prospect days, Camps & clinics
Players should be attending a Prospect Day/Camp/Clinics when they are very interested in a particular school and want to learn more about the program. Athletes should not go to these events if they have never reached out to the school before. A great way to discover Prospect Days is by introducing yourself to that college coach - Even if college coaches are prevented by NCAA Rules from responding to that particular athlete, they are able to send you their questionnaire or information about any upcoming prospect days if they are interested in learning more about you as a player. These Prospect Days are best for when you are narrowing down your recruiting process and focusing on a few selected schools because this is usually a more intimate event and is hosted by the team’s coaching staff and players. It is a great way to get on campus, and see the coaches’ coaching style, how the current teammates interact with one another, and the overall dynamic of the team. Scroll below to read more about "the Good and the Bad" of Summer Camps/Clinics.
The Pros & Cons of College Camps
article by Rex Grayner
Rex is widely considered among the nation’s premier authorities on college athletic recruiting. Before founding Student-Athlete Showcase LLC in 2003, Rex served as a NCAA Division I Compliance Representative)
The truth is, as with many college recruiting-related topics, you’re bound to find several different perspectives and various answers to questions about summer camps. So depending on your individual collegiate goals, your projected Division I or II status, your availability and your budget, perhaps you should consider the pros and cons of attending summer college camps before filling your calendar with camp dates
The Good -
The Not So Good-
Expensive. Camps aren’t cheap. In most cases, fees for overnight camps can range from $300 to $1,000, depending on the duration, format and amenities. So choose wisely.
Crowds. It’s true… tons of kids show up to these things. You might visualize a few days of 1-on-1 instruction, only to show up with 500+ other prospects who are all expecting the same thing. So do your due diligence before registering. Know how many athletes will attend and understand the teaching format. It will spare you much disappointment.
Exposure? Many camps have advertised in the past that their event was a great venue for creating national collegiate exposure. In reality, the only real exposure you should expect to receive is from the camp’s host university. In fact, NCAA passed rules which prohibit coaches from other colleges attending camps and combines off campus. So don’t attend a college camp this summer expecting national visibility, because it typically doesn’t happen.
Where? A common question among prospective campers… which camps should I attend? Your big name, Division I powerhouses attract the nation’s top prospects AND hoards of other campers every year. And it makes sense, too. Traditionally, camping at Pac 10, Big 10 and SEC-level schools were considered great resume-builders for hopeful college prospects. The problem is, most college coaches at these schools are relying on the attendance of a few key recruits. One college coach from an east coast Division I program told me that of the 400+ campers he is expecting to host, only about 7 or 8 of these athletes are on his staff’s “short list,” he called it. In fact, these were kids his staff had been corresponding with well in advance of the camp, and that the camp was a great opportunity for them to see these kids face-to-face. The other 390+ campers were sure to have fun and learn some important fundamentals, but they weren’t going to factor into any future recruiting plans with this staff.
Our message to high school athletes who are considering adding summer camps to their already incredibly busy schedules is this:
Choose your camp locations carefully. Don’t go to a camp simply because it’s being hosted by a big-name school. Instead, camp at colleges that have already shown genuine interest in you; where you have already started building relationships with their coaching staff long before the camp date. That way, camps aren’t just a place to spend 3 or 4 days and hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars. Instead, they become part of your active recruiting game plan.
Also, if you have your sights set on a particular college/university, and if you have the time and money to attend their camp, then do it! Go to their camp and have a blast. Hopefully, attending the camp will help solidify the coaches’ interest in you. But don’t put all your eggs in one basket, and don’t be incredibly surprised if the camp doesn’t produce a full-ride scholarship as a direct result of your attendance. For 99% of college prospects out there, several other stages of the recruiting process must occur before a scholarship offer is made.
Finally, remember that college camps are opportunities for YOU to evaluate the coaching staff in person as well. While college coaches have the daunting task of narrowing their list of prospects from hundreds (sometimes thousands) down to just a select few, you too need to position yourself for multiple college options, and you should put in the time to thoroughly research these choices. Spending time on college campuses and spending time with college coaches is among your best research tactics.