You want to get the most value from a college camp, showcase or high school prospect camp. Here is advice from Jay J. Sferra, a former recruiting coordinator at Arizona State University, about how to make the right choice.
College camps and showcases can be costly. It is important to use these events to market yourself and it’s important to choose the event that is right for you as a student-athlete. So, how do you choose and what should your expectations be?
Coach Jay’s “8 Absolutes”
1. Pick a camp or event with current college coaches (not former coaches or former pro players) from different types of schools (DI, NAIA, JUCO, etc.). Keep your options open.
2. Make sure there are coaches attending from schools that you’re interested in. Don’t spend money on an event because “big name schools” are there. Go to an event that includes colleges where you can see yourself attending and excelling both academically and athletically. If you do go to a “big name school” camp, it should be to learn new skills and work on your game.
3. Make sure the camp or showcase director guarantees current college coaches will attend. Look for a list of coaches names and contact information on their website before you sign up.
4. Smaller camps lead to a smaller player-to-coach ratio. At Arizona State, we liked an 8 to 1 player-to-coach ratio because it ensures maximum exposure and plenty of interaction with coaches. Ask what is the player-to-coach ratio is before attending.
5. Look for events where you get an objective and realistic 1-on-1 evaluation from a current college coach. The sooner you know your skill level the easier it is to target the right college as a player. The evaluation should help you set realistic expectations and allow you to focus on colleges that match your interests and skills.
6. It is essential that you attend a camp or showcase that includes a recruiting seminar. The recruiting process is extremely complex and the best events include a session with a current college coach who explains things like:
- NCAA recruiting timelines and contact rules
- NCAA Eligibility Center and NAIA Eligibility Center
- Official and unofficial visits
- A parent’s role in the recruiting process
- Scholarships and funding
7. Look for instruction sessions where you learn the mechanics that are being taught at the college level. In order to take your game to the next level you need to know what college coaches are teaching and what they are looking for in a player.
8. Make sure you go to an event that gives you the chance to play at least one game in front of the coaches you are interested in.