USA TODAY High School Sports has a weekly column on the college recruiting process. Here, you’ll find practical tips and real-world advice on becoming a better recruit to maximize your opportunities and play at the college level. Kyle Winters was a standout high school pitcher who tossed seven scoreless innings in a major tournament during his senior year. That performance against some heavy-hitting future MLB draft picks helped Kyle earn a full-ride scholarship to the University of New Mexico. However, Kyle opted to play professional baseball and was drafted by the Florida Marlins in the fifth round and played seven seasons for various minor league teams. Kyle is just one of many former college and professional players, college coaches and parents who are part of the Next College Student Athlete team. Their knowledge, experience and dedication, along with NCSA’s history of digital innovation and long-standing relationship with the college coaching community, have made NCSA the largest and most successful athletic recruiting network in the country.
Attending college baseball camps can offer many benefits, including quality training, exposure to college coaches and possibly checking out a college that you may end up attending. It’s an important part of the college recruiting process, but it can also take a significant amount of research and preparation to find the right camp for you. If you’re scrambling to find solid options for upcoming baseball camps, look no further — we’ve put together a definitive list of every college NCAA Division I, Division II, Division III, NAIA and junior college camp in the country. You will also find the date, type and cost of each camp, potentially saving you hours of research time. Check it out here:
Before you register
There are a few steps you can take to make the most of your camp experience. First, do your research on the school and program before you register for camp. You should focus most of your efforts on attending camps at colleges where you can get admitted, because otherwise you could be wasting your time. It’s important to measure how you stack up both athletically and academically.
Also, make sure to build a relationship with coaches ahead of time. Ideally, you want to be on their radar before you arrive for camp so that you can improve your chances of being evaluated. You need to be strategic in choosing the right camp to attend, since just showing up won’t guarantee you’ll get noticed by college coaches. If you really have your heart set on a specific program and are struggling to get in contact with that coach through email or your club coach, attending their camp and catching their attention is still a possibility — but this shouldn’t be your main strategy for camps.
How to make the most of your camp experience
Make the most of your camp experience by following a few simple tips:
- Be prompt. College coaches notice student-athletes who arrive late. Double check registration and start times to ensure you’ll get there early.
- Bring all the essentials. You’ll want to be at your best when competing in front of college coaches. Make sure you have all the equipment you need to do just that: glove, bat, cleats, water, towel, sunscreen, etc. You can check the camp’s website, too, as it typically outlines everything you should bring.
- Stay positive. College coaches look for recruits who are coachable, so they’ll evaluate your body language and attitude on and off the field. It’s important to stay positive because it shows coaches that you’re mentally tough.
- Check out campus. Stick around after camp and visit the university to get a feel for the campus. If there’s another college nearby, make the most of your day and check out that one, too. Seeing a college campus in person can help you decide if it’s the right fit for you.
After camp, make sure to follow up with coaches and thank them for the opportunity. You can also ask them for feedback. Afterwards, whenever you have noteworthy updates to share, such as new video, grades or accomplishments, email them about your progress. Building relationships with college coaches is essential to staying on their radar and getting an offer.
Read more: How to make the most of college camps