The goal of the athletic recruiting process for any sport that you play is to end up getting a scholarship offer. Why else would you be reading this site? But in order to get a scholarship, you will need to be evaluated by the coaching staff. Most of the coaches want to see you in person (give you the eyeball test) and then see you on tape or during a summer camp.
This evaluated comes first in every single recruiting situation possible. Even if a college coach at a rival school offers a scholarship because State University did, they are at least evaluating you after they know there is another scholarship on the table. The sooner that you can get your evaluation, the better. And after a recent comment from a parent, I thought this would be a good article to touch on.
Here is the comment I mentioned. Just to let you know, the parent in this is no different from many others. She may have actually posted it but I can promise you many others think it out there:
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Can going to the one day camps over the summer to a school that you are really interested in and that have shown interest in you, (school visits, spring eval phone call, emails, etc.) hurt you if you don’t perform well? Are you better off staying home and waiting for them to continue to evaluate you through your senior year?
For the first part of the question, if you come into the camp in bad condition and struggle to hold your own against other players, then yes, it definitely can hurt you. But if you are hoping that you are a Division I recruit, you should know better than this and prepare your mind and body for the rigors of the camp circuit. I can’t imagine what it would be like to go to ten different one day football camps all across the country but recruits do it.
The only situation I can see an excuse could crop up is if you were injured/sick before the camp. I have talked about this before but the absolutely worst time to suffer an injury/illness in regards to the football recruiting process and basketball recruiting process is the spring and summer before your senior year. The reason is because you need the spring to train and the summer to shine at camps. I have seen recruited athletes come down with mono (State University never offered this athlete so he went to I-AA State University) and others I am following now who were hurt in the spring.
If you have the opportunity to train and give it your all, then you should go to these camps. Ducking competition is not the way to get a scholarship offer. As I have said before, and this is something to really think about, if you are not good enough at that level, then the coaches will figure that out.
Going to one day of their camp is the most cost effective option to give yourself the opportunity to perform in front of their coaches and to be evaluated. If they don’t think you are good enough for a scholarship (which likely happens in 95% plus of the situations), then you move on. That is why I think getting evaluated as soon as possible is important. Why would you stretch out a dream that has no chance of happening?
I feel that athletes should go to the camp and get feedback. The coaches are likely to say that they will keep recruiting you and you need to keep working hard. But think about how many times you were pulled aside to work with the elite players at the camp. Deep down, were you one of the best campers there (I just wanted to say I have never heard a high school athlete tell me they sucked at a camp. Not once.)?
Going back to her question, I think you should go to the camp to see where you sit with the college coaches. Even if it is your dream school, if you are not good enough, then you need to look for more options in the recruiting process. If you figure out that you are not good enough for State University, then you will move on to other schools across your region. And because it is early enough in the process right now to do that, then it is perfect timing.
If you skip the camp and continue to get recruited by them, the coaches may get your senior film in October and feel that you are not good enough. By that time, two schools that could have been the perfect fit for you may have already moved on with players at your position. This stuff happens all the time. It may be hard to stop hoping for a State University offer, but if they haven’t extended a scholarship by now after their camp, you may need to start re-evaluating the process.
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