The value of college camps
By: Charlie Wentzky - November 21, 2007
Most travel baseball teams have closed the book on the fall, football players are looking back on the season that was and spring hardball is right around the corner.
So what does the baseball junky do to bridge the gap that we call winter?
Obviously money may come into play at some point but if family funding exists, players may want to take a stab at the college camp circuit.
Instead of sitting on the couch and eating Cheetos, playing Guitar Hero or watching a dozen football games on the weekend: Go get better, go learn, go get seen!
Most college camps are reasonably priced and the majority of them are stocked with quality instructors. Some camps cater more to the educational angle, others focus more on getting players exposure.
The astigma is out there that winter baseball camps were established to pad the wallets of baseball coaches, this notion could not be further from the truth. Most camps are set up to take care of assistant coaches who may make very little – if anything at all – during the other 363 days on the calendar. Money obtained during camps also can go towards supplementing inferior budgets and be used for uniforms, equipment, baseballs, travel, etc.
Many times events like this allow players to get to know evaluators, chat with them and see what they are really like. Often times it is difficult to meet college coaches but, in a camp setting, they are roaming around all day working stations and making conversation with players and parents. What better way to laugh and hang out with college coaches and pro scouts than when their sole responsibility is to be there for you?
Exposure can be very difficult to get during the winter months because of the Quiet Period rule that keeps Division I coaches off the road until March 1. If you are looking to catch the eye of a DI program, your only chance is at a winter baseball camp.
As with anything, some camps are better than others. Some are cheaper than others. Some bring in more college coaches, some bring in more pro players and high school coaches. Most are very good but may offer different things; it really depends on what you are searching for. Regardless of your winter baseball needs, there is likely a camp out there for you.
Parents, everyone is always looking for the gift that keeps on giving. What is better than the gift of knowledge that your kid may not be able to get elsewhere. While plenty of prep and travel programs do a good job of passing along the correct information, you cannot put a price tag on fundamentals that may be worded in a way that ‘clicks’ with your son in a way that relates to his game.
Most college programs put all of their camp information on their baseball website and make it very easy to sign up. So guys, get out of that Lay-Z-Boy, check the piggy bank and see how much better you can get while your competition sits around and waits for tryouts to roll around.
Note: To be linked to every baseball website in our state, check the College Directory section on the Diamond Prospects site, click here.