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What Do Camp Invites From College Coaches Really Mean?

By Next College Student Athlete, 07/11/19, 3:30PM CDT

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Attending camps can be a great opportunity in your recruiting journey. But what does an invite from a coach really mean? And how do you know if it’s specific to you or generic? Use this guide to gauge which camps will provide you with the best recruiting opportunities.

For many sports, summertime is peak camp season. Across the country, college coaches send millions of invitations to student-athletes to promote their camps and get a good turnout. But what does it really mean when you get invited to a camp? And how should you respond? Here are four clues to help you interpret your invite and plan your next steps.

Every coach shows interest differently

Between all the recruiting questionnaires, camp invites, phone calls, emails and direct messages, it can be difficult to figure out if a coach’s interest is real or not. If a coach has been frequently calling or messaging you, they are probably interested in you as a recruit. However, some coaches prefer to evaluate athletes in person and have a face-to-face conversation before showing too much interest.

Is your camp invite specific or generic?

In general, the more personal and specific your camp invite is, the better. Figuring out whether your invite is generic or specific can be difficult to do. In some cases, emails from coaches that look generic are actually showing interest. This is because a coach working at a big program could be sending messages to 100 different recruits. While they don’t have time to make each email too personalized, they could still be interested in evaluating you at their camp. It’s important to note if a coach includes personal contact information, like a cell phone number. That’s usually a sign of interest.

Recruit vs. camper

In reality, many schools use camps to raise money for their athletic programs. Can campers learn valuable skills and improve their game? Yes, but that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily being recruited. Attendees who received generic invites are usually campers. These athletes aren’t being actively recruited by a coach and are mainly there for skills development. On the other hand, recruits who have received a personal invitation from the coaching staff are being evaluated at the camp. In order to make sure you’re top of mind, you’ll have to establish a line of communication with the coach.

Communication is crucial

Since coaches tend to invite a lots athletes to their camps, they generally don’t have time to discover recruits who aren’t already on their radar. That’s why you shouldn’t hope to get “discovered” at a camp—instead, it’s important to communicate with the coach at their camp. When you receive a camp invite, you should always respond. Try to get a conversation going to make sure you’re on the coach’s list of players they’ll be evaluating. In addition, it’s never a bad idea to send over your highlight video. if the coach responds, that probably means they have some interest in you. In addition, you should always follow up after camp.

Attending camps can be a great opportunity for your recruiting journey. Before you attend, you’ll want to learn the ins and outs of camps. Use this guide to learn more about communicating with college coaches before, during and after your camp.

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