Hey guys, had a quick question about a pretty gray area, college camps. I'm a high school pitcher, and one of my top schools emailed my coach. A few days later, I get an email to an 'Elite Prospect' camp for the same school, pretty expensive. However, if it has a legitimate value, or say recruitment chances, I will be more than glad to invest in it. Are these camps a revenue outlet, or do they actually have some recruiting value? Would my situation make it any different? There are less expensive, shorter, and I guess less in-depth camps also offered... What would be the best route to actually get recruited? Thanks guys

Original Post

Swagg:

Welcome to the site. From your profile I see you are a 2021 RHP. It's early in the recruiting game, unless you are in the small % that the P5 are looking at. I would have a better vibe if the college had CALLED, not e-mailed your HS coach. At your stage I would look to find a third party (PG or UA) or an inexpensive showcase that can get your measurables (MPH , primarily) for pitching. I think "school specific" camps are good, later on. After attending $$ showcases, tournaments , etc, it was a 2 hour fielding camp (winter of son's junior year) with what would turn out to be son's current position coach that was the best $75 I ever spent!  Good luck in your recruiting journey! I'm sure others will chime in.

Ripken Fan posted:

After attending $$ showcases, tournaments , etc, it was a 2 hour fielding camp (winter of son's junior year) with what would turn out to be son's current position coach that was the best $75 I ever spent!  Good luck in your recruiting journey! I'm sure others will chime in.

Did your son attend this fielding camp after the school/coach had expressed serious interest?  I ask because often when my son emails a school, he gets an email response that is really just a form camp invitation.  I assume going to a camp in that case is unlikely to generate real interest from a school, unless a player really offers something pretty extraordinary?

Welcome to the site! My player is also a 2021, and I can tell you that lots of D1 schools are actively recruiting rising sophomores right now (especially pitchers). We were at a big 15u tournament last week that had dozens of colleges scouting the games, including P5 and mid-level schools. So it is possible that this school is interested in you specifically since they emailed your coach. That being said, it is also true that many college "prospect camps" are money makers. You should ask your HS coach whether he thinks this school has legitimate interest in you or not. 

If you want more bang for your buck, then a showcase is a better option because multiple schools see you at once. If you want to go to school in state (which helps with costs), then choose a reputable showcase in your state. Perfect Game showcases are always reputable, PBR (Prep Baseball Report) is a less expensive good alternative in some states, and there are many other good showcases as well. Some showcases are specifically for high academic schools:  Head First and Showball come to mind.

All that being said, most people on this site will tell you not to attend any showcases or camps until "you have something to show." In other words, don't waste your time and money until your skills are good enough to show off to college coaches. That's good advice. If your skills are good enough, and your parents can afford this camp or a showcase without breaking the bank, then go for it.

Also keep in mind that most kids are recruited through their travel teams nowadays. If you aren't on a summer travel team that goes to the big tournaments to be seen by scouts, consider finding a different team for next year.  

Chico Escuela posted:
Ripken Fan posted:

After attending $$ showcases, tournaments , etc, it was a 2 hour fielding camp (winter of son's junior year) with what would turn out to be son's current position coach that was the best $75 I ever spent!  Good luck in your recruiting journey! I'm sure others will chime in.

Did your son attend this fielding camp after the school/coach had expressed serious interest?  I ask because often when my son emails a school, he gets an email response that is really just a form camp invitation.  I assume going to a camp in that case is unlikely to generate real interest from a school, unless a player really offers something pretty extraordinary?

Chico: Son was on the radar with school and had e-mail communication (probably at least once every 6 or so weeks) with the coach. He had become a "high follow" with coach once he ran fastest 60 at a Showball showcase with 225 players in December. Coach sent son nice personalized  e-mail which really changed him from "camper" to prospect.  The camp was during President's Day or MLK weekend, and a hitting camp the day before (same coach) was full. Unlike previous meetings with this specific coach (big showcases), this was more intimate. Players were separated by position- MI/OF/C, and I would estimate there were only about 40 in attendance. Son stood out. Coach probably observed intangibles as son interacted with current players who helped out at camp. I got to briefly meet coach afterward when I paid the fee. Son and I followed up with unofficial visit during winter break. Still offer wasn't made until 5 months later, and three more "observations" by RC and other AC. Every journey is different. 

Camps are tricky.  You could go to most team's camp and see 100 kids with that one group of 5-6 players grouped together.  That group will be the "recruits".  The challenge is to know whether you are being considered for that group.  

Typically the "emails" are marketing to get $$.  My 2015's experience was if a RC said to him that they liked his play and wanted all the coaches to see him then the camp was considered.  This camp was also used as our unofficial visit opportunity and would go to the school that Fri before.  

