QUESTION: How many camps, run by the coach of a school I am interested in, should I go to? – there’s so many.
I’m a little uncomfortable as I write this, because I operate field hockey camps here and abroad. I am afraid that those reading this will see it all as a biased view – and maybe it is. Partially because I am extremely proud of the product we deliver to US high school players… with this provision, I give you my answer.
My two kids never went to a “College” camp.
Coaches are actively seeking and looking for talented players that will fit into their system. Problem for them – they are all fishing from the same pool – and this competition for talent is what will help you get you noticed.
THEY ARE LOOKING FOR YOU!
Coaches seek players who can play – not kids who have gone to their camps.
Certainly by going to a college camp you can be “discovered”. You can win the lottery too. If you’ve not been in meaningful contact with a prospective coach – I’ll say it flat out – it’s doubtful that attending their camp will further your cause.
Here’s where I can get myself into trouble… most camps are not run with a focus on the customers (YOU) need – but simply as an additional source of revenue for the coach or her program. (FYI: some teams need supplemental funding to operate their program – and camper revenue does not necessarily go to the coach). What really gets me is when a high school player is “invited” to attend – like it is a special privilege receiving this invitation – when it is nothing more than marketing 101. Seems disingenuous.
Most players showing interest in a college program become a camp prospect and are placed into their database. This in itself does not bother me. The insinuation that it is a special invite and opportunity for the player to be seen is what gets to me.
Our family received many of these “invitations”. Instead, we relied on SHOWCASES and aggressive OUTREACH and contact to get interest from college coaches.
Now consider the source when I say this – but if you are going to a camp wanting to take your game to the next level – then you may want to think carefully where you should go. While going to a camp on a college campus that really interests may be a good way to get a feel for that campus, visiting while school is in session may be better.
I have said this before in my Blogs – There are three basic elements that a high school player must concentrate on… SKILL TRAINING :: GAME PLAY :: SHOWCASES.
BUT you should not Showcase your talents unless you can play. I know a coach at a top end school and a very good DI hockey program who will not consider players who do not have the CORRECT basic skills for Hitting and Passing – regardless of their athletic accomplishments. They don’t have the time to correct a player’s mechanics – he’s focused on the next level. Good skillset training matters.
Athletic ability can only get you so far – Skill is the next tool that you need to develop.