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Camps, Combines and Showcases


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Camps, Combines and Showcases

Camps, Combines and Showcases

College Events

Student-athletes will often participate in camps, combines tournaments and showcases. These events allow players to improve their skills and gain exposure amongst college coaches. Coaches highly value the opportunity to watch players in action, and the more chances they get to watch a player, the more likely that player will be recruited. However, these events can be both costly and time consuming for athletes and their families; thus, it is important to know what events are best worth their time.

Types of Events

Types of events (varies by sport):

  • Camps: In middle school and early high school, camps focus on fundamentals and skill building, which is typically taught by a high school coach. In later years, student-athletes will attend college camps. These events provide players with the opportunity to play in front of college coaches. These camps, however, are sometimes by invitation only.

  • Combines: These events are meant to test a student-athlete’s athleticism. They typically consist of various specific conditioning drills that assess speed, strength, and overall skill. These events typically do not require an invitation.

  • Showcases: These events normally consist of both sport related drills and competitions.

  • Tournaments: These events give coaches the opportunity to see recruits compete against each other.


How Does an Athlete Choose Which Events to Attend?


While attending various camps and combines will help increase an athlete’s recruiting possibilities, a player should use their time wisely by attending events that will maximize their ability to get recruited at one of their target schools. Once an athlete starts to build relationships with coaches at their target schools, they should start asking them about what camps and combines they plan to attend. As a result, the athlete will be able to showcase their skills in front of a coach at one of their target schools.

Does an Athlete Need to Get Invited to Attend a Camp or Combine?


In most cases, camps and combines do not require an invitation. However, there are elite showcase camps and sponsored camps that are by invite-only. It is important to note that receiving an invite to a camp or combine does not directly correlate to being a top recruit. In reality, coaches will send hundreds of invites to financially support their program. Consequently, it is up to an athlete to be wise about which camps and combines to attend based on their skill level, schools of interest and overall preferences.

How Does an Athlete Get Noticed at an Event?


Performing well at a combine does not guarantee recruitment; however, it can surely help an athlete. In general, it is essential for athletes to attend camps where target school coaches will attend. This can be easily confirmed through a quick email or text reminding them of the athlete’s attendance at the camp. Furthermore, coaches will take a much more holistic approach when evaluating an athlete. Therefore, athletes need to ensure they are acting appropriately when off the ball, around fellow recruits, and their overall attitude and demeanor.

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A Parent’s Role at a Recruiting Event


Parents play a pivotal role in the recruiting process by attending events such as camps, combines and showcases. Many parents believe that coaches only evaluate student athletes; however, they actually evaluate parents as well. Parents should ensure to be professional and leave an overall good impression for themselves and their athlete. While a coach’s primary goal is to evaluate an athlete, a parent displaying poor attitude or unsportsmanlike conduct can significantly hurt their athlete’s chance of getting recruited.

Some Things a Parent Should Avoid Doing at a Recruiting Event

  • Acting inappropriately

  • Helicopter-parenting (overbearing or being intrusive)

  • Introducing themselves or approaching a coach at bad times (parents should not try to talk to coaches during an event or while they are coaching. A good time rather is shortly after the event).

Following Up With Coaches


Student-athletes should follow up with a coach after they attend their university camp. It ultimately helps them develop a relationship with the coach. Athletes should ask a coach directly about whether they had a chance to evaluate them and if they have any feedback. Finally, it is ok for an athlete to ask where they stand in their recruiting class.

Next Section: NCAA Recruiting Rules

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