As I have written many times in the past regarding camp invites and how the majority of them are to boast numbers and the salaries of coaches (Read the article here), I continue to hear more and more athletes tell me that they are going to these camps because they were sent an invite. Obviously is it not my place to tell them what to do when speaking with them but for those savvy enough readers to visit this site, you will get to hear even more on this.
What really has set me off recently is that there are non college camps. Lets just call this an area camp that sends out invites to players. Because the people that run these camps are making money off of each and every athlete there, they could careless if you run a 6.0 40-yard dash. And just to let users know, they mass mail these to as many athletes as they can throughout their area. The more athletes they get coming, the more money they make over the course of the spring.
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The reason I felt it was necessary that I bring this up is because I spoke with an athlete saying that he wanted to attend. Maybe the camp does a nice job making it feel like you are a special athlete but my best guess is that it is no more than a mail merge in Microsoft Word. And after looking and seeing that the cost of the camp was $135, I was shocked (Note: There is also a package that only costs $100 as well).
Some of the selling points of camps like this is that there have been so many Division I coaches in attendance in the past and that they will send all of this information out to college coaches. First off, just because a Division I coach has made an appearance before does not mean they are coming back. The chances of you earning a scholarship based off of an independent camp is slim to none.
As for the information sheets that have been sent out, not many colleges do look at them. Camps like the Nike Camp and other big name camps that are free forward on the information and college coaches will respect it because of the name behind them. The Nike Camp has been doing it for many years and may be the premiere camp in the country. Yes, they try to sell you stuff while there but they don’t charge you money up front.
With the shadier camps that charge money, the majority of college coaches may flip through it but my best guess is that it ends up in the trash. The good news is that you will probably be leaving the camp with at least a t-shirt so things could be worse.
I look at this type of camp similar to a door to door salesman. If you really want to help yourself in the recruiting process, there are steps that you can take to get it done. Some of them include having your high school coach help you, putting together a recruiting profile, attending a free camp like the Nike Camp, and contacting coaches yourself. The camps are like a door to door salesman trying to personalize everything for you so that they make it seem like they really want you there. In reality, if your check cashes, then come on down.
Obviously everyone wants to help their stock in the recruiting process. It is not an easy thing to do but I don’t think going to camps where you pay money are a good idea. If you are going to pay for a camp, why not attend a college camp of the school you followed since you were younger. Yes, it is a little more expensive but at least you will get a chance to work with some prestigious coaches. You likely won’t be leaving with a scholarship but it will probably be something that you will remember for the rest of your life.