Elevate Your Game and Enjoy A Great Outdoor Adventure in Lake Tahoe — as a player or with your youth soccer team
The benefits of training at a high altitude are well known and this ‘secret’ has been used by the top competitive athletes to improve their potential and enhance their skills for decades. We all love soccer – but the experts remind us that it is important to have a balanced athletic experience so why not take your game to the next level by high altitude training while you enjoy a real story book summer camp experience in gorgeous Lake Tahoe in a private 32 acre camp with a private beach?
Tahoe Training Camps is taking heightening youth player development as their innovative camp combines outdoor fun and soccer training at 6,255 ft
Held in breathtaking Sierra Nevada, these unique youth soccer camps are customizable by coaches & clubs — and can incorporate soccer-based yoga as well as outdoors activities like canoeing, swimming and team building challenges to provide players with a break from the routine of training.
Remember, this is summer and a well-rounded athlete makes a great soccer player.
Youth Soccer News: When looking for a great soccer camp to enroll your youth soccer player, many factors go into your decision. Parents, players and coaches often ask what is the extra benefit? In a sea of soccer camps trying to differentiate themselves from the mix, Tahoe Training Camps (TTC) stands out from the mix as a great alternative.
Elite players always want to push themselves and training at a high altitude provides a fantastic edge.
Much more to offer than ordinary soccer camp, Tahoe Training camps is a great choice for an individual player looking to have a blast and enhance their skills and stamina this summer. Also a great choice for a team wanting a real edge on the upcoming competitive soccer season, Tahoe Training Camps can customize a program to match a youth soccer club’s philosophy. Last summer, one of the top MLS’ Development Academies sent their teams to train at TTC and loved the results.
Reconnecting at the 2017 NSCAA Convention, Diane Scavuzzo’s GoalNation interviewed CEO and Founder Leon Abravanel on what makes his program special.
Diane Scavuzzo: First of all, Lake Tahoe is a beautiful area but why should elite soccer players come to Tahoe Training Camps instead of other soccer camps ? Are there real benefits of altitude training?
Leon Abravanel: Absolutely. There are benefits to soccer training at a 6,000+ ft — that is the reason why national teams, olympians and professional athletes have their training camps at high altitude.
The benefits of high altitude training are vast, but to sum it up, the two categories of benefits are physical and mental.
- Physical Benefits – When you are training in Lake Tahoe, you automatically lose 20% of your oxygen — the less oxygen you have in your body, the harder your body has to work — therefore every minute spent training at altitude makes you physically stronger and more fit. Your body will be optimized and your fitness will be at a much higher level when you leave.
- Mental Benefits – Since you have to work harder while training in Tahoe, your mental toughness increases. You have to push yourself harder mentally to complete any task. Even in technical training, you have to work hard, which means your mind has to be tougher and more focused. When you go back down to sea level, your mind and your body will be optimized.
Diane Scavuzzo: Do you feel the change in altitude immediately?
Leon Abravanel: The first day is the hardest because your body is adjusting to being at 6,225 ft and the lack of oxygen. Then your body adjusts and you will be flying on all cylinders.
When you go back to sea level, you will feel fitter, more focused and less fatigued.
Diane Scavuzzo: What can they do to prepare?
Leon Abravanel: Come to camp in shape because the higher your starting point, the higher your end point will be. You will get more from camp if you are in shape.
For example, a college soccer player does not go into their preseason camp out of shape, they go into camp in mid-level shape then preseason takes them to their peak.
Diane Scavuzzo: To set expectations, what advice do you have on training at a high altitude?
Advice for an athlete – Always start slow, do not overexert yourself in your first training session. This may be counter intuitive, but the best way to use the altitude as an advantage is to start slow then ramp up the intensity once your body is used to the altitude.
Advice for a coach – To maximize your team’s time at altitude, keep your training sessions about 15% shorter, and always end the session with some type of fitness for 5-10 minutes only. The first two sessions at altitude should be short, then progressively make them longer as your team acclimates.
Diane Scavuzzo: What do you think makes a great player great?
Leon Abravanel: The game is soccer is a journey whose trajectory in never linear. There are ups and downs — that is why it is vital for youth players to learn how to be mentally resilient. Our mental performance curriculum does just that; it teaches our campers how to be mentally tough, strong, and ultimately resilient.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is your mental conditioning program?
