Question: College Camps? How important (if at all) are the softball camps offered by colleges? My daughter plays Travel Ball around the same time these camps are held and I am not sure which is a better investment in her time. I see this as a possible opportunity to get exposure within a small group?
Answer: College Camps
Camps can be a lot of fun and worthwhile IF the player and her family understand that camps are only guaranteed to provide some good instruction and skills work. Yes, occasionally, there are players who go to a camp and are "discovered". But for every camper who is eventually recruited by the college whose camp she attended, there are likely to be several hundred campers who are not!. Camps start as fundraisers. Some college hold prospect camps, but even at those it's safe to say that a college might recruit one player from the camp or identify a few prospects they want to see--in action--at future travel ball tournaments. I don't personally feel that sending your player to four or five camps hoping she'll get a scholarship or be recruited just from that is the smartest thing you can do with your recruiting budget, particularly if that budget is limited.
However, if a player has one college that she really wants to attend--even if she can't play softball there--then going to a camp at that school might not be a bad idea. She could show enough to the coach to get some sort of idea whether or not she has any shot at walking and making the team.
The tough thing is that to be recruited by a top D-I college, your player generally needs to be showcasing her skills against top Gold pitchers, hitters, etc., and in game situations. She's not likely to find that at a college camp, so even if the coach is impressed with her athleticism, talent, etc., he/she is probably going to want to see her at a tournament in all likelihood before making any commitment to recruiting her.
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