Please share this with your sons. Every year, we get questions from our parents and players about email and text invitations for attendance to a specific “college recruit/prospect camp(s)” during June thru July. Here are our thoughts and advice on this. 95% of all true college recruiting occurs starting in the sophomore year of HS. There are some players who receive interest as freshman and sometimes even earlier – BUT IS RARE and is for players that are physically developed well beyond a typical 13/14-year-old and already have baseball skills and measurables that are comparable to a good HS senior. In other words, they are the “1%-ers”. This advice applies to all individual players that are the other 99% for making sure you don’t waste your time or money attending a college specific summer camp that may not really be set up for recruiting purposes.

Our advice:
Many colleges run a lot of “prospect/recruit” camps. Some coaches/colleges have a reputation for loading up attendance at their camps to maximize their fee income which goes back into their program. These camps are more fundraisers for their programs rather than actual camps to find new players for their team so you have to be careful.

Here are key questions you should always ask a coach about his camp. Be tactful and respectful but direct. They are all 100% fair questions that they should answer.

• Is there an overall cap on the number of players invited?
• Does each individual position have a player cap?
• How many (insert your primary position) do you anticipate coming to your camp?
• Also ask if other colleges will be there looking to recruit players. (We only book “team camps” at specific schools like Fordham and FDU, if they will have multiple schools present to evaluate and recruit players. We want maximum exposure. Fordham and FDU are D1 programs so they are the only D1’s at their camp they are hosting. But they also invite a bunch of D2’s and D3’s to see players so there is not conflict or competition for the D1 level talent.)

If a camp has more than 50 players, it’s likely a fundraiser for their program and not a true prospect camp. A true prospect camp is very small (20 or less players) and is run in late fall during the last week of their college fall ball. It is usually an overnight invite where you spend a Friday night with a current team member and play with other prospects and the current college team the next day. The goal for summer is to get invited to as many of these kind of late fall camps as possible. Stick with our summer tournaments and ask college coaches to attend one and see you play. They are all on the road doing this over the summer. Tell them you will be interested in their fall prospect camp after you are done with summer showcase events.

Camps with unlimited attendance aren’t a total waste of time but you are better off at anything we book as a team because I know for sure there will be multiple schools there that are 100% interested in recruiting players. The college specific camps without other colleges in attendance during the summer are usually more focused on raising $ for their team.

Steve Riccio
Bombers Baseball Club

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