The College ID Camp Conundrum
Posted by: Anthony Presnell l College Placement Director
Selecting the right soccer camp is often an overwhelming and time-consuming process. There are position specific camps, half-day camps, 1-day camps, weekend camps, week long camps, destination camps, multi-school camps, fundraiser camps, for profit camps, and the list goes on.
We can narrow the broad list down to three specific types of college recruiting camps.
Three Types of College Recruitment Camps
College ID Camp: This camp is usually a 1-day camp held on the campus of a single College/University. It will have a lower camp enrollment and serve as an identification opportunity for the staff to observe players who are directly interested in their school/program.
- Best for players who have narrowed their college search and want a more personal experience with the coaches and campus.
- Worst for players who have no interest in the school/program.
Residential Camp: This camp is usually 3-5 days and held on a College/University campus. It will have large camp numbers, include 10-20 college coaches from around the country, and will serve as a college soccer experience and identification opportunity for players.
- Best for players who are still defining their college preferences, need exposure to more coaches, and need the on-campus experience.
- Worst for players who have no interest in any of the schools/programs attending the camp.
Professional Camp Companies: This camp is usually 1-day held at a park, high school, or College/University. It will have large numbers, include 20+ college coaches from around the the country, and will serve as an identification opportunity for players.
- Best for players who have not defined their college preferences and are interested in a soccer identification experience without the college campus or residential experience.
- Worst for players who have a specific list of potential schools/programs.
Now that we have the list narrowed, it’s time to ask the important questions…
- Why are we going to camp? Recreation? Vacation? College Coach Exposure? Cost? Location?
- What are we getting out of this camp? College Campus Experience? College Coach Exposure? Competitive Environment? Social Experience?
- Does this camp provide a value to our recruiting process equal or more than the cost of attending? Registration, travel, supplies, etc?
Once we know why we are going to a camp and can evaluate what we want to get out of a camp, it becomes much easier to search for camps, determine the value of a particular camp, and see how that relates to our current needs in the recruiting process.
Tips For Success
- Confirm which coaches will be attending the college camp you select.
- Consider if the school is a realistic fit for your athletic and academic ability.
- Make sure coaches know who you are prior to attending an exposure camp.
- Treat the experience as an interview.
- Follow up with all coaches after the event for feedback.