Tuesday Tips- Choosing the Right Camp
While it’s only December, it’s time to start thinking about which summer camps to attend. We hope to help you narrow down your list so you can get the most bang for your buck!
- Recruiting or Learning? This is one of the biggest questions you need to ask yourself. Are you going to camp to get recruited, or are you going to camp to grow as a player. You don’t have to choose one or the other, but you need to pick a focus for sure.
- Recruiting: If you’re picking a camp to be recruited at, you need to make sure of a couple things. First, make sure schools that you are interested in are attending. Whether it’s the head coach or the assistant coach, it really doesn’t matter, but in order to be recruited someone has to be there. The second is to be aware of if it’s more of a showcase (i.e. more games) or if it part instructional so you can actually get a taste for how coaches coach.
- Narrow Focused Recruiting: So you’ve narrowed down your list to a handful of schools, but you’re still not sure you want to go there? There is no better experience than a school’s specific camp. Not only do you get to be instructed by your potential future coaches, it’s also a great way to interact with current players, committed prospects, eat at the dining halls and sleep in the dorms. Outside of an un/official visit, you really can’t experience a college any better.
- Learning: If you’re going to really grow your game, make sure the coaching lineup has specialists in your position. Whether that means goalie coaches, face off coaches or specific defensive minded coaches, you want to make sure your money is spent on the best teachers. It is a rather large waste of money to go to a camp if they don’t even have position specific drills for you!
- Length of Camp: The next thing you want to look at is the length of camp. Are you paying $500 for a 3 night, 4 day camp, or are you paying $500 for a 2 night, 1 full day of camp (half days on the first and last day)? Pay close attention to the itinerary and make sure you’re getting the most out of your time there. Not only is intruction important, but you need to make sure you’re actually going to be there long enough to pick up some new tips and interact with all of the coaches.
- Who’s Coaching: This goes back to the first point, but make sure you check and see who is actually working the camp. Is it just the schools coaches (will the head coach even be there- you’d be surprised sometimes they are not) and some of their players, or do they have some of the best coaches coming in to help instruct camp. This is very important to your experience, there’s a big difference between a head college coach or a sophomore in college coaching you.
- Level of Competition: Most camps have a specific age range, however they cannot legally restrict to a certain level of play. Look for words such as “Elite” “Showcase” or “Prospect” camp to determine if it is a high level of play or more like “Open” or “Skills Clinic” for a more instructional atmosphere. Based on your goals, you should determine which kind of camp to go to.
- Camper to Coach Ratio: This is important and often overlooked. Definitely ask or look to see what the ratio is between coaches and players. The camp may have a phenomenal coaching staff, but if coaches are trying to keep eyes on 25+ players at once, chances are it will be much harder to get individualized instruction. For a more personal and learning experience, strive to find lower to coach ratios in the 10:1 range.
Happy Laxing, we hope you enjoy this segment of Tuesday Tips. Remember, if you have a question you want answered, ask us here and we may feature it on our next segment!