Swagg - Welcome to the site.  I agree with Ripken and the other posters to find some inexpensive camps to "get your feet wet" and get some measurable's first unless you know that the school has you on their board already.  I would also suggest multi-school camps to increase your exposure to many coaches at a cheaper price.  I believe that once a school has shown legit interest in you then the individual school camp makes good sense, but not until you have had some sort of dialog with the coaches and they know who you are etc.  Good Luck

Swagg,

You mentioned your "coach" in your post.  I assume this is either your high school or travel coach.  Have you asked him as you are getting started on this recruiting journey?   We all have to start somewhere.  For us, it was son's national travel coach who opened some doors and showed us the ropes until we were able to zero in on what exactly son wanted, and what schools were looking for someone like him.  

His travel coach was a great sounding board as he had been through this countless times over the years, and he had his own network of college coaches that got us started.   College coaches would tell his travel coach things that they would not tell us directly.   He became our communication proxy with interested schools.   Also, we were able to expand beyond the travel coach's college  coaching network, and introduce him to some new coaches that my son had initiated contact with.  My point is you've got to start somewhere especially with camps.   Camps can be an incredible recruiting event and they can be a waste of time and money if you don't know what you are looking for.   Your high school or travel coach probably knows more than you think.   I would politely ask your coach to help you with this, and continue to use HSBBWeb as a source of information.

Good luck!

fenwaysouth posted:

Swagg,

You mentioned your "coach" in your post.  I assume this is either your high school or travel coach.  Have you asked him as you are getting started on this recruiting journey?   We all have to start somewhere.  For us, it was son's national travel coach who opened some doors and showed us the ropes until we were able to zero in on what exactly son wanted, and what schools were looking for someone like him.  

His travel coach was a great sounding board as he had been through this countless times over the years, and he had his own network of college coaches that got us started.   College coaches would tell his travel coach things that they would not tell us directly.   He became our communication proxy with interested schools.   Also, we were able to expand beyond the travel coach's college  coaching network, and introduce him to some new coaches that my son had initiated contact with.  My point is you've got to start somewhere especially with camps.   Camps can be an incredible recruiting event and they can be a waste of time and money if you don't know what you are looking for.   Your high school or travel coach probably knows more than you think.   I would politely ask your coach to help you with this, and continue to use HSBBWeb as a source of information.

Good luck!

Great point. I recommended he ask his HS coach in my original post because I thought that’s who the school had emailed. I should’ve said to speak with whichever coach they emailed. Like FenwaySouth, our travel coach has been the main point of contact for all 5 of the kids who have committed from our team so far. 

Swagg, personally, I wouldn't recommend attending any college camp without speaking to one of the coaches beforehand. As a rising sophomore, college coaches are not permitted to call you directly, but they can talk to you if you call them. That kind of phone call is typically arranged by your travel or high school coach. If you can get the coach on the phone, there's a decent chance that he's serious about recruiting you. Once on the phone you can ask him if he thinks your talent level plays at his school. A wishy-washy answer basically means "No." If you get that far and you think he's serious, then you can address the issue of the cost. Assuming this is a multi-day camp, you could ask about just attending one day at a reduced cost. Since you're a pitcher, it doesn't take much time for them to evaluate you.
 
Are you planning to attend the Perfect Game 2021 WWBA in Atlanta this month? If not, it may not be too late for you to find a guest spot on a team. At your position, the most important factor in getting recruited is velocity. Pitching at the WWBA will get your top velocity posted on your Perfect Game profile. A good number will definitely help with your recruiting. Best of luck.

It really depends on the school.  My son has been to three college camps without talking to the coaches or being identified first.  Two of the camps he was asked to stay and tour the facilities (pre new rules) and began conversations with them after the coaches followed up with my son’s coach.  The 3rd camp was a waste of time and they didn’t even look at him. My son sent some video the next day and they called his coach...they didn’t even know he was at the camp.  It was run by players and unless you were pre identified, no one even looked up.  All three of these schools are the same level, so I would ask people who have attended.  After talking to others they said they could have told us about camp 3.  There is usually a reputation for great camps vs not.

There’s great advice on here about showcases, etc. I will add that my 2018 and a HS teammate were both  invited to a P5 college camp their sophomore year the same way—through HS coach. Went and received an evaluation in the mail with essentially a “don’t call us, well call you” note on it regarding recruiting. 

