Attending men’s water polo camps isn’t just a way to spend intensive days playing the sport you love. Summer water polo camps can be invaluable for your college water polo recruiting process and help you gain the skills and exposure to become the kind of water polo student-athlete that college coaches are looking for. Finding the right water polo camp near you can feel daunting—but it doesn’t have to.
Finding the right summer water polo camp comes down to doing your homework on two separate topics: thinking honestly about your skill level as a water polo player and researching what a specific men’s water polo camp entails.
Knowing your skill level, you’ll be able to think critically about what you want to achieve at men’s water polo camps. Do you want to gain skills and instruction? Do you want to work on advanced swimming and flexibility? Do you want to get in the pool against new competitors you’ve never met before? At many camps, all of these are possible. And the opportunity to play against new players can help you learn new aspects of the game you hadn’t considered before.
You’ll want to research what different summer water polo camps entail. There can be great opportunities to meet top water polo players at a camp and benefit from their instruction. However, you want to make sure that the top instructors will be on the deck for the entirety of the camp; after all, that’s who is going to be giving you the best instruction.
You’ll also have to think about whether a water polo camp fits into your family’s budget and schedule, as well as your timetable for getting recruited for college water polo. It’s your recruiting process and college future ahead of you. Make sure the entire family is on the same page about what that future will include.
Student-athletes should consider two factors when choosing what water polo tournament to attend. The first factor to consider is the location of the tournament. Underclassmen should focus on competing at local and regional tournaments that will help them develop as athletes and gain competition experience. Upperclassmen should explore travel tournaments across the country where college coaches will be present.
The second factor to consider when selecting a water polo tournament is what tournaments college coaches from the athlete’s target schools typically attend. When selecting a tournament, student-athletes should research which tournaments those coaches have attended in the past and notify coaches that they will be competing at the tournament.
Swimming World Magazine released its 2019 Water Polo Camp Guide which identifies some of the top water polo camps by region. Below a list of 2019–20 water polo camps on the East and West Coast and in the Midwest.
Insider tip: Despite the impact that coronavirus had on college sports, as of June 1, 2021, the NCAA resumed its regular recruiting rules and activity! Coaches are actively working to fill their rosters, so student-athletes should be proactive in reaching out to coaches. Read up on how the extra year of eligibility granted to athletes who were most affected by the pandemic in 2020 will impact future recruiting classes.
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