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Football camps

Football camps are an amazing way to build team spirit, increase skill levels and strengthen club loyalty, but they are also a great way to create extra revenue for your club. 

Whether you’re a grassroots youth team or a semi-professional club, planning your camp effectively is essential. 

Read on to discover seven easy steps to planning a successful football camp. 

Step one – Define your offering

There are so many exciting possibilities when it comes to football camps. Do you want to offer targeted camps for goalkeepers, forwards or defenders? Do you want to run “Experience life as a pro club player” camps? Or how about even just a pre-season camp with professional coaches? 

The options are endless, which is why it’s important to focus on what you’re offering to meet the needs of your ideal participant. 

Ask yourself the following questions:

  •       What is the aim of this camp? Childcare during school holidays? Pre-season? Team building? Just for fun?
  •       What age is it for? Children or adults?
  •       Is it for male or female players or both?
  •       What level of player are we aiming to attract? Beginners, advanced or professional?
  •       Is it a residential camp or a local daily camp that takes place during the working day?
  •       Is it for international players or local players?
  •       Is it a very high-end, luxury offering with the highest quality coaching, equipment and facilities available or is it community-based and open to anyone who has an interest? 

Once you’ve decided what exactly it is that you’re offering, you can begin to work out costings and plan to make your idea a reality. 

Step two –  Make sure you have the right facilities for your camp

At the very least you’re going to need a pitch, changing room and access to toilets and water. But remember, you’ll also need things like cones, bibs, speed ladders and shalom poles for the training aspect of your camp. Are those things provided by your venue or are they something you’ll have to invest in? 

Also bear in mind that the facilities you choose should reflect the quality of your offering. A high-end camp where parents are paying thousands of pounds will need high-quality facilities, whereas a holiday camp for school children can be much more basic.

Step three – Consider the logistics

When setting up a camp, the more detailed you are, the less chance there is for mistakes or oversights. Consider the following?

  •       Is it easy for children to be dropped off?
  •       If the weather is bad is there an alternative inside area you can also use?
  •       Where will your participants eat?
  •       Are their toilets nearby?
  •       Is there easy access to drinking water?
  •       Are there any potential safety hazards and if so, what procedures can you put in place to address them? 

If it’s a residential camp, you also have to consider: 

  •       Sleeping accommodation
  •       Catering facilities
  •       Eating area for breakfast and dinner
  •       An on-site area for eating
  •       Staff to serve and make food
  •       An area for other activities and entertainment
  •       A first aid station and dedicated first-aider
  •       Overnight security 

Detailed planning may feel like hard work. However, it will make running the camp much more straightforward.

Step four – Work on the financials

It’s really important when organising your football camp to come up with a business plan that clearly outlines all of your outgoings. Once you have that figure, you can start to work out how many participants you’ll need to cover your costs and even make a profit if that’s your aim.

 Costs will include:

  •       Venue hire (pitch, changing facilities etc)
  •       Equipment hire or purchase of balls, cones and bibs
  •       Staff for non-coaching aspects such as catering, safety or security
  •       Coaches

If you’re organising a local camp, you may be able to secure some funding from your county’s FA branch. It’s also a good idea to gauge how much parents or participants are willing to pay. See what similar football camps are charging to get a comparison. 

Step five – Organise the behind the scenes

When first planning your football camp, it’s essential you’ve taken care of all the legal and insurance issues. Having to abandon your camp because you’ve overlooked a small detail would be a disaster, especially if people have already paid and parents are relying on the camp for childcare. 

Here are some things you need to do:

Inform your local authority

You must let your local authority know what you’re doing so they can make you aware of any possible guidelines for local camps. Some of these procedures may take time to put in place so give yourself plenty of time to implement them.

Get insured

Under the FA’s rules, you’ll need both public liability insurance and personal accident insurance.

If you’re working with children, make sure everyone on the team has been CRB checked

Any professional coach should have had an up-to-date CRB check, but it’s essential to see evidence of this. Other staff like catering or the security team, should also have an up-to-date check.

Step six – Promote your camp

Once everything is in place, it’s time to spread the word about your camp. Here are some ways to let people know what you’re offering:

Partner with schools

Tell local schools about your camp if it’s taking place during a school holiday. Parents often struggle to find childcare over the holidays and always appreciate a fun and enjoyable camp to solve that problem.

Post on social media

Ask to post in local Facebook groups. If you have your own social media channels then post fun photos and videos that show the sort of activities you do. Remember though to get consent from your participants or their parents before posting.

Create a WhatsApp group

Contact existing members with details about your camp. This is very easy to do on WhatsApp. Also encourage members to share the information with friends and family who might be interested

Advertise in your local paper

Lots of people still get their local information from their local free newspaper, so get an eye-catching ad that clearly shows what your camp offers.

Promote your camp on Google and other search engines

Whether your camp is local or international, you want it to be as easy to discover as possible. If it pops up at the top of a page when someone types in “football camp” you have a much higher chance of being noticed by the right people. Make it easier for people to find you in search engines by reading our article: How to get your club’s website ranking on Google.

Step seven – Work smarter, not harder

Using the right club admin system will save you time and money in the long run. LoveAdmin can replace emails or paper invoices and make it easy for your customers to register and pay. It also allows them to upload and safely store all relevant documents that need to be provided. 

Whether you’re a football academy or grassroots football club, our software can help to transform the way you organise your camps.

Although it may seem like a daunting task, by organising a football camp either locally or internationally, you’ll be bringing fun and fitness to people who love football as much as you do.

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