Summer Camps – An opportunity to be seen!

Summer is a very important time in the recruitment of high school athletes by college coaches. Participation on summer teams, in summer individual competition, or in summer camps and clinics are an opportunity to be seen by college coaches as you are participating in your sport. This has become more evident over just the past few years. We see the trend noted frequently in the sports pages as college football programs announce high school athletes committing to their program during campus visits in the spring of the junior year or during participation in summer camps held on the college campuses.

This trend is also being noted in other sports as well. During this past spring, I have been on college campuses from Carolina to the west coast and have heard comments that are very similar, particularly from sports such as soccer and volleyball. When I was on those campuses to analyze and review their athletic compliance program, I met with a sample of coaching staff members to ask them about their recruiting practices. One of my routine questions is about recruiting phone calls and how they document and monitor those phone calls so as not to violate the NCAA recruiting rules regarding permissible phone calls to recruits.

Coaches in the sports of soccer and volleyball told me that “When it becomes permissible for us to start calling prospects on July 1 following the junior year of high school, our recruiting for the upcoming class is already completed for the most part. By then, most of our recruiting has been done through e-mail contact and through camps and unofficial visits during this past year, and our phone calls are mainly just to keep in touch with prospects who have already committed to us.”

So, as much as possible, get out there this summer to participate in camps and clinics, on your summer teams, and visit college campuses as you travel this summer if possible. When visiting college campuses, contact the athletic department and ask if a coach is available to speak with you.

In addition, remember that when you are participating in summer events, and camps or clinics, that somebody is always watching how you perform, not just on the field or on the court, but how you conduct yourself on the bench, in the dugout, and during pregame warm-ups. They are watching to observe if you are going 100% on each play. Are you a team player? How do you interact with your teammates and coaches?

Enjoy your summer and go out there and have fun. And remember that each time you step out there to compete, it’s like a tryout opportunity. Even if a college coach is not watching you, your current coach is, and the college coaches are frequently asking them not only about your athletic ability but how you conduct yourself.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your individual situation, please email rick@informedathlete.com or call 913-766-1235.

About Rick Allen

25+ years NCAA Rules Expertise, including Director of Compliance at 2 major DI schools

Former President of National Association for Athletic Compliance (NAAC)

Conducts compliance reviews and audits at NCAA Schools throughout the U.S.

Consulted with NAIA schools transitioning to NCAA membership status

Dad of a DI & DII student-athlete

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6 Responses to Summer Camps – An opportunity to be seen!

  • Vincent Marino

    My daughter is a rising Junior in high school. We are going to move to Florida from North Carolina,although she wants to finish her senior year in North Carolina where she is attending currently. This summer is an important time for her to be seem by college coaches.As far as Division II softball would it be wise to play summer showcase on a team in Florida or would we get the equivelent results staying on a North Carolina showcase team and solisiting the Floia schools.

    • Hi Vincent,

      I have a couple of thoughts on this. First of all, it should be her decision where she plays this summer, because if she’s not happy and not getting along with her new teammates, she probably won’t perform as well on the field. At the least, she should be given the chance to give her input into the decision.

      The other thought is that she should play on the team that will be playing in the better tournaments and that will be seen by more coaches. She can be the top player on a very good team, but if they’re not playing at the sites where the coaches will be, she won’t get the most out of those opportunities.

      Good luck to your daughter.

      Rick

  • melanie

    Hi Rick,
    My son is interested in playing college baseball. He has attended showcases and camps and has gained attention by 2 NAIA schools. My question is, how important is it for him to letter in High School this year? He is a junior in high school and was selected for the Junior Varsity team. Only Varsity players are awarded letters. Also, is it more important to play for a HS summer legion team or should a player tryout for a travel team?

    thanks,
    Melanie

    • Hi Melanie,

      What is most important to college coaches is the skill level of the player. They will want to see the player’s swing, or pitching mechanics, defensive skills, speed, etc. Those are more important than whether the player received a varsity letter.

      The more important question about summer ball is where your son will have a chance to get alot of playing time. Especially since he’s on the JV team as a junior.

      Rick

  • Sherry

    Rick,
    My son has received a handful of summer football camp (one day prospect camps, mostly) brochures and corresponding questionaires from a few of those schools. Currently we are looking at him going to at least 2 or 3 camps. As before, two are ivy league schools. The camps cost about $100 each. My question is,are the schools permitted to comp/waive these fees? One school wrote specifically hightligthing the importance of him attending the prospect camp. So can they waive? Thanks

    • Sherry,

      The schools are not permitted to waive those camp registration fees. Because your son will be visiting schools for junior days and camps, you may be interested in our “Informed Athlete’s Guide to Campus Visits.” It includes tips on questions to ask and things to look for when visiting campuses. Here is a link to the Guide to Campus Visits, which can be purchased from the Store of our website:

      http://www.informedathlete.com/informed-athletes-guide-to-campus-visits?cid=187

      Rick

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