Posted On: 05/15/19 4:57 PM

On this edition of “Dear Prep Dig” we take a look at summer camps.  Not what summer camps to attend, but how to best decide what summer camp will benefit the individual and their teams the most.  Everyone has a different situation and the same goes for summer camps. Here is a way to navigate the hundreds of camps athletes could go to, but here are some guidelines to think about.  Again, everyone’s situation is different, we are just one resource, but we do enjoy trying to help you out as best we can.

Dear Prep Dig,

I am going to be a Sophomore for my high school team and I have a chance to start on the varsity team this upcoming season, however there are also some individual camps I’d like to go to instead to hopefully get some more exposure and maybe even an offer from those schools in the future.  Some players on my team are going to individual camps instead of our team camp. What is the best way to go about this?

Sincerely,

Juana B. Grate

………………………………………………………………………………..

Dear Juana,

You definitely are not the only one in this position.  First off, being in position to choose multiple summer camps means that you have committed to the sport of volleyball, have experienced some success, thus far giving you a lot of opportunities for great things in high school and hopefully beyond.  Here would be some things to think about while making your decision:

At any camp whether it is a team, individual, positional, or exposure camp you are getting extra touches which will make you better.  At the next level you will learn new ways in regards to skills and being able to adapt to how you are being trained – new ideas and training should always be welcome.  

I know there may be individuals on any high school team who are going to individual camps at colleges instead of a high school team camp.  They might be in a position as an incoming Junior or Senior where they have committed to a particular school or have narrowed down their choices and attending a camp is a great way to see how they would feel on campus, interacting with the coach, and even getting a chance to play with the current student athletes that could potentially be their future teammates.  

Depending on your high school program, there will most likely be competition for open spots.  If an outside hitter graduated last year there are probably two or three who want that position.  A team camp is a great way to work with your teammates for this upcoming fall and get some quality reps while building some team chemistry.  For many teams they will use a camp to kickstart their season, participating in a lot of team bonding, new players getting comfortable with returners, a chance to be on a college campus, and start establishing the process to make the season a success.  At some team camps, they will provide coaches for your team. These aren’t just the casual volleyball fans off the street, these coaches can be top club, other high school, former collegiate players, and college coaches. There is still a great chance to gain some exposure by working with college coaches from all over.  Just because a camp is sponsored by a certain college/university doesn’t mean all the coaches are from that school. They will hire other college coaches to work their camp. This is what is so great about volleyball is that the community is very connected.

I wish you the best with your summer.  Remember there are only so many things you can control and it is best not to get wrapped up in what others are doing.  Only you can control how hard you work this summer with the mindset to improve as much as you possibly can.

All the best,

Prep Dig Chris