Posted by Team, 14th February 2020
GIS has been running soccer camps across North America for the better part of a decade. Sometimes we create trends, other times we follow trends. One trend that is evident across the board is a year-to-year decrease in registrations for our camps hosted by our youth club partners. There are plenty of reasons for this: 1) Newness wears off 2) Your player skips the local camp because they’ve been accepted into the National Camp program 3) Your player didn’t qualify for the national camp the previous camp and was upset or discouraged or 4) Some combination of schedule, costs, skepticism, and the above.
With this in mind, we have analyzed feedback from players, parents, clubs, and coaches on why it’s important to support your local GIS camp in 2020. Here’s what we’ve found…
1) Supporting a GIS Camp supports your Coach
The #1 thing that sets GIS apart from other companies that use professional clubs is that our coaching staff are ACTUALLY from the professional clubs. This is important because when these coaches visit your club it provides an immediate and free coaching education opportunity for your club’s coaches. They are able to observe, ask questions, and learn a different method or philosophy right at their club without having to spend a dime of their own money. In addition, a successful camp allows your club to make extra income that can be invested into more coaching education. Coaches are the lifeblood of a club and the more we can provide for them, the better we can serve you and your club.
2) Supporting a GIS Camp supports your Club
Usually, camps run by a 3rd party such as GIS results in very little or nothing is given back to the youth club. Professional Club partnerships and programs tend to be VERY one-sided in this industry. However, at GIS our goal is to always provide a financial split to the Partner Club. In the last 2 years, GIS has given nearly a quarter of a million dollars back to youth clubs across North America. These financial bumps go to scholarships, coaching education, equipment, coaching bonuses, tournaments, and so much more for your club. With that said, there are times where a camp has low numbers and we are unable to do so.
3) Supporting a GIS Camp supports your player’s Development
Nothing compares to the excitement of that first year West Ham, Wolves, Schalke, etc come to your club. Everything is new! A new voice, new coach, new concepts, new drills. It’s understandable that a player would be less excited the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th year of the camp. However, just because the excitement wears off doesn’t mean the camp is less impactful. As a player gets older, the focus begins to shift: Instead of strictly technically focused drills the sessions begin to involve more game-like scenarios, also the coach becomes more demanding, and the coaching becomes much more detailed and specific. If a player only attends the first GIS Camp, they will miss out on the year-to-year development opportunity.
Another way that GIS camps aid in a player’s development is by teaching them the value of hearing “no”. The majority of players that participate in a GIS Camp are not invited to the national camp. Our hope is that these players use this as motivation to practice more and work harder to perform better the following year. Unfortunately, the data shows us that most players told “no” do not return. Why? Hard to say exactly. It could be that the parents don’t like having to tell their player that they didn’t qualify or could be that they’ve never been told no before and don’t handle it well. We aren’t sure. Regardless, we don’t shy away from this. Most of the best athletes of all time had to handle adversity at some point and were told no. Michael Jordan not making the cut for his high-school varsity team is arguably the most famous example. Trust us, it would be 100xs easier for us to just give everyone an invite to the national camp. But we believe there is value in a player hearing no and learning how to use that as motivation. A player will fail more times than not in any given game or training or life, so, it’s hugely important for players to learn how to deal with failure and use it to get better.
4) Supporting a GIS camp supports your teammates
Every year we have players that are unable to attend their local GIS camp and have to look forward to the following year. However, there are times where there is no following year and they miss out on the opportunity to learn from the coaches and possibly qualify for the national camp. So, even if your player has qualified for the national camp, it is still important to participate in your local camp to provide that same opportunity to others! Not only that, but we also want those players to have a great experience at their local camp. More players mean better training, more coaches, and higher quality. Fewer players mean lower-quality training i.e. 9-year-olds are having to train with 12-year-olds and the quality of the experience drops significantly. We want the camp to become even better every year!
Now, obviously this is a biased opinion. After all, you’re reading this on the GIS Blog. However, it doesn’t make these points untrue. Yes, of course, we want our camps to be bigger because that’s what supports our business, but we honestly believe we are providing a high-quality service to you that is worth participating in year after year. So please partner with us in 2020 and help us serve you and your club better than ever before. Support your local GIS Camp!
To register for your local camp go to gis.configio.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find a camp near you.