The athlete’s mindset following a football recruiting camp

Over the past decade, I have spoken with hundreds of high school athletes and written thousands of articles on these standouts.  The subject of the interviews usually depends on the time of year.  If I was speaking with a football recruit now for an interview, what I would be asking him about is college football camps. 

I would assume that anyone who wants to be recruited at all will attend camps.  Even the athletes who are already committed likely camp at the school they picked.  But one interesting thing regarding these camps is that regardless of the athlete and the camp they attended, each one of them is confident about their performance at the camp. 

I am not saying that the athletes talk about how they were so dominant that there should be a scholarship on the way.  I am speaking that each one is always confident about how they performed at the college and in front of coaches.  I cannot honestly one athlete over the last decade tell me anything different. 

This is the exact reason why it is so difficult for an athlete, his parents (especially his dad), and a high school coach to properly evaluate the level that a football player can excel at in college.  That is because they have a huge bias that gets in the way of doing an independent evaluation.  It is impossible to have an independent evaluation if you have anything to do with the outcome. 

I have talked to enough parents over that time as well to know that they all think their kids are top ten players in their class for whatever sport that they play.  They may not start on their team but their mom sure as hell thinks he should be in the top 25.  Others may play at a small school and put up small numbers against bad competition but the dad believes he is a top five player. 

Going back to the original point before I get too far away from it, the only independent evaluations you can get at a college camp are from the college coaches.  The problem is that it is going to be very difficult to pry a straight answer out of these coaches regarding your performance.  If a college coach feels that you could be an option C recruit, then they want to drag you along in the process until A or B commit to them.  If those two athletes don’t, then that dragging out worked and you get your scholarship.  But for a lower tier athlete like a C recruit, chances of getting an offer from that school are small. 

What you should be asking after a camp is what you can improve on, how can I improve on it, and what college level do you feel I have the potential to play.  The third question is the one that really matters this summer if you are heading into your senior season.  It is something, if given a chance, you should ask all the college coaches about after a camp.  It will give you an actual feel of where you stood amongst the competition there. 

Anyways, I don’t really put much stock into a camp performance unless an offer is on the table.  Yes, it is great to get pulled aside by a coach and work with a special group.  But that special group doesn’t mean anything, regardless of how you feel you dominated, unless they are going to step forward with a scholarship.  That is the only way you know this coach really wants you in the football recruiting process. 

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