Broken Recruiting: The Truth About Camps and Showcases
A large part of the recruiting process is the active attendance and participation in college camps and showcase events. These events are extremely popular among America’s college coaches and youth–if you’re not participating at this point I suggest you start researching them soon.
In case you’re unfamiliar with these events, a camp is usually put on by a university or college, a college coach, or a group of college coaches. When an athlete leaves a camp he will have learned some training techniques he can take home with him.
Showcases Are a Bit Different
A showcase is, by definition, a showcase of one’s talents for spectators. These spectators are usually family, friends, and, most importantly, college coaches.
Some companies run invite showcases where individual student-athletes are asked to come and play. Others are sign-up showcases where an individual can join a number of other athletes. Some are even tournament showcases for entire teams.
Other Benefits of Camps and Showcases
Beyond just showing up and playing, there are many more benefits to camps and showcases which student-athletes should take advantage of. You don’t want to be like the parents I hear from who felt that a camp or showcase was a waste of time and money. This feeling often comes because parents failed to do their homework.
The number one mistake parents and athletes make when showing up to a camp or showcase is just showing up. You have to understand how to “use” a camp and not get roped into the big business that showcases are without understanding what is actually going on.
Camps are more for a coach’s benefit than an athlete’s–showcases are put on by companies that are in the business of making money. This might be confusing and bit shocking but it is all completely accurate.
Do More Than Just Show Up
Why do student-athletes attend camps? Is it to get technique training, evaluation, or to be seen? I would answer yes to all of those but if you–as an athlete or a parent–understand what a camp is truly used for then you stand a chance at having even greater benefit from these events.
When it comes to a camp you cannot just show up. It benefits no one in the recruiting process, coach or athlete, to just attend a camp and think that they are going to get “seen” or “discovered”. This might happen once in a great while, but is more a myth than a real-life scenario. In part two, I will break down the importance of camps and how to properly use a camp to one’s benefit.
This article is in three parts. This is part one. Read more.
Part two. Become a name not just a number.
Part three. More on showcases.