As an ex-National Tennis Player, I am often asked by athletes and parents about the importance of college camps and whether or not there is any value in attending such events. Junior tennis players do not know much about these type of camps and they are often hesitant and unsure of the benefits. It is essential for athletes who are aspiring to play college tennis to know that the recruiting process has many components. It is not only about an academic and athletic profile, a playing video or contact with college coaches. In addition to these components, the exposure at camps helps to build relationships face to face.
Think of a college camp like applying for a job. If you walk into a business and personally hand your application to a manager and get a moment to introduce yourself to tell them why you would be suitable for the position, this always gives you an edge over your competition. In fact, many top D-1 coaches believe that college camps are a win-win situation for both the coaches and the prospective student athlete. Camps give players the opportunity to show their potential in front of the coaches and from a coaches standpoint, it gives them the chance to watch and interact with all the players involved.
Above all, athletes get to experience intense college – style training and conditioning from the top coaches themselves. They experience what it is to be on a college team and prepare for an upcoming season. More like a trailer of their training for the 4 years in college.
Think of college coaches as the “Google” of the recruiting process. College camps give you an exclusive opportunity to have a face to face communication with the main persons themselves and eliminates the guess work. They can give you an insight to recruiting game better than anyone ever can.
But is it worth attending a college camp if only a certain category of colleges are attending ?
This might be a valid concern but just because a certain category of colleges is represented at the event, does not mean that other college coaches won’t hear about you, or receive your information. College coaches talk to each other about players all the time – that’s when the “soft facts” such as your personality, your work ethic and overall character come in to the picture and are more important to coaches than your ranking or grades alone. Coaches are able to observe these traits when they see you playing at these camps.
It’s extremely important that you make an informed decision during the recruiting process and explore all available opportunities. College camps are all about helping you find a college that’s the right FIT for you.
Attending a college camp really plays a big role in figuring this out for yourself!