COMMERCIAL CAMPS VS COLLEGE CAMPS
To camp or not to camp! That is the question…along with which camps, what type of camps, and how much should I spend on camps? As with most processes in the world of recruiting, there are no exact sciences when it comes to getting exposure via camps. Commercial camps have become hugely popular, fighting to compete with traveling 7 on 7 teams, lineman challenges, kicker and punter showcases and college camps. What are the differences along with the pros and cons? Do you need to attend all of them depending on your position? Let’s take a look at each so that you may decide.
What are commercial camps? Commercial camps are third party camps that create competitive opportunities for athletes to increase their exposure. They work with previous or current high school coaches, NFL players, and trainers to provide fundamental instruction as well as tip and tricks of the trade to increase an athlete’s positional knowledge.
- PROS – Usually the biggest benefit to a commercial camp is the chance to compete against athletes that are not in your usual area. They can give you a chance to benchmark yourself on where your talent falls in comparison to others. Camps that are heavily connected by media can help get an athlete’s name out there with a memorable performance.
- CONS – Because of the NCAA rule changes (college coaches may not work these camps and these camps may no longer be on a NCAA college campus), many of these camps may not have access to college coaches directly. So depending on what “after experience” the camp is offering, you may need to take what they provide and sell yourself.
What are college camps? College camps are sponsored and organized directly by a university. Most camps are worked by their coaches on staff and give the athlete the opportunity to increase their exposure and get evaluated by an actual college coach.
WHAT TYPES ARE THERE?
On Campus – On campus are true to their name. They are college camps that are set on campus and will usually run an athlete thru testing and drills so that they may use data they’ve accumulated to make evaluations. If they are an athlete that was not on their radar, this is where they can get on radar. If they are on radar this is where they can confirm “the hype” if they’ve not had the chance to get to a game.
Satellite – Satellite camps are becoming popular with colleges because they can get to more and evaluate more athletes in a shorter period of time. These camps are usually held at high schools or neutral locations and can be worked by other college coaching staffs if agreed upon. If there are athletes they are really interested in, they may ask the athlete to attend an on campus camp so that more coaches, including the college’s head coach, can take a look at them.
- PROS – This section will be short but effective. College camps are KING! It gives you not only the chance to compete in the offseason but to do this in front of a college coach. It also provides you an opportunity to network, asking questions, taking instruction, and just learning how to get a college coach to remember you.
- CONS – If you do not come prepared, meaning that if you have not worked with a trainer or have put in your own extra training before you attend these camps you may expose yourself. Exposing yourself usually means a high 40 time or shuttle for your position, making mental and/or physical mistakes. When at a college camp you get only 1 chance to make a first impression. With so much competition, if a college coach doesn’t think you fit into their program they will move on to the next athlete. College coaches also talk and ask advice from each other. You do not want your name associated with a bad performance if a you are trying to get on radar because the news will spread.