Updated: Dec 24, 2019
Camps can be great places to get seen by a specific school. Every high school baseball player has a dream school that they want to go to. However, sometimes it can be difficult to get in front of those coaches during your regular travel ball schedule due to the school being located far away or the shear number of travel ball games all over the country nearly year-round. This is where camps can come into play, as they guarantee the opportunity to get in front of a specific school’s coaches. However, there are several things to keep in mind when going to camps.
· They are expensive. Some schools charge over $300 dollars for a one day camp.
· Camps usually only show tools. With the opportunities presented above to show off your skills, schools only let kids show off their raw talent. By that I mean the measurables like speed, arm strength, and power. They give no opportunity to show baseball IQ, competitiveness, toughness, and so many other things that go into making a great baseball player. If you are like I was and don't have those tools, camps may not be a smart investment. I was not going to stand out at these events because I was not above-average in any of those categories. This made is nearly impossible for me to get noticed at these camps. I wish that I never did a single one because I could have used that time and money in so many other ways to enhance my development. That is what I really needed. The bottom line is, you need to be honest with yourself and if you are not going to impress the coaches with your tools, rely on a different strategy.
· That school might not have a need at your position. No matter who you are, how fast you run, or how hard you throw (unless you are a superstar), the school you want to look at, may have no needs at your position. For example, if you are a catcher and want to go to your hometown school but they have already recruited their catchers for your class, then there is no point trying to spend hundreds of dollars to go to their camp. So, contact the school before you sign up and make sure they still have a need at your position by emailing or calling one of their coaches. This will ensure you are not wasting your time and money going to this camp and will put your name in their head which will get them to pay attention when you get you chance to show your skills. Almost no kids contact coaches like this because they are nervous or scared to talk to them, DON’T BE ONE OF THOSE KIDS. Coaches want grown-ups on their team so act like one and whatever you do, DO NOT HAVE ONE OF YOUR PARENTS DO IT FOR YOU
-Volunteer assistant coaches make almost all of their income on camps. The NCAA still does not allow for a paid 3rd assistant coach in baseball (this is an outrageous rule that must be changed, but that is an argument for another time). This means that the only way they get paid at all is through running these camps. They will obviously take notice if you command their attention, but they do not put on these camps with the expectation of signing any new recruits out of them. I am not saying these camps are a bad idea or that it is impossible to get recruited from one, but you should know the schools view of these camps before you decide to pay hundreds of dollars.
-THINGS TO TAKE-AWAY
---- Be honest with yourself. If you don’t have the tools to impress the coaches in a camp setting, use that time and money for development (THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR CAREER IS GET STRONGER)
---- Find out before you sign up if that school has a need at your position and if it doesn’t, use that time and money for development. For example, us the money to train top notch lifting facility…notice a trend here?