Summer football camps are the best way to put together your lineup for the recruiting process. It is always interesting when talking with athletes about what their plans are for summer football camps. These camps are obviously an important part of the recruiting process and something that needs some serious thought from both the athlete and their parents. What is most interesting when speaking with them is when they say their dad has signed them up to a State University and they will attend other big time programs around the country.
If your family is financially stable and you grew up following USC, Texas, Ohio State, or any other national powerhouse, then there is nothing wrong with going to their camps for the experience. But if you go in thinking that you have a chance to get a scholarship offer from one of these schools, chances are extremely high that you will end up mistaken. To get the best bang for your buck and be evaluated during the football recruiting camp process, here are some things to consider before mailing in that check or entering those credit card numbers of your parents.
There are many summer football camps that perform on the same week. My suggestion in this situation is to primarily think about all the schools that have shown you interest up to this point. When I say interest I mean as in more than a camp invite and a questionnaire. For example, ten schools are showing you interest and have sent hand written letters as well as invited you to games. Aside from those ten schools, two programs have already stepped up early and called while another has stopped by your high school and spoken with you.
Now go to the website of all thirteen of these schools (this will be time consuming but a good way to keep a handle of things). If you search around on their football page, there should be a link that shows camps (there may also be a camp link on the main athletics page that has additional camp information for all sports). Get a calendar and write down the dates for all the camps that may apply to you. There may also be other “senior only” camps that may require an invite so see what the coaches say if you have opportunities to speak with them.
What you want to do here is get a feel for when the dates of the camps are. This will help you determine if you can get to camps at State University A, State University B, and a school like Notre Dame. I would then try to rank the interest the schools recruiting you have shown. For example, the two that have contacted you should be on the top of the list. The ten that have mailed letters are next followed by the one program that stopped by your school (expect them to hand out some camp invites ).
If money, travel, and time are not an issue, I would make sure to attend the two camps that called. They obviously are interested in you so it is important to get evaluated at their camps. A scholarship is the goal but being evaluated is what you need to do to get there. These camps are the ones you should be attending but I would hold off on sending back the payment. The reason being is what happens if you signed up for four days at this camp and suddenly State University C comes to the table with a call and both camps are on the same week. If you don’t receive calls outside of these three, I would attend them all as well as a camp that may be great for teaching and another for stretching. A stretch camp should take place at a school and you may think its not necessary but it could make a difference towards your scholarship goal while making an impact with recruiters.
In most situations, you will also need to speak with the college coaches about attending one day camps. I will talk more about this topic later during the week but one day camps are definitely something you should be doing. If the coaches are true experts, they should be able to evaluate you during that period and get a feel for your skills. If they really like you, they will make an offer. They may continue to evaluate you but attending three days at the camp isn’t very beneficial, especially if there are hundreds of other kids there.
One day camps are the way to go because they save money and allow you more flexibility in attending different camps. If the three camps I mentioned earlier are all in the same week, then one day camps are the only way to make this happen.
Once the month of May is nearing a close, I would suggest you re-evaluate the overall attention that you’ve been receiving. Considering where schools stand with calls and then contacting the coaches yourself and speaking with them about possibly attending one day of their camp. In all honesty, if you are a priority to them and they know you will be there, they should have more than enough time to evaluate your skills. This is the best way to go about the camp process while saving money and going to schools that really are interested in you. Any validated exposure camp is a bonus because it allows you to get your name on someone’s radar. Remember every day you procrastinate is a day your student-athlete is not being recruited.
Last and not least a lot of parents get inundated with the venues of the camp and professional athletes. Nowadays you can have a camp whatever you choose that’s what the public relations department is there for. It is very difficult to be a parent these days because there are so many games and camps all over the country, and it can be a little overwhelming at times. As parent you just have to make sure if you want your student-athlete to gain exposure, get recruited, and get your athlete’s name on the radar, make sure that entity has relationships with various schools and is affiliated with a national publication to promote. The first step of the recruiting process is getting your name of the radar and that is why we are having a IV Star Exposure Camp July 28 at St. Joes in Montvale, NJ to help student-athletes get evaluated properly with the best coaches on the eastern seaboard and help to assist them in the recruiting process in its totality.