Receiving Camp Emails/Letters= Active Recruitment
Disclaimer: This is not intended to be a negative take on camps and showcases by colleges, I think you will see this by reading below.
One of the common questions we ask prospective NLI Prospects is, “Are you being actively recruited, and if so, by whom?” In response to that question is usually a variation of three answers:
Response 1: “Yes (insert personal contact with coaches from ____ schools).” These athletes are truly being actively recruited.
Response 2: “Yes, we have received camp invites from (insert Power 5 baseball program here).” These athletes are under the impression they are being recruited, but fall under false recruitment.
Response 3: “No, but we want to be”
The purpose of this article is to focus on Response #2.
THE GOOD: Don’t get me wrong, attending camps or showcases at prospective schools is an important aspect of the recruiting process, but only when used properly by athletes. Showcasing your talents at a school’s camp can benefit both the athlete and the coaches at the event.
The athlete gets to showcase his/her skills in front of coaches, who have the luxury of being on their own turf in an environment that they can control.
The athlete is already on campus, so this is a great time to see the facilities and the campus to determine if it would be a good fit off the field.
Following the camp, and through honest self-evaluation, the athlete should be able to know whether or not he/she might be a good fit at that specific university on the field.
HOWEVER, THE BAD: The tricky part about receiving these emails and letters from colleges about camps is determining the genuine interest the school has in an athlete. There is a HUGE difference between a mass email sent out about an upcoming camp, and an invitation to a camp with the intention of getting a good look at a player.
The honest truth, is hosting these camps helps to supplement the school’s baseball program and supplement coaching salaries. THIS IS NOT A BAD THING! These coaches have families that they provide for, and they work non-stop on improving that school’s program in whatever way they can. They deserve whatever portion of the funds from these camps that they receive. (See disclaimer if you think I am knocking this practice)
The moral of this article, it is important to pay attention to the message in the camp invites. If the email appears to be something that could be caught in a spam folder, that might not be the best opportunity for you. The worst case scenario in this process, and in the world of recruitment, is to ignore an email for a camp invite that portrays genuine interest in the recruitment of the athlete. However, a close second would be falsely believing a mass email is active recruitment and spending money (fees, travel, hotel, etc.) with the impression that (insert big time Power 5 program here) is going to offer a scholarship at the end of the camp. That result right there is not fair for the athlete, or the coaches.