SEMO Baseball Camps

What To Look for in a College Camp

This can be an exciting time as a high school player or parent. You’re starting to look into the future to determine what the next step looks like! We’ve all been there and as a former college player and now college coach I can relate! With spring rolling through, you may be starting to look into attending some prospect camps or showcase events this summer. These prospect camps and showcases can be great for several reasons, as it can give you insight into where you stand in comparison to other players that are chasing the same goals and aspirations. Let’s dive into some questions you can start asking yourself and how you can determine if a school or coaching staff is a good fit for you just by attending a camp!

You need to ask yourself…

1st: Do I really want to play college baseball?

     This may seem like a funny question to ask on a blog about choosing a college prospect camp or showcase but it is a real thing that needs to be considered. Many high school athletes and parents don’t fully understand the commitment that goes into being a college athlete. I can tell you one thing! It’s not a walk in the park. It’s a full time commitment that requires a lot of sacrifice. It’s not the normal social life that another college student may get. You have to truly want to play, and that means play because you want to, not because you just want to be on the team. With that being said, I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything. The reason I wouldn’t trade my experience is because I got to experience things that other students weren’t able to. It’s important to make sure that you’re truly all in and work for it.

 2nd: Which camps or showcases should I pick?

     Through this process, there are a lot of camps and showcases that you can choose from, and it may be difficult to decide which ones are worth the time and money. Figuring out where you are at in the recruiting process can help here, especially if you don’t have any schools or levels narrowed down. The good thing about showcases is that it can allow for a lot of coaches to see you at once. There are a lot of schools out there and you never know who’s watching! Showcases are a great opportunity to see where you stack up in comparison to other players around you. This can be very valuable in narrowing down the right landing spot because you’ll get to see where you compare to others.
If you have some schools or a certain level decided, a school prospect camp can be very beneficial. These offer a few things that showcases can’t. WIth prospect camps, you have the ability to interact with the coaching staff at the school. And when I say interact, I mean interact! The entire coaching staff will have the ability to see you showcase your skills. And at some point during the camp you will also have the ability to interact with the staff directly, ask questions, and see what it really takes to play at their program. The best advice I can give a prospect going to a camp… don’t be shy. Be yourself!
  • Prospect camps also give you the opportunity to see the school, as they are typically on campus. This gives every athlete attending the camp to walk around campus to see if the school is a fit for them. You will generally have access to see the facilities and what the school has to offer. It’s important to ensure the schools you’re considering is a good fit academically and athletically because that decision alone could effect the rest of your life. One way to help with this decision is to schedule a campus tour with the school on the same weekend as the camp! If you don’t know where to start when scheduling a campus tour, I would recommend reaching out to the camp coordinator and they can point you in the right direction.

3rd: What are coaches looking for at camps/showcases?

     It’s important to know what a coach is looking for at these camps and showcases. First and foremost, your talent level and metrics need to match the level that the program recruits at. There’s a baseline for talent that needs to be met in order for a college coach to consider any prospect, but that is definitely not the only thing coaches look at. Once the talent level is determined, the coach will watch how that player interacts in the dugout or their body language on the field. Things don’t always go as planned and when mistakes happen coaches want to see how you’ll overcome obstacles that get in your way. And how you interact when you’re in the dugout and between the lines can be a make or break for that coach. Be yourself and don’t be too cool as that doesn’t show coaches who you really are. Coaches love it when players show up to camp and act themselves. It gives coaches good insight into what you’re really like!

4th: Is it the right fit academically and Financially?

     Now, it’s time to make sure the school is a good fit financially and academically. Although an athletic scholarship is an awesome opportunity, it is not a guarantee by any means. Baseball is a sport that works with smaller scholarships than other sports so some players may have a walk on opportunity and other might have a 60% scholarship. No matter the scholarship size it all determines what happens on the field. For example, in “Division I” baseball, an entire team is only allowed 11.7 scholarships to be dispersed throughout the entire roster. An entire roster? Yeah! 35+ players could be on a college baseball roster! This is where academics help a great deal, many schools have great academic packages that help in this process. With that being said it’s important to ensure that the school has the right major that you intend to pursue as well.
I hope that you find this blog helpful in your choosing of a camp or showcase you plan on attending. If you have any questions it can also help to reach out to your high school coach or someone that you trust!

Austin Spainhour

Twitter: @austinspainhour
College Baseball Coach: SEMO Baseball