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Advice Apr 03, 2018

Stack: How to Crush it at your Next College ID Camp

Chris Stack, Founder of Guiding Future Stars, author of the College Recruiting Playbook, and developer of the Designing Your Pathway to College Curriculum is a an expert in college recruiting education. GFS is committed to EDUCATE prospective student-athletes, parents, and coaches about what it takes to play at the next level, how the college recruiting process works, and how to be a successful student-athlete who excels in the classroom, on the field, and in the community.

How to Crush it at your Next College ID Camp

Summer is here!  What that means for many prospective student-athletes is the opportunity to attend College Soccer ID camps, showcases and tournaments. If you are just entering high school or heading into your senior year these types of camps can be very valuable to your college recruiting process. Before we provide some tips and strategies to make the most out of your college camp experience you need to to understand the different types of camps that exist.

  • College ID Camps hosted by a third party. They bring in college coaches​ to train, identify, and evaluate prospective student-athletes. These camps generally have hundreds of prospective student-athletes attend who want to gain college exposure. The main goal of college coaches who work and attend these events is to identify potential student-athletes for their school and athletic program. Here is a list of some popular college recruiting camps for each sport.

○    Independent College ID Camps (Not affiliated with a​ college/university) – e.g Adidas Future 500, Exact Soccer Camps

○    College ID Camps hosted by a college​ They bring in a number of​ other college coaches to work their camps. These are very similar to the camps hosted by a third party but there may not be as many college coaches in attendance.

○    College ID Camp/Clinic managed and staffed by that college program only. These tend to be smaller and shorter events.  These​ camps typically last 1-3 days where prospective student-athletes will get the opportunity to experience what it would be like to attend that school and play for that program. Be aware that these types of camps are also money makers for the college programs.  Be sure that you have had some interaction with the staff before attending.

There are four reasons to attend a College ID Camp/Clinic or Showcase.

  1. Gain college exposure
  2. Improve your skills to become a better player
  3. Compete against higher level of competition in order to evaluate your abilities against other players.
  4. Experience a specific college program environment

Whatever the reason is for you to attend a college id camp/clinic be sure you select the right type of camp in order to get the most out of your college camp experience.

Now that you have selected the camps you are going to attend, here are some tips to really make the most out of your College Camp Experience.

1. Make Contact with the Coaches

Review the list of college coaches who will be attending the camp. If there are schools that you may be interested in, write to the coaching staff expressing interest in their program.  Let them know that you will be attending the camp and that you look forward to meeting them and having them watch you play.  Be personal! Be Specific! Be Honest!  You should start building a relationship with the college coach before arriving for camp.

2. Get Facetime with the Coach  

While you are at camp try to find an opportunity to personally introduce yourself to the coaches whose programs you are interested in. Try to take a couple minutes to tell them your name, team, and preferred position, and any other information you think would be helpful. The best times to do that is during check-in if coaches are available, walking to and from the training fields, and in the cafeteria.

3. Be Vocal and Positive on the Field​ 

College coaches look for players who possess leadership qualities.  Any player who has a voice on the field will immediately stand out as long as it is in a positive or constructive way.  If you have the opportunity to be vocal, speak up as a positive influence and leader for your team. All of these qualities demonstrate your relentless and positive attitude, and those are two key characteristics all coaches find impressive.

4. Play Hard and Run Hard  

If you are trying to make a good first impression on a college coach your attitude and your work ethic are your most controllable assets, and one of the best ways to set yourself apart from the crowd.  If you lose the ball, work hard to get it back within the context of the game. If you have the ball know when to keep it and when to give it up. If you get knocked down, get back up. If you are on the field, stay focused on the ball and always keep your feet moving.

5. Respect

Be sure that you respect all members of the camp including the coaches, counselors, teammates, and campus staff. College coaches are not just evaluating you on the field but they are watching how you carry yourself off the field as well.

6. Request Feedback

College coaches seek players who are students of the game.  A player who shows a coach they are willing to learn and improve will separate themselves from players who don’t go that extra mile.  Use this opportunity to engage with coaches about your game.  Speak to them after a training session or game about what you might be able to work on to improve. Coaches love when a player takes ownership over their own athletic development.

7. FUN

Sports are meant to be fun! That is why we play!  If you are not enjoying yourself it will show in how you approach the game. Coaches want players on their team who have passion for their sport. These are the players who believe working hard and improving is fun.

8. Follow-Up

You should always follow up with any college coaches you interacted with while at camp.  You should thank them for working with you or taking the time to speak with you.  If you can try to reference something specific, conversation or drill to help trigger their memory.

If you follow through with these 8 simple steps no doubt you will stand out as qualified prospective student-athlete to some college coaches.  Obviously, your abilities will be an important aspect of this process but on a level playing field these things will give you the edge over your competitors.

Have a Great Summer and All the Best in Your College Search!

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