The following is a post by Jason Smith, baseball recruiting expert and senior head recruiting coach at NCSA Athletic Recruiting. Jason is a former coach at the Division I, II and III levels, and he regularly contributes to the blog.
Receiving Division I baseball camp invitations is a common element of the recruiting process. A majority of Division I baseball programs host at least one camp a year and these events can be great opportunities to be evaluated by and receive instruction from college coaches.
However, many prospects do not know how to properly handle these communications from college baseball programs.
Let me be clear: You do not need to sign up for every camp you are invited to attend.
Check out our calendar to find baseball camps near you.
Instead, let’s turn these generic contacts (most are mass emails) into real recruiting opportunities.
It all starts with understanding the contact rules college coaches must follow. Here is a simple breakdown as those rules pertain to Division I baseball camp invitations.
The rules for Division I baseball camp invitations
Prior to September 1 of a prospect’s junior year, college coaches can only send generic camp emails. But they can respond to emails focused on camp information. After September 1, college coaches can email, call, and text prospects specific information about recruiting.
“Contact” and “Quiet” Periods: Most camps are held during these types of recruiting periods on the NCAA calendar (that’s a .pdf link).
The biggest difference to understand is when face-to-face contact can occur. DI coaches can have face-to-face contact both off and on their campus with prospects during a “Contact Period”, but can only have it while on campus during a “Quiet Period”.
This is another reason why many college programs host camps on their campus. Learn more about the specific definitions of each period from the NCAA here.
Have a game plan to make the most of Division I baseball camp invitations you receive
- After reviewing the email, take time to research the baseball program and college.
Learn more about the baseball program, campus, and academic programs offered. Take specific time to review their current roster. If there are no current players from your state (and college is from out of region), then you may want to avoid the camp unless the coaching staff can confirm they recruit from your state.
- Respond to the email.
Yes, even if you are not interested in the college. If you have no interest in the college, then ask the coaching staff to remove you from the email list. If you do have interest, then inform the coaching staff.
Remember the recruiting contact dates for DI and DII programs. Ask questions about their current recruiting needs at your position if you are an upperclassman. If you are an underclassman, then ask if the camp is used for recruiting.
- Call the baseball office directly if you have specific questions about the camp.
College coaches can speak with prospects on the phone, regardless of graduation class, as long as the call is initiated by the prospect. Get your questions answered before signing up for the camp, especially if there is a good deal of travel involved.
Never sign up for a camp without doing your research and connecting with the coaching staff, so you can make sure you are spending your time and resources wisely in the recruiting process.
If you tell a coach that you cannot attend his camp, then plan on sending your high school schedule and summer schedule to the staff so they can get off campus and see you play. College coaches do recruit outside of their camps.
Again, you do not need to sign up for every camp you are invited to attend.
We’re here to help you manage your baseball recruiting process. Keep track of coaches interested in you and communicate with them all in one place. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.