So my 2022 had a pretty good summer with his showcase team. Team did well. PBR regional tourney finalist, PG 25 regional qualifier semis, and some regional tournament championships against known organizations' regional teams, etc. Beat some PG top 50 teams along the way.

Son had a PG all tournament mention. As stated before, son is very athletic but has slight build. Only kid on the team to play every inning of every game (CF) over the summer season. 

And what's my question? Kid is signed up for recruiting service paid for by his club. All of the sudden he is getting camp invites up the wazoo. They all seem personalized but that is not to hard to accomplish with mail merge or whatever app the kids are using today.

Am I correct in my interpretation of the info on theses boards, that if the invite is from an assistant coach or the like, it's not something to be too excited about? The invites have run the gamut from D1 P5 to DIIIs I have never heard of. And might a HC or RC invite be a different story? What I have gleaned from my reading is that, while camps can be an important tool for schools, they are also predominantly a way to raise funds for the program and compensate assistants. 

Does son need to reply if he is not able to attend (or not interested)? Between school and three fall showcase tourneys, there is really no time. I figure he just needs to work on getting bigger faster stronger in preparing for his sophomore season.

TIA!

Original Post

Camps are for two main purposes. 

1.  To make money for volunteer assistants and/or to fund something for the program.  The money from camps goes to the assistant coaches normally.  That is why they are the ones who run it and responsible for everything.  Many times the HC or RC is not even present which is wrong in my opinion.  You would think that if you are going to a camp at X college/university the HC would always be present but that is not the case. 

2.  To have contact with true prospects.  They will invite guys to come to campus and get to spend time with them legally.  At a camp, they can interact with them legally. 

2A. To find prospects.  This is a side product of camps but very rarely happens.  People who are not in the know think this is where you get seen.

3.  To teach the game.  This very rarely happens unless it is a specific camp like pitcher/catcher or hitting.  Most of the camps are for making money and interacting with recruits.

The schools pay a lot of money to have very specific recruiting email lists especially for camps.  They have great programs that word the emails like they are specifically for each player.  The better they can do that the more money they make.  It is hard to tell.  Many are also realizing that if they send it from the HC or RC's email address which is normally public they get better responses.  If it is legit from HC then he will normally put something specific to your kid like I saw you play at WWBA against the Titans.  Would love to have you on campus at our camp XXX and be able to see you in a controlled setting.

Yes, the sign-up for the recruiting service as well as being a rostered player at some of these events will put his name/adress on the heavy stream of camp invites.  You are also correct in that the schools are making them look more and more personalized and they are generally a fundraiser for the program and the AC's.  The only place you are slightly off target - these may be signed by anyone... doesn't matter whether HC, RC, AC.  

There are tricks to identifying which may have genuine interest and you can search the topic here.  But, short version is you want to have a specific dialog with any school and understand where they saw you and what their particular level of interest is before shelling out $ for a camp with any expectations of recruiting advancement.  There are other reasons why you may want to attend a camp but that is a different topic.

Based on your description of your son as a slight build 2022, you are also correct that there is no hurry to attend these and it is a good idea to work on bigger/faster/stronger as well as continued skill development.  No, you don't need to reply to the camps (although there are those that think it can be advantageous) unless you have had personal dialog with a school. 

PS - Pitchingfan and I typing at the same time... I agree with pretty much everything he said but what's funny is - 

"..If it is legit from HC then he will normally put something specific to your kid like I saw you play at WWBA against the Titans.  Would love to have you on campus at our camp XXX and be able to see you in a controlled setting."

I have seen some camp invites with wording pretty darn close to this exact message.  They were generically generated based off a mailing list from the event, maybe minus the specific opponent. 

In general I think it is good to reply just to say "no thanks, I'm too busy..."

Most of these invites come from being on a list.  You can tell which ones are legit based on some of the content.  Also as the kids get older you start to see the coaches watching summer games.

My 2021 kid attended one camp this year, just this past week. We had seen the assistant coach watching my kid's games at a PG - Iowa tournament.  My kid hit a walk off to beat a team that regularly places players in the college program that the assistant coach works for.  The next day my son got a personalized email saying "I saw you playing at such & such event, that was a clutch hit you had against a good team.  We'd love to have you come to our camp so we can further evaluate you & so you can check out the campus." And when my kid wrote him back he got a reply within 10 minutes.

You can tell the difference between something personalized and something that isn't.  It was a good camp, my son had a blast, the HC & RC were not only there but were actively engaged in instructing the kids the entire time, he learned some good things, and got more on their radar.  Since it is a mid major D1 school, they tend to mostly recruit rising seniors.  They told him they are interested, and gave him some specific things to work on before they see him again. 

In general getting bigger faster stronger is the biggest priority for my son.  But he'll consider going to a camp where there is some legit interest.

We got one from a P5 that had recruited my son that had (player) on it with no name.  I forwarded it to the HC who we knew personally through several events.  He was not very happy with his Volunteer Assistant. 

On a slightly different side note, how do you get off their lists?  My son who is already in college still gets invites regularly to camps.  I sent one back to a P5 school where I knew the RC well the other day and said you might want to take my son off your list since UT might consider it a conflict that you are trying to get one of their players to come to your fall camp.  No reply. 

For those just starting to sign up for tournaments, camps, or anything baseball related, use tags in your email.

For example if I were baseballdad@gmail.com and I created a PG account, I would use the email address baseballdad+pg@gmail.com. Using + and a tag after is allowed with email.

You can then keep track of who is selling your info. If you get a camp invite addressed to baseballdad+pg@gmail.com, you know what happened. A much easier way to do this is if you own your own domain name (this is what I do).

Then depending how much of a pest you want to be you can setup auto forwarding rules....;-)

3and2Fastball posted:

In general I think it is good to reply just to say "no thanks, I'm too busy..."

Most of these invites come from being on a list.  You can tell which ones are legit based on some of the content.  Also as the kids get older you start to see the coaches watching summer games.

My 2021 kid attended one camp this year, just this past week. We had seen the assistant coach watching my kid's games at a PG - Iowa tournament.  My kid hit a walk off to beat a team that regularly places players in the college program that the assistant coach works for.  The next day my son got a personalized email saying "I saw you playing at such & such event, that was a clutch hit you had against a good team.  We'd love to have you come to our camp so we can further evaluate you & so you can check out the campus." And when my kid wrote him back he got a reply within 10 minutes.

You can tell the difference between something personalized and something that isn't.  It was a good camp, my son had a blast, the HC & RC were not only there but were actively engaged in instructing the kids the entire time, he learned some good things, and got more on their radar.  Since it is a mid major D1 school, they tend to mostly recruit rising seniors.  They told him they are interested, and gave him some specific things to work on before they see him again. 

In general getting bigger faster stronger is the biggest priority for my son.  But he'll consider going to a camp where there is some legit interest.

This is where you know it's truly an invite....with interest....and not just another $$$ maker.  Though, there have been quite a few stories here that said "I saw you play at XXX event"...when the kid never attended the event.  In the case above, it's obvious the coach saw him...as it's hard to make up something like "a clutch hit"....lol.   If you ever get an email like this....even if you can't attend the camp, if you're interested in the school, reach out immediately...either by phone (if a number is provided) or email.

My son did get a huge amount of camp invites.  We normally didn't even respond, as in a lot of cases, they are automated and the coach won't know if you did or didn't.   We did normally fill out the questionaire if it was a school he was even remotely interested in...just so when we sent the email with his video, we could say that "we submitted the questionaire"....as sometimes they had specific questions that we wouldn't have thought to include in an email

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