Women’s Track and Field Camps
Women’s track and field camps allow student-athletes to refine their technique, improve their PRs, compete against top talent, and—best of all—showcase their athleticism and coachability in-person to college coaches. Plus, events that happen on college campuses provide families with a chance to get a feel for the school, helping them narrow down what they want when it comes to choosing a college.
We put together a list of every women’s college track and field camp in the country, including when the camp is taking place and how much it costs to attend. Our list will help you find the best track and field camps near you (check back regularly as we update this list leading up to summer 2020).
Women’s track and field summer camps
Women’s track and field camps provide prospective student-athletes with development and training to sharpen their skills, and often take place in front of or at the hands of college coaches. Coaches are not only utilizing this environment for athletes to showcase their talent and ability, but they’re also judging the immeasurable and intangible qualities of prospective recruits. Here are a few ways student-athletes can make the most of their camp experience:
- Form relationships with college coaches. Camp is an opportunity for student-athletes to be front-and-center with coaches at programs that interest them. They’ll receive technical instruction and insight on what training methods can help them reach the college level. Keep in mind that coaches invite several athletes to attend their camps, but they only have a handful of recruits they want to evaluate once there. Therefore, we always recommend reaching out to college coaches ahead of time and sending them your online profile. Bottom line: establishing a relationship before camp is key to getting evaluated during camp.
- Experience coaching styles firsthand. At college track and recruiting camps, student-athletes can get an initial read on whether a specific coaching style suits their preferences. Because there aren’t very many specialty coaches at the high school level, camp is a great way to get one-on-one time with a specialty coach and better understand their coaching style.
- Explore the campus. Overnight camps act as a mini college-experience where athletes sleep in dorms with other campers who they may or may not know, eat at the college dining halls and run on a coach’s schedule. Many families tour campuses while attending camp, even if it’s just a day camp.
Whether it’s on the college campus or at an elite camp hosted by a track and field organization, make yourself known to the coach and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Pick the brains of the current student-athletes helping run the camp and take in every piece of advice and information that the coaches and athletes provide. Explore the campus and evaluate all your personal preferences in the college decision.
Where to find the best track and field camps for your event
Women’s track and field camps for high school students are a great way for student-athletes to develop and learn about different coaching styles. While most track and field camps cater to girls of multiple age groups at every stage in the recruiting process, there are different types of camps athletes can attend. Here’s an overview:
- Prospect camps: These one-day camps spend around 75% of their time on evaluation and 25% on training. In most cases, only coaches and athletes from the host school will be in attendance to lead drills and connect with recruits. If you’re already on the coach’s radar, attending a track and field prospect camp can be an important next step for your recruiting progress. Keep in mind that coaches are evaluating more than your time/distance. They also want to make sure you have the right attitude and approach to thrive in their program.
- Running camps and clinics: Running camps and clinics spend around 75% of their time on training and 25% on evaluation. This category covers both basic beginner camps and advanced event-specific camps. These include sprinter camps, middle distance camps, hurdles camps, long distance camps and cross-country camps. These camps typically range from one to four days and often include meals and room/board. Several coaches will often be on hand to lead drills and strength training. Experts may also lead educational sessions on nutrition, psychology, tactics and injury prevention
- Field camps and clinics: Field camps and clinics spend the majority of time on skill development. This category covers throwing camps (shot put, discus, hammer throw), high jump camps, long jump camps and pole vault camps. These camps typically focus on strength training and technique to help field athlete improve their personal records.
What to consider when selecting camps to attend
There are many factors to consider when selecting which camps to attend. For example, what is your desired outcome of the camp? How much does it cost? Who conducts it? Some camps will be more targeted towards sprinters while others may be specialized for jumpers and throwers. Here are a few considerations all athletes should think about:
- Recruiting timeline. Camps and clinics can serve a different purpose for athletes depending on where they are in their recruiting timeline. Underclassmen who are not actively being recruited may find that a one-day clinic, which heavily focuses on refining skills and nailing fundamentals, is the best way to spend their time and money. While upperclassmen, on the other hand, may seek out camps where they can garner coach interest, visit a campus and build upon their relationship with that specific coach.
- Reach out to coaches ahead of time. Here’s our best camp advice: before you attend a camp or clinic, reach out to the coaches who are attending. Coaches do their homework and come to these events with a list of recruits they want to evaluate. Forming a relationship ahead of time is the best way to secure an evaluation and pick the track and field camps that will progress your recruiting.
- Consider the staff. If an athlete is on the fence between multiple divisions, they should look for camps that are staffed by college coaches from all divisions. Even more, recruits should check to see how many coaches are staffed at each position. A large benefit of attending an elite camp or a camp with multiple coaches is the small group instruction that puts athletes face-to-face with coaches who matter and can provide hands-on instruction and advice to help an athlete improve.
- Think about the location. To start, many families will attend local college camps or clinics. Multi-day camps can be costly, and it may make sense for many families to stay local while they weigh their options and begin to understand their college preferences. This is especially true for underclassmen. Athletes who are interested in a particular program should attend camps at that specific school, especially if they’re an upperclassmen. For those who are interested in an elite experience and are willing to travel, camps like those run by USTAF give high school athletes access to pristine athletic facilities and a chance to spend time on the campus of elite college programs.
- Length. Not all track and field camps run the same way. A clinic is a shorter one-day (sometimes half-day) event that is typically focused on a skill or attribute. They bring many athletes of the same category (sprinters, distance, throwers, jumpers) together to receive fast paced, specific instruction from coaches with experience in that specialization. Camps, on the other hand, are often multi-day events and sometimes include overnight accommodations. Student-athletes who participate in these events have a better opportunity to build relationships with college coaches and get a feel for their coaching style over an extended period of time. Track and field camps also give high school women’s track and field recruits and their families a chance to explore different college campuses.
Attending a college track and field camp is a great way to form relationships with college coaches and improve your overall athleticism. We’ve put together a list of women’s track and field camps below that sprinters, shot-putters, hurdlers and more can benefit from attending:
Track and field camps for high school students
Track and field camps for high school students are held by hundreds of clubs and colleges across the country, making it easy for families to find a camp nearby that offers elite coaching. Track and field camps also give potential recruits the opportunity to check out the school’s campus and athletic facilities, while gaining some familiarity with the coaching staff and their coaching style.
Even though NCAA Division 1 and 2 coaches can’t engage in recruiting conversations with student-athletes until June 15 after their sophomore year, many coaches use camps as a way to evaluate underclassmen. NCAA Division 3, NAIA and NJCAA coaches, on the other hand, can have recruiting conversations and communicate freely with student-athletes during camp at any point in high school.
We’ve compiled a list of track and field camps below that you can use to effectively plan your recruitment this year.