November 10, 2011

College Volleyball Summer Camps Question


I love your website.  I’m actually the recruiting coordinator for the club I coach for so it is wonderful to get to read your advice and experience!

My question is one I don’t see (unless I missed it) and get asked a lot.  I’m not a college coach so it’s a hard one for me to answer:

 -          How important or useful is it for players to attend summer camps/clinics of schools they are interested in attending?  

I’m going to say something here that seems satirical but I generally don’t like college summer camps as most of them (in my opinion) are not worth the money when you compare them to the money you could spend better with one-on-one lessons. 

So, I’m a little anti-camps BUT I would love and respect any point of view you can offer!

Thank you!  T. B.

Thanks for the compliments on the web site and glad you like it.

Except for the Volleyball camps I offer the wanting Volleyball masses, all College Volleyball camps are a waste of time and money!!!!  Look deeply into my eyes, you are getting sleepy, you will attend my Volleyball camp because I need to pay my mortgage, you will attend my Volleyball camp because I need to take my family on vacation this year.....On the count of three, wake up and reach for your check book.

Broadly speaking, college camps should be viewed as an opportunity to experience a college campus, hang out with other volleyball players and play volleyball. These are not camps which specifically target skill development and provide elite level coaches. College camps should more be viewed as a cool volleyball experience. If you are a newer player or can't/don't play club, then college camps can be a good use of time, if they are not crazy expensive.

For recruiting, I am even more adverse to college camps because I believe it is money making disguised as recruiting, which I find to be unethical. College coaches already know how good their recruits are and don't really need to have them come to camp for further evaluation. When college programs invite players because they are a potential recruit is disingenuous.

For the player who may be stuck between a school or two about making a commitment after doing all the groundwork with visits and communication, then a camp could be a good opportunity to see how the coaches operate, how the college players who are working the camp behave, how the campus feels outside of an Official or Unofficial Visit. College coaches are very, very good about presenting exactly what they want a PSA to see on a campus visit and what they don't want a recruit to see on a visit, both in terms of the campus and the volleyball program. Sometimes it is only by being on campus for a couple of days and seeing the coaches/players in over these days that a PSA can get a better feel for everything.

In general, for recruiting, it is better to go on an Unofficial/Official Visit to explore the campus and interact with the coaches than to do it via an expensive camp. For elite level skill training/improvement, I think private lessons or elite level skill specific camps with limited numbers of campers are the better choice. For the high school only player or new player to the sport, who just wants to have a volleyball experience on a name brand college campus, then a college camp can be a fun summer camp experience.

Hope that helps!

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