Have you ever asked yourself what the purpose is for all the football camps that many parents attend? They often are looking to improve the exposure of their athletes to certain schools in hopes of earning a scholarship. There are so many options for football camps and the problem is figuring out which one is best for their student athletes. We have developed some guidance in ensuring that you are going to the right camps and not wasting your time. Please look at the list we have compiled in talking with many college coaches and camp experiences trough parents that have attended.
- Establish the purpose for attending. If you do not know why you are attending the camp then do not go. It is not a good reason to attend a camp just because another athlete attended. Are you trying to improve a skill set? If you are trying to get better at playing your position then you should attend a camp that has a history of developing players at your position.
- Has the school shown interest? The statistics of those that come to camps and get offered without having previously had a relationship with the coaches are slim. Have you been talking to a Coach other than the area coaches? Your position coach and coordinator are those that help make the decision in offering you a scholarship. The area coaches have an incentive in inviting many kids to the camps as it makes more money for the school. They send a high volume of invites to kids in their area to draw interest for the camps. It will be hard to get noticed if you have not had any contact with any coaches prior to the camp.
- Are you prepared? Have you been preparing in the offseason after the football season to do well in the skill and speed drills that you will be tested in? If you have not improved what will you have to offer to receive an offer? There are certain attributes that are minimums that coaches are looking for. There are D1 coaches that have told me that they do not want skill positions that cannot run a 4.5 something hand timed 40 yard dash. Have you researched the positions of the team to see what type of physical attributes these athletes display? Some coaches are only recruiting 6 feet defensive backs, so know their preferences.
- How many camps should you attend? I recommend that parents attend 3 camps per year at varying levels. Why that amount? The training effect takes time for it to work. You want to train3 weeks, rest, and then attend a camp. This ensures that you are rested enough to do your best. What is the point of going to the camp if your body cannot perform at its best? Parents that go to multiple camps in one week or three straight camps in three straight weeks do not understand the human body. The performance at the camp ends up being a $50 donation to the school. It also important to attend a division 1, 1A, and 2 camps to ensure you are exposed to multiple opportunities. It is not guaranteed that a division 1 school will offer you, but you can still attend a school with minimal debt.
- Know the numbers. Most recruiting is 90% complete by spring time and camps are in the summer. There may be 2 scholarships left by the time the camps in the summer are available if you are a rising senior. Was your preparation extraordinary enough to standout? Have you done your research in how many athletes attended the camps the year before? I have had athletes that have attended camps where there are 1,000 plus kids and they are only allowed 3 repetitions at their position all day. Do you think you can get evaluated in 3 repetitions? Do you have the test scores and GPA to attend the school? You want to have your SAT/ACT already complete if you are a rising senior as you do not want to have any hindrances to your offer?
- Real recruiting is relationship driven. The top 150 kids have their recruiting on cruise control, but the other athletes have to be strategic in obtaining exposure. We have coaches contact us all the time to find out what players are available in our region due to the established relationship. They are not just going to choose your film to watch out of the thousands of film they are sent. However, they will open Coach Sly’s information due to his pipeline or relationship he has established as being a trusted evaluator of talent. The camps should be the confirmation of the process. This means that you have been contacted by several coaches on the staff, your film has to be impressive, and the camp confirms you have the physical attributes they are looking for at your position.
Hopefully, this gave parents an idea of how to make a calculated decision on which football camps to attend this summer. It is hard for college coaches to tell you not to come to camps as their employer makes money with this vehicle. However, I had position coaches tell me that they are not recruiting certain athletes that still go to their camps. I know prior to them attending that they are just making a school donation, but every parent must decide what is best for their child.
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