There comes a time in most young athletes lives when they concern themselves with the next progression in their sporting career. Here in the USA the biggest step is in the direction of college so it is important on many levels to be as prepared as possible.
We at GKHQ want to offer the best advice to our keepers pursuing a collegiate career and with our links to many different colleges and college coaches we have simplified the info necessary to make the best decisions regarding College Identification clinics.
There are basically two different types of ID clinics one can attend.
1) School Specific clinics. 2) ID Clinics like Future500 or EXACT
SCHOOL SPECIFIC CLINICS
School specific clinics like this summer’s Yale / Wesleyan ID clinic in July provide great opportunities to prospective student athletes to show their skills over several occasions to the coaches at a college or colleges where they wish to attend.
As a college coach I highly recommend these clinics if you do know exactly where you want to go based on location, education etc…
It is always recommended that you narrow your school search to a maximum of 10 as you progress through your high school years especially if you have a goal to go play soccer somewhere that is achievable.
The benefits of attending school specific ID clinics is simply exposure to the coaches of your choice.
It is also likely that school specific ID clinics will invite coaches from surrounding areas to attend also.
NON SPECIFIC ID CLINICS
These clinics can be useful and the biggest benefit lies in the fact that you can get exposure to a multitude of coaches at one time.
Sometimes these can be a catalyst for players to meet a coach and connect with them, possibly leading to a more specific ID clinic in the future.
Having coached a few of these clinics I know that the numbers can at times be huge and that the quality of player varies significantly when there are coaches from all types of schools in attendance.
Players sometimes do get to see a coach from the school of their choice as coaches in attendance vary in their coaching background so if you are doing your homework and see that your dream college is sending their coach to a clinic like this then you may want to go meet him or her.
PROS and CONS
There are pros and cons to both.
The mass ID clinics tend to be more affordable and in one location with many coaches which means less travel.
If you have a few schools you want to go to and you want to go to their clinics every time they host one then travel and costs can be significant.
Going to specific clinics lets the coach know your intent on going to that school and can allow you to build a stronger rapport especially if it is a multi day clinic.
From experience in the college world I know that players have been selected from specific clinics much more often than in generic clinics.
Marty Walker – Yale Women’s GK Coach
If you have any specific questions regarding ID Camps, please contact Marty@GoalkeeperHQ.com
Please also see the following articles, which although not directly related, may help with ID Clinics.