…there’s times in the game where things are going to be going well, or things are going to be going wrong, and we want to see how that person deals with adversity as well as triumph,” Perry said. “We want to make sure we have a good balanced player that can pick players and themselves up when things are not going well, but also, if things are going well, can keep a humble head and keep themselves motivated to make sure that we work towards the goal that we want to achieve as a team.” All four coaches’ full interviews from day three of Elite ID Camp are available to watch at the bottom of this article.
MTS Event’s 13th annual Elite ID Camp had another successful year, with talented players and highly successful college coaches alike in attendance. For more information on upcoming college identification camps, visit www.eliteidcamps.com.
About MTS Events
Established in 2007, MTS Events provides a turnkey solution to all your sporting event needs, including the setup, marketing and logistics involved in any successful sporting event. Located in downtown Grand Rapids, MTS Events is a growing, event management business that is focused on creating a positive event experience for everyone involved including players, coaches, spectators and staff.