Leon Abravanel: Mental Conditioning has the same connotation as physical conditioning — but you are training the mind instead of the body.
The mind, like a soccer technique, is a habit learned through repetition over time.
At TTC, we give players tools to train their mind, and then practice these tools over and over again until they become engrained into each player.
TTC’s Mental Performance Coach, Tim Mitchell, hosts mental performance sessions every morning on goal setting, tips on mental toughness and how to increase it.
We incorporate mental conditioning into our camps because we believe it is the most overlooked aspect of player development in the U.S. The mental game is invisible, but it is usually the deciding factor between success and failure.
Diane Scavuzzo: What else can players expect?
Leon Abravanel: Tahoe Training Camps has a comprehensive approach to player development. Our camp curriculum is created by Partick Ianni, former 9 year MLS Player and USMNT Olympian.
Our camp is more effective then other soccer camps because we physically train 3-4 hours per day, instead of 6-8 hours. This allows the player to not “burn out” on day one and waste the remaining days because they are sore & exhausted.
Because we are at altitude, these 3-4 hours of physical training give players more “bang for their buck” and allow us to focus on the remainder of the athlete.
Our curriculum focuses on: mental conditioning, soccer yoga & injury prevention, nutrition, character building, and fun Tahoe outdoor activities in addition to traditional soccer training.
Besides beach soccer, Futsal, field sessions and soccer yoga, players can enjoy zip lining, alpine roller coasters, rock climbing, beach time, swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking and just relaxing down time.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is the player to coach ratio?
Leon Abravanel: We believe in helping develop the individual player and keep a low 10 to 1 player to coach ratio.
Diane Scavuzzo: Sounds great — I want to go …
Leon Abravanel: Yes, we are different than most typical soccer camps. We are the leaders in comprehensive player development in the camp space. We focus on all levels of the soccer player and package it in a safe, fun environment.
The icing on the cake is that the camp is in Lake Tahoe — one of the most beautiful places in the world and at high altitude, which maximizes the benefits of training.
Diane Scavuzzo: Can a coach design his or her own program?
Leon Abravanel: Yes, our team camps are 100% customized by the team’s coaching staff — the coach tells us what they want – we coordinate it for them
If you come with your youth soccer team, TTC’s Team Building Experts will create rigorous and challenging customize team building workshops that are specific to each team.
We believe team bonding is one of most overlooked aspects of player development in this country. It is great for a team to come to TTC — from the time they get on the team bus until they return home, they are building vital relationships with their teammates. This bond elevates their chemistry and is often the glue they need to be successful on the field.
Our team building expert will take teams through a customized workshop where players will learn how to be a great teammate, how to be a leader in their own right, understanding responsibility to their team, how to collectively focus as a team and how to deal with issues within the team.
Diane Scavuzzo: What Academy club has taken advantage of your facilities?
Leon Abravanel: San Jose Earthquakes Developmental Academy came up last summer and loved it.
“Tahoe Training Camps was the best preseason camp we could have done for our academy teams,” said Alex Saunders, San Jose Earthquakes DA.
“We got fit, worked out important kinks in each team, learned a lot about each other, and bonded our teams before their DA season. I highly recommend TTC for any team looking to have a successful season,” said Saunders.
Diane Scavuzzo: Are you only looking for elite players and teams?
Leon Abravanel: No, no matter what level player you are, our mission remains the same to elevate your game.
We want to help all players get to their next level.
Diane Scavuzzo: What’s is the difference between the three night and the five night sessions?
Leon Abravanel: Simply the price — everything else is the same. We want to make our camps accessible and affordable for all players and teams.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is a typical day at your camp?
- 6:30am Wake Up
- 6:45am Jog & Stretch
- 7:15am Soccer Yoga & Injury Prevention
- 7:45am Breakfast
- 8:15am Mental Performance Seminar
- 9-10am Free Time
- 10-noon Soccer Training (field, futsal or beach)
- Noon-1pm Lunch
- 1:30-3pm Beach Soccer & Futsal OR ‘Tahoe Adventure Activity’
- 3-4pm Beach Time (swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, relaxing)
- 4-6pm Rest & Free Time
- 6-7pm Dinner
- 7pm Soccer Yoga
- 8-9pm TTC Speaker Series (optimal nutrition of a soccer athlete, how to get
- recruited, what it takes to layer pro soccer etc)
- 9-10pm Campfire & Snack time
- 10:30pm Lights Out