Which camps can improve your skills and raise your recruiting profile?
While there are more than half a million high school baseball players in the United States, only about 12% of them will go on to play at any collegiate level. And only about 2% of those players will be recruited. That means, if you want to be recruited to play college baseball, you’ll need every edge you can get. And one big way to get that edge is to attend baseball camps.
Now, before you start signing up for baseball camps, it’s important to know the details about college baseball scholarships. As an equivalency sport, college baseball coaches in Division I only have 11.7 scholarships to divide among the team. That means any scholarship you do get will likely be a partial scholarship. And that means, if you’re counting on baseball to pay for college, you’ll likely need additional financial aid or solid grades to qualify for academic scholarships. A solid academic record can also make you a more attractive recruit, as it shows coaches that you can handle a college course load. Plus, if you also qualify for an academic scholarship, you offer a coach more flexibility in meeting those 11.7 scholarships elsewhere.
The primary benefit to any baseball camp is the opportunity to fine-tune your baseball skills and receive quality instruction from, top-end coaches. While there are general baseball camps, there are also plenty of specialized camps and clinics for hitting, fielding, base running, as well as for pitchers, catchers, infielders, and outfielders. Your choice of camps may depend on where you are in your recruiting process but, if you have a few schools on your target list that match up with your skill level, look for camps at those schools. Just be sure to check out the camp details beforehand to be certain that the camp has a low staff-to-camper ratio and that it will benefit your development, whether you’re a freshman-to-be or entering your senior year of high school.
In addition to sharpening your baseball skills, a baseball camp is an ideal way to get in front of college coaches. Remember that, with half a million high school baseball players out there, most college baseball coaches don’t have a huge budget for nationwide recruiting. Therefore, showing off your skills at a camp run by a school you’re interested in, or attending a camp or clinic that will have several coaches in attendance, can raise your recruiting profile. In fact, many baseball camps are referred to as “Exposure Camps,” as that’s what they’re designed for.
In addition to providing you more exposure to coaches, attending a camp run by a specific program offers two additional benefits. The first is you, attending that camp provides you with a reason to reach out to that coach, introduce (or reintroduce) yourself, and give that coach a heads up that you’ll be attending that camp. And from there, you can introduce yourself to a coach or coaches in person at the camp and build a relationship with that coach. On top of that, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with not just coaches, but most likely the current players, assistants, and training staff, while also having the time to check out the athletic facilities and the campus.
Camps vs Clinics vs Combines
While the terms may be used interchangeably, baseball camps, clinics, and showcases all offer participants something a little different and they can all help you in different ways. As we’ve covered how different baseball camps may work, make sure you know the differences between clinics and combines.
Baseball clinics are a good way to meet college coaches and give them the opportunity to evaluate your skills and see where you can improve. You’ll receive one-on-one instruction that’s focused on improving your fundamentals in each part of the game.
Baseball combines, which are also referred to interchangeably as showcases, are more about gauging your overall athleticism to provide objective data for recruiters. Those gauges can be clocking your pitching speed or your 40-yard dash time. Combines are often held to help you raise your profile through the data you provide, but coaches are rarely in attendance.
While showcases hold drills comparable to what you see at combines, they also feature competitions and scrimmages that provide an opportunity to display your skills in a game environment. Though showcases offer little instruction, they do give you the opportunity to show off the skills you already have.
The baseball camp, clinic, or combine that’s right for you will depend on your skill level and where you stand in the recruiting process. Just remember to choose the camp that will help boost your skills while you build relationships with coaches so that you’ll be ready to swing away when you begin your college baseball recruiting process.
Did you enjoy the article ‘How Baseball Camps Can Benefit You’? If so, check out more of our articles HERE.