Playing for your travel or school team are important, but usually still insufficient, parts of your recruiting process. One of the best ways to show coaches that you can play at the collegiate level is by showcasing your skills against peers, and showcases and camps allow athletes to display their skills in front of a concentrated amount of college coaches and create connections with recruiting coordinators and schools. There are many positive aspects of going to showcases and camps, but also some drawbacks, more specifically, financial ones. Read on to weigh your options.
Pro: A concentrated amount of collegiate coaches will be present to watch you perform.
Unless you are in the upper echelon of athletes where college coaches are flocking to your games and practices, chances are you have little to no exposure in front of college coaches. Camps and showcases are the perfect places to get introduced to college coaches. Depending on what period in the recruiting calendar, you can talk to the coaches, learn more about the program, and show them what you got. Creating relationships with coaches and speaking to them at the camps is crucial to show your genuine interest in the program.
Camps and showcases are the perfect places to give the athlete equivalent of an elevator pitch to college coaches to boost your chance of playing at the next level. If the camp you attend is a high-level one you were invited to, remember that they want to see you perform to your best, so bring your best foot forward and get those connections!
Related: 6 Pros and Cons of Recruiting Camps
Pro: You will be able to showcase your skills against peers in isolated situations.
In many team sports, athletes often need help to showcase their skills to college coaches in attendance. Take football, for example. There are 22 players on the field, and if you make a great block on a 70-yard touchdown pass, the coaches may overlook your play in favor of the highlight. Camps and showcases are set up so you compete with one other person, whether pitcher vs. hitter, linebacker vs. running back, or one-on-one in basketball. If your tape shows absurd dominance against clearly inferior high school athletes, then coaches will be eager to see what you look like against similarly skilled competition. These situations help you immediately gauge your capability, and coaches will be able to see you compete against your peers. These reps are also valuable practice and bring out the best effort in each competitor.
Con: Camps and showcases are expensive, including the camp, travel, and boarding costs.
Camps and showcases could be costly unless the camp coordinator presented you with an all-expenses paid trip. Most of these camps and showcases start at a couple of hundred dollars just to be a participant, which does not include the cost of travel to the camp and the cost to stay at a local hotel or inn, as many camps are multiple days. High school athletes and their families must do their proper due diligence to ensure that the camp or showcase they are planning on attending will serve its purpose in helping them along their recruiting process as they gain exposure in front of college coaches.
Con: Many camps and showcases are created to bring in revenue instead of providing valuable exposure for the athletes.
It is easy to be fooled as a young high school athlete when many spam camp letters come from colleges across the country. Camps and showcases are only sometimes designed to have the highest tier of high school athletes compete in front of each other with college coaches in attendance. The camp may offer promises of full-fledged evaluation, multiple reps, and D1 college coaches in attendance. Still, it is a ridiculously priced camp from some reps and coaches from lower NCAA or junior college programs. Not to say that being seen by these coaches is negative, but frequently the benefits of the camp do not come close to the cost necessary to attend.
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