Attending college baseball camps is a great way for a prospective college baseball player to build exposure. We’ve found that university camps and clinics are underutilized, and for some players, these events return the best results from a recruiting standpoint.
They shouldn’t be an automatic addition to your strategy to build exposure though. Unlike showcases, camps and clinics offer a much more focused level of visibility. Instead of playing in front of 50 coaches, you’ll be showcasing your skills for a single coaching staff. A prospective college baseball player needs to be aware of their situation before making a decision to attend a camp or clinic. This article should help guide players and parents through that decision.
Why College Baseball Programs Hold Camps and Clinics
Running clinics is a great fundraising method for a college baseball program. The money generated often helps out with travel and other expenses incurred throughout the season. Coaches also utilize these camps to assist with their recruiting efforts.
Due to recruiting calendar restrictions, coaches are limited with their recruiting activities during certain parts of the year. During the quiet period, coaches can only have in person contact and scout players on their university campus. At the Division I level, this period runs from mid October through February, so these programs often hold camps and clinics during that time. By doing so, coaches can continue with their recruiting efforts, while raising money for their program and sharing their baseball knowledge with prospective college baseball players. Win, win, win.
How Players Can Benefit
A college baseball camp is a great option if a coach can’t watch you play in person or if you aren’t able to find showcases that the coach is attending. There are some coaches that avoid showcases altogether, so this scenario does happen.
We would also recommend the camps and clinics route if you have your sights set on a few schools. The best way to get exposure to a very specific set of programs is to attend their camps. On the other hand, if you’re casting a wide net with your college baseball search, you’ll probably get the most value from your time and money by attending showcases, which will have a wider range of coaches in attendance.
The instruction component is also a really nice benefit to university specific events. More often than not, you’ll be receiving quality advice that will better prepare you to play at the next level. Additionally, a coach will be able to assess your ability take instruction and implement it. Coaches are always looking for talent, but they also look for coach-able players. On the flip side, it also gives players the opportunity to evaluate a program’s coaching style, which is really important.
In most cases, the current student-athletes work the clinic, which allows attendees to interact and work closely with potential future teammates. Depending on how many current players you work with at the camp, you may be able to evaluate the team chemistry and if you see yourself being a good fit. Prospective college baseball players will also get a first hand view of the athletic facilities at the institution.
It’s also worth noting that there are some camps and clinics that actually have multiple college programs in attendance. It doesn’t compare to the level of exposure of a showcase, but it’s something to keep in mind.
A player’s situation ultimately determines if a camp or clinic aligns with their strategy to build exposure to college coaches. Showcases have become so popular over the past few years that alternate forms of exposure often fly under the radar. University specific camps and clinics can be an effective tool to get in front of college coaches, so it should be something that you keep in mind throughout your college baseball search.