Two years later, my son is throwing 90, same school invited him to another camp. He went, they offered that day and we just finished orientation. His teammate had the same experience.  A lot of hard work on field and off, along with a lot of communication with the coach went on between the two  

 

If it helps you advance your chances of an offer, then do it. Location, cost and communication from the school are what would move me to attend. Bear in mind that these are fundraisers to pay their community coaches and cover other costs so while emails and calls are made to HS/travel coaches, these are more cattle calls than true prospect invites.

Tons of great info given here already.  I second what Midatlanticdad says... get some dialog from the school prior to the event.  Ask some specific questions about where they may have seen you, what they like/don't like, what their interest level may be, etc.  Between this and more feedback from your coach, you will get a much better idea of whether there is genuine interest or just another camp invite to generate $$.  

It is usually a better sign of some specific interest when they go thru your coach vs sending you a mailer but we don't know specifics about what they emailed to your coach.  Ask him.

Having reread your OP...

First, a question... is it safe to assume the school is in state or nearby?

Second, to try to answer your question "what would be the best route to actually get recruited?", it is different for everyone.  It is usually some combination of finding the right travel team, selecting the right events, having the right instructors, etc., but can be made to work with any budget.  It depends largely on your talent level and what you want from a school.  It usually requires a good plan and a lot of proactive work on your part, probably with some good guidance from parent or others.  You have found a great resource to help you make sure you are taking the best steps for your specific scenario.  You can ask questions any time and search on just about any topic here.

cabbagedad posted:

Having reread your OP...

First, a question... is it safe to assume the school is in state or nearby?

Second, to try to answer your question "what would be the best route to actually get recruited?", it is different for everyone.  It is usually some combination of finding the right travel team, selecting the right events, having the right instructors, etc., but can be made to work with any budget.  It depends largely on your talent level and what you want from a school.  It usually requires a good plan and a lot of proactive work on your part, probably with some good guidance from parent or others.  You have found a great resource to help you make sure you are taking the best steps for your specific scenario.  You can ask questions any time and search on just about any topic here.

The camp is a 4 day camp, and the school is a short drive away. I personally feel as a player it would be a great opportunity given the location and the exposure. I just want to make sure I spend my dollars in the best, most prospective opportunities. Has Prep Baseball Report showcases been a good third party event? There is one near me, would it be better as a rising sophomore to invest in that? Thanks to you and everyone else who has given feedback!

FYI. In some situations,  if the camp is advertised as elite for hitters and or pitchers, they are run by the HC, PC, RC. Other camps are usually run by volunteer assistant (thats part of their job) and players. These invitations usually are generated from interest either from the coach or the recruit and are smaller than regular camps.

However, some camps are excellent in instruction and should be considered if the cost is reasonable.

 

Depends on what kind of rep PBR has in your state, and which specific event even in a good state. In my state and surrounding states, PBR is good and has one “main” showcase event each year that draws the most scouts. They offer several other showcase options in our state but those other options are not well scouted at all. Those showcases will at least give you your measurables, but there may be less expensive options for those in your state.

My 2021 is doing a PBR showcase this year, but we didn’t do the big one in our state. Honestly, I wish he had waited until next year because he’s not ready to choose a school yet and therefore no point in spending money on trying to get noticed.

Keep in mind, because of the new rule changes you cannot make any visits with a prospective college team until September of your junior year. It would be extremely difficult to choose the right school and program for your college career until you have had the chance to meet the coaches and players. So you may want to save your money until next year and then do more events next summer since you will be able to start talking to programs and visiting after next summer. 

baseball_swagg posted:
cabbagedad posted:

Having reread your OP...

First, a question... is it safe to assume the school is in state or nearby?

Second, to try to answer your question "what would be the best route to actually get recruited?", it is different for everyone.  It is usually some combination of finding the right travel team, selecting the right events, having the right instructors, etc., but can be made to work with any budget.  It depends largely on your talent level and what you want from a school.  It usually requires a good plan and a lot of proactive work on your part, probably with some good guidance from parent or others.  You have found a great resource to help you make sure you are taking the best steps for your specific scenario.  You can ask questions any time and search on just about any topic here.

The camp is a 4 day camp, and the school is a short drive away. I personally feel as a player it would be a great opportunity given the location and the exposure. I just want to make sure I spend my dollars in the best, most prospective opportunities. Has Prep Baseball Report showcases been a good third party event? There is one near me, would it be better as a rising sophomore to invest in that? Thanks to you and everyone else who has given feedback!

A 4 day camp is unusual.  I'd ask your coaches what they think.

russinfortworth posted:

Son is heading to the Vandy camp next week.  I'll report back "if" I get information..........14 y/o thinks I'm on a need to know basis (and I guess we've created this monster by telling him that this is "his journey").

