Two false statements I often hear players state about their summers that I want to speak to:
Q: “I don’t want to jam pack my summer with hockey because I don’t want to get burnt out!”
A: You only get burnt out if you aren’t having a good time. If you only do showcases and college camps all summer you most likely will be stressed and start to feel burnt out (who woulda thunk?!) So, add a fun camp where you can also work on your skillsets and not have the stress of recruitment. I am biased, but I HIGHLY suggest EuroTour and World Camp to improve your game greatly while having a lot fun – this will also prevent you from getting burnt out. (When I did EuroTour it actually made me fall back in love with the game because you train with all European kids who only play for fun. In Europe, they don’t play for their schools and colleges – they don’t even know what recruiting is!! Very refreshing!)
Now you can go ahead and jam-pack your summer with hockey and NEVER get burnt out!
Q: “I have to do their college camp in order to get recruited by them”:
A: You do need to be seen by a college coach to be recruited by them – this is very very important. Keep in mind, you do not have to go to their camp. I personally never went to a college camp however I did go to the showcases that my top schools coaches’ were at. Also, I had a professional resume and field hockey video and I was very active with emailing and calling these coaches to get the video and resume in their hands.
In addition, I went to a lot of campuses and introduced myself to the coaches so they could put a face to the name. (It’s ALL about sales!) I also started the process early because my sister was recruited and played for Yale – she was two years above me, so when she was a junior working on her resume I was a freshman working on my resume. When she was a sophomore checking out campuses, I was an 8th grader checking out campuses. I do believe this helped.
If your top choice school (that you actually have a chance of getting into and playing for) is hosting a camp that your schedule allows you to attend this summer – then definitely do it!
The reason why I am not a huge fan of college camps is because usually it is jammed-packed with lots of players so it is hard to be seen. Also, there is usually a lot of waiting during the drills and in-between sessions. In addition, the coaches training you are made up of the players on their team, who are girls just a few years older than you with little or no coaching experience. Lastly, you are trying so hard to impress the coach that you probably won’t want to learn new skill-sets since you don’t want to look bad – therefore, you aren’t learning anything, and to top it off you are slightly stressed to impress (a recipe to get burnt out!).
The college camps may have an international player there to help coach the camp, but chances are you will not get any one-on-one attention with this one coach. Also, I know of a top DI school with a huge summer camp that recruits freshman and sophomores from DIII schools to help coach their camps… I am not saying that all college camps have bad coaching… but a lot of them do.
In conclusion, most summer field hockey camps, events, showcases & clinics are from around July 1 – August 7th. This gives you a 5 week window to cram as much hockey as possible so you can improve and show off in front of college scouts… not to mention you have your own personal life, work and probably a family vacation or two. This is why balance, planning and doing your research is key!