CHICKASHA – For its 12th year in a row, Drover soccer will be hosting the USAO Soccer Camp, a co-ed residential camp designed to provide intensive soccer training for overall player development.
The camp, set this year from July 13-15, will take place at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. As in years past, campers will stay on campus in dorm rooms under 24-hour adult supervision for the three-day camp and will train on the university’s playing field and practice field.
“USAO Camp is proven to be one of the best camps available to the dedicated soccer player. It is a camp that will improve a player not only technically but tactically as well,” said Alexis Vizarelis, assistant camp director and USAO assistant coach. “We do things the Drover Way, which means we have a really talented, qualified staff that will raise your level so that you’re ready to take on the new season.”
After more than a decade, the camp has attracted attention of state and regional talent, including current and former NAIA and NCAA Division I players.
“Coach (Jimmy) Hampton is proud of the camp, and we really love having new players and new talent on campus,” Vizarelis said. “I always think it’s really great to see every field on campus full of soccer players trying to get better. That’s my favorite aspect of camp.”
Each day of the camp offers players a chance to improve skills and abilities between the two daily training sessions and games in the evenings. Also mixed into the camp fun is a swim session in USAO’s pool, a six-versus-six tournament and a talent show.
Campers will be placed on teams for training sessions and games based on age and ability. Each team will be assigned a coach who works specifically with their players on technical and tactical aspects of the game.
Additionally, the camp offers special goalkeeper training that is separate from field players. The training will include basic technique and handling, footwork, mobility and positioning, shot stopping and crosses and distribution.
“The advantage is that this specific goalkeeping training prepares goalkeepers not only technically but also psychologically for games,” said Vizarelis, a former NAIA All-American goalkeeper. “The emphasis on our goalkeeper training is to improve the keeper’s ability to manage and win games.”
Registration for the camp is $285, which includes meals, two nights of lodging, a camp T-shirt, a soccer ball and a personal evaluation. High school coaches attending with a team are invited to stay for free.
The camp, hosted by camp director Jimmy Hampton, USAO head men’s and women’s soccer coach, and assistant camp director Alexis Vizarelis, the Drovers’ lead assistant for both programs. Also helping will be assistant coaches Tony Orsi and Tommy Hubbard as well as current Drover players and former campers.
A trainer will be on duty and will attend all soccer sessions throughout the camp’s duration.
This year, the camp will include a College Prep Meeting for campers who are interested in continuing their playing career into the college level.
Together, Hampton and Vizarelis have led the Drovers to 10 conference titles and six national tournament appearances between men’s and women’s soccer at USAO. Combined, Hampton has coached 32 NAIA All-Americans and 30 NAIA Scholar-Athletes through his 15 years at the university.
Applicants should register online here. An online registration processing fee will apply.