I have long talked about how strongly I am against football recruiting camps and combines that charge money. The only thing that happens from these camps is that you are filling up the pockets of those that are behind the whole scheme. While they may claim that the results are sent to every school in the country, that doesn’t mean the coaches are not going to delete the email or never look at it. And really, that is a major selling point of what these camps do.
But those that run the football camps are not the only ones who are seeing a great deal of profit from holding camps. There are a number of other programs throughout the country who do something similar on the basketball court. And if anything, these camps can be run cheaper and easier just because it is easier to play 5-on-5 basketball than to organize football drills. With most of these camps coming during the fall months, is it really worth it?
My answer to that depends on the type of situation that you are in. During the fall, it is important to realize that Division I coaches will not be flocking to see these camps. The majority of coaches that usually attend are those at the Division III level. So before you pay your $75 or $100 for one day of exposure, think about what level you want to play at in college.
Because many times the organizer of these camps works with an AAU coach throughout the State, the talent level at these camps really differs. The camp organizer will pay the AAU coach for each player that comes to the camp from their team. If it is one of the better AAU teams in the State, then there is likely to be a solid crop of Division I and II talent.
The problem is that there is this high level talent and then the rest is usually kids who flat out can’t play. They are going into the camp thinking that they can, but in most situations, they struggle. Most college coaches come away from the camp having gotten very little out of it and maybe, just maybe a few names that they will consider to recruit in the future.
Anyways, if you goal is to play at the Division I level in college, don’t kid yourself and think this is what this camp will do. If that is your goal and you still are young, your best bet is to try and hook up with an AAU team that travels the country and has a reputable head coach. Coming to this type of camp is not worth your time, money, or travel.
If you are a recruit who is interested in playing at a Division III school and has many of those programs interested in you already, then it may not be for you either. The majority of coaches at this camp with be from Division III, NAIA, and sometimes Junior College programs. If that is the type of interest that you already have, then there is no point in going.
And last but not least, if you are a player who wants to play at that lower level but has not received any interest, this may be something that you should go to. However, have you received an evaluation from someone who is not bias about your level? Just because you dominate at the smaller level of high school doesn’t make this worth the money. If you are good enough and want the exposure, than go for it. But like I said, most of the kids that go are not good enough to play at the Division III/NAIA levels.
I have heard many stories of basketball players going on the AAU circuit and blowing up after just one weekend. I have not however heard that about a recruiting/exposure camp. The chances of you coming away with a scholarship offer have to extremely low so in most cases, paying the money is not worth it.
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