Three Tips for Aspiring College Athletes

There are two main reasons why millions of high school athletes around the country attend summer sports camps. The first of these is to improve their individual skills, and the other is to gain the attention of the coaches in attendance. By impressing coaches at exposure camps — including those held on college campuses — players can develop connections, secure references and, if all goes well, earn a scholarship offer. A majority of campers attend these camps with this same goal in mind, which might cause some to wonder how they can separate themselves from the rest of the pack. Here are three tips to help high school athletes garner this coveted attention at summer sports camps and extend their sports careers beyond high school graduation.

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Before choosing and attending a summer sports camp, ensure the camp is the right choice for you. While getting recruited is a potential benefit of summer sports camps, you should also choose a camp based on the instruction you’ll receive.

Smaller schools tend to offer less expensive camps. Because the camp director might not be well known and fewer campers will be in attendance than at camps held at Division I schools, there will likely be more recruiting and instructional opportunities.

If you are planning to attend a college sports camp to be recruited, make sure you’d be interested in attending that school.

Lastly, you should attend a sports camp where your athletic skills are similar to those of other players within the program.

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When most coaches attend a summer sports camp, they’re likely going there to evaluate players already on their recruiting lists.

Because of this, if a coach hasn’t seen you play, watched your recruiting video or heard about your interest in their program, that coach might not recruit you at the camp.

To help gain a coach’s attention, contact the coach to find out if they will be attending the camp. If they say yes, let them know you’ll be there and inform them of when and where you will be playing.

If a coach contacts you while you’re at a college sports camp, continue to follow up with them and send them your playing schedule so they might be more inclined to come watch you play.

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When you attend a college sports camp, coaches aren’t just able to learn more about you as a player. They’re also able to learn more about you as a person.

Because coaches have access to players at any point during the day throughout the duration of the camp, they can see what your work ethic, attitude and personality are like.

Coaches can also use camps to see how quickly a camper learns from instruction and adapts to
a new environment. This allows coaches to gauge how a potential recruit could improve during a four-year collegiate career and fit in with the program.

So while you’re at camp, make sure you consistently display good body language — no matter what the circumstance might be — and strive to learn as much as you can.

You never know. Your future coach might be watching.


Written by Pat James
Designed by Ashley Dai