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For a prospective college goalkeeper the recruiting process can be intimidating. Money and time are limited. With so many college camps and recruiting combine which do you attend? Are they worth it? YES BUT do your research.
I remember being excited to receive invitations from college coaches. Be selective on the recruiting combines and camps that you attend. Do your research on each recruiting combine. Which goalkeeper coaches will be there? Will you be training with them or are they just observing? College soccer programs use camps as a way to fundraise for the program and at times supplement the goalkeeper coach’s salary. Recruiting combines are big business. Coaches are paid to attend large recruiting combines.
There is a value in attending recruiting camps such as to meet the coaches and overcoming performance issues. Meeting coaches and performing in a group with your fellow goalkeepers can be intimidating. Overcoming performance anxiety, fear of making a mistake, and learning to relax is a skill and does not come easy to teenage goalkeepers.
Goalkeepers are being recruited earlier. What is the best age to attend? Answer is when you want to learn. There are some great goalkeeper camps run by college coaches. Attend to learn the art of goalkeeping. The secondary benefit is you could be on the recruiting list. Female goalkeepers it is a good idea to attend recruiting camps in your sophomore and junior year when you feel you are ready to showcase your goalkeeper skills. Male goalkeepers in my experience are not ready for this physically or mentally until junior year but again attend to learn and when you think you are ready. Coaches want to meet you to see if you will be a good addition to the goalkeeper core and challenge the others. First impressions matter but good coaches can see the potential in an aspiring goalkeeper.
Meet the soccer coaches and attend camps to develop a relationship with the coaching staff and goalkeeper coach. Attending a recruiting camp will give you an opportunity to not only showcase your talent but experience their training styles. See if you can learn and develop with the coaching staff.