Previously, we covered the ways that you can stand out from the crowd at a college ID camp. Today we’re going to take a step back and talk about how to find the right college ID camp to attend.

Finding the right ID camp can make the difference in which school you eventually attend, and which coaches recruit you to join their program. Camps can attract you to the school of your dreams or help you prevent yourself from playing for a coach who doesn’t match your training and playing style.

Here are five tips to know when deciding which camps to attend.

1. Know the Difference Between Multi-School Camps and Single-School Camps

Multi-school camps, or camps not directly run by a single college program, are camps that are hosted by a third party company and may have certain college coaches attending. While these generally have great instruction, the chances of you getting face time with the coach of your desire is very slim compared to single-school camps, which are run by the soccer faculty on campus.

If you have a specific program in mind that you have lots of interest in, first see if you can attend a single-school camp at their program, but feel free to attend a multi-school camp that your potential coach is attending, if the former isn’t a viable option. If you decide to do the latter, take the advice of the staff over at soccernation and contact your target coach before the camp begins.

2. Know that College ID Camps are Money-Makers for Schools

This one goes along with setting reasonable expectations for yourself. Ask your club and high school coaches for honest feedback on what level you should aim to play at, and what kind of schools are looking for players of your style, background and caliber. Just because you get an invitation to a school’s ID camp, doesn’t mean they are interested in you.

As NCSA recruiting manager Kyle Winters wrote for USA Today, determining whether or not your invitation was generic or not can help you determine whether or not the camp is trying to bring you in simply  as a paying camper or as a legitimate potential recruit.

3. Reach out to Coaches Beforehand

Don’t sign up for an ID camp expecting that paying them and signing up for their camp will automatically put you on their radar, especially for the bigger camps. Contact coaches beforehand to gauge their interest and include your recruiting video. If they respond with interest, then they’ll be much more likely to look out for you during their camp.

For information on how to create a good recruiting video, check out this guide from NCSA.

4. Research, Research, Research

During the recruiting process, there’s only so many weekends during the year that are free, especially if you’re playing a demanding club schedule on top of a demanding high school season. Going to a school only to realize it doesn’t match what you’re looking for, from an academic, personal or athletic standpoint, ends up being a waste of time and money. Make sure to look for specific traits such as academic rigor, scholarship money awarded and the quality and style of their soccer team before making your decision to attend a camp.

5. Make a Schedule

Many ID camps happen around the same time of year, and if you want to hit multiple ID camps, it’s important to make a schedule and prioritize your top choices. Websites like are resources that give the dates for some of the biggest soccer camps of the summer. Creating a calendar in your schedule and to-do lists for every school can also help keep you organized in your recruiting process.