Best camp we’ve ever been to hands down. He will be wiped out. &:30-8:30.

CaCO3Girl posted:
baseball_swagg posted:
cabbagedad posted:

Having reread your OP...

First, a question... is it safe to assume the school is in state or nearby?

Second, to try to answer your question "what would be the best route to actually get recruited?", it is different for everyone.  It is usually some combination of finding the right travel team, selecting the right events, having the right instructors, etc., but can be made to work with any budget.  It depends largely on your talent level and what you want from a school.  It usually requires a good plan and a lot of proactive work on your part, probably with some good guidance from parent or others.  You have found a great resource to help you make sure you are taking the best steps for your specific scenario.  You can ask questions any time and search on just about any topic here.

The camp is a 4 day camp, and the school is a short drive away. I personally feel as a player it would be a great opportunity given the location and the exposure. I just want to make sure I spend my dollars in the best, most prospective opportunities. Has Prep Baseball Report showcases been a good third party event? There is one near me, would it be better as a rising sophomore to invest in that? Thanks to you and everyone else who has given feedback!

A 4 day camp is unusual.  I'd ask your coaches what they think.

Thats depends on the type of camp it is. Prospect camps can be 1 to 2 days and youth camps are usually 4 days. 

Pulling back up an old thread as we are now trying to determine if going to elite prospect type camps are worth it. My son, a 2023, is pondering 3 of the prospect camps he has recently been invited to. They are all P5 schools. He has talked to two of the schools on the phone (they reached out to his showcase coach and asked for him to call them). One of the schools is in his top 5 list of schools and they seemed to be the most interested. He has actually spoken to them on the phone several times and mentioned to him that he was on their short list of 2023's they are targeting right now. That one is the one we are most seriously thinking about doing, it is also the farthest. The other school he spoke with on the phone is only about a 3 hour drive.  The third was just an email invite from the school.

Unless he hasn't been playing fall ball or isn't 100% right now I would go to the camps of the two schools that called him. They are 100% useful in this situation - when a coach invites personally. If nothing comes of the camp don't sweat it, just two more schools you can cross off the list for now. Considering your son has been a freshman for not even two months I'm sure plenty of other schools will be interested if he is getting P5 calls already. 

Zia2021 posted:

Depends on what kind of rep PBR has in your state, and which specific event even in a good state. In my state and surrounding states, PBR is good and has one “main” showcase event each year that draws the most scouts. They offer several other showcase options in our state but those other options are not well scouted at all. Those showcases will at least give you your measurables, but there may be less expensive options for those in your state.

My 2021 is doing a PBR showcase this year, but we didn’t do the big one in our state. Honestly, I wish he had waited until next year because he’s not ready to choose a school yet and therefore no point in spending money on trying to get noticed.

Keep in mind, because of the new rule changes you cannot make any visits with a prospective college team until September of your junior year. It would be extremely difficult to choose the right school and program for your college career until you have had the chance to meet the coaches and players. So you may want to save your money until next year and then do more events next summer since you will be able to start talking to programs and visiting after next summer. 

That last paragraph is correct legally but not correct completely.  You can still attend campus and watch practice, meet players, see coaches and have indirect conversations with them.  So there are ways around the rules if the coaches/you know how to use them.  They can be given a tour of facilities just not by coaches.  So you can do everything you used to do just in a different way.  It is done every week on almost every campus around the US.

PitchingFan posted:
Zia2021 posted:

Depends on what kind of rep PBR has in your state, and which specific event even in a good state. In my state and surrounding states, PBR is good and has one “main” showcase event each year that draws the most scouts. They offer several other showcase options in our state but those other options are not well scouted at all. Those showcases will at least give you your measurables, but there may be less expensive options for those in your state.

My 2021 is doing a PBR showcase this year, but we didn’t do the big one in our state. Honestly, I wish he had waited until next year because he’s not ready to choose a school yet and therefore no point in spending money on trying to get noticed.

Keep in mind, because of the new rule changes you cannot make any visits with a prospective college team until September of your junior year. It would be extremely difficult to choose the right school and program for your college career until you have had the chance to meet the coaches and players. So you may want to save your money until next year and then do more events next summer since you will be able to start talking to programs and visiting after next summer. 

That last paragraph is correct legally but not correct completely.  You can still attend campus and watch practice, meet players, see coaches and have indirect conversations with them.  So there are ways around the rules if the coaches/you know how to use them.  They can be given a tour of facilities just not by coaches.  So you can do everything you used to do just in a different way.  It is done every week on almost every campus around the US.

Pitching fan is right. My original response was written last year right after the rule change went into effect and nobody knew how it was going to play out.

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