Identifying ‘Fit’ through Camps
The college baseball recruiting landscape is a challenging and daunting task for any high school athlete and family to attempt to navigate. There are multiple different channels, platforms and advice out there for everyone to seek out whether it’s a coach who played college baseball themselves and have their own experiences to draw from to the recruiting service that helps student athletes navigate the recruiting process. The one constant word that gets thrown around is fit. The word ‘fit’ is multi-layered and somewhat dependent on the player and families preferences. As a college coach myself we talk about fit all the time with recruits, each program’s fit is going to be different from the next. This is where youth and prospect camps at a college or university come into play and why they can be important in identifying your own personal ‘fit’. The earlier your kid can be exposed to the higher level of baseball in terms of teaching, pace and information the better and quicker they can develop their game. I remember attending my first college camp in middle school and being mesmerized by the different concepts, language and overall atmosphere the camp provided, it left me wanting to strive for more. I told my dad later that night that I wanted to play college baseball, the goal developed when I was just 13 years old.
Now getting back on topic. Camps hosted by a university or college are advantageous to the baseball program, the coaches and the players attending camp. Different types of camps allow for different types of value for the student athlete and the program. The first type of camp we will identify and discuss are prospect camps.
Prospect camps are a major piece in every level of college baseball from NCAA division one schools to NCAA division three schools, NAIA and junior colleges. Every program runs them differently and has unique twists to each of them but they all are attempting to accomplish the same thing which is, attract prospective student athletes to campus and get them around your coaching staff. While beneficial for the coaching staff and baseball program it can be mutually beneficial for the players attending and their families as well. At most prospect camps, athletes will be exposed to the flow and manner in which coaches interact with players, the style of play the program plays or how they set up their workouts and the ability to showcase their skills in an isolated environment compared to a tournament or showcase. Along with that, players and families are able to gather a feel for the facilities and campus while attending camp which allows them to gain a better idea of what going to school at that certain university or college is like. Time at camps are usually spent on the field or in the athletic facilities but prospect camps can serve as a great opportunity or platform for high school players to inquire about the academics of the school, cost of attendance and other necessary off the field questions that help you find your ‘fit’.
Accessibility is something that has high value in the recruiting process, whether it’s grabbing the coaching staff’s attention to showcase your skills, answer questions that you or your family may have about the program, school, level of play, etc. Prospect camps allow for the ultimate access into a college baseball program and attending one during the recruiting process can be extremely beneficial to identifying your personal ‘fit’ and finding out what is best for you and your family when looking for an opportunity in college baseball.