After spending the past four summers working TCU’s football recruiting camps, I began to pinpoint the sources of common coach frustrations that occurred at every single camp. Not only was it a coach’s frustration but on occasion, it was also irritating enough for the entire camp staff. I also took note of the things that worked to an athletes benefit. This is your chance to show off to the coaches. Whether you are attending because you have received a camp invite or want a coach to notice you, here are a few tips to make the most of your experience regardless of your skill level.
1. Wear bright colors to stand out.
You will more than likely be given a shirt to be worn during camp, so wear bright colored or printed shorts/pants, cleats/shoes, or a headband. It is easier on a coach if they can say “the linebacker with the yellow headband” or “the wideout with the neon green Nike cleats” when pointing you out to other coaches if you have drawn interest.
2. Do NOT show up late.
There is a check-in time for a reason. You are best off not coming at all if you are going to be late. The coaches, GA’s and staff have already moved onto their next task and the last thing you want is to annoy them by having to get someone to accommodate and check you in and give you your shirt because you couldn’t be there during the allotted time. You will also miss the part of check-in that allows coaches to get your height, weight, and vertical.
3. Speak loud and clear.
Starting at check-in until the end of camp, always speak loud and clear! One of the biggest pet peeves of the people responsible for check-in is mumbling. There are hundreds of people in that area while we are trying to get your first/last name, position, high school, etc. The number of times that I have had to scribble things out and start over because an athlete could not speak up was ridiculous. Close to 3/4 of the athletes I have checked in were nothing far from a mumble. Coaches or GA’s who were also working check-in became so excited when an athlete could communicate clearly and with enthusiasm (even though you should incorporate this throughout your life). This is also valid for the duration of camp. If a coach speaks to you or asks you something, you better speak up!
4. If a coach suggests you try a position, DO IT!
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not trying out a position that a coach suggests that you try. Hearing an athlete tell a coach that they weren’t interested in trying the suggested position left me wanting to shake some sense into them! They aren’t asking you to do this for their own pleasure. Usually, it is because either there is not an available scholarship for your position or you are undersized for that position at the collegiate level, but they think you are a great athlete and want to give you a chance at another position. Take this opportunity and run with it. By denying this, you are eliminating any interest that the coach may have had in you. You demonstrated that you are not flexible, thus not a great team player.
5. Don’t warm up too much before camp starts.
There is no reason to warm-up unless the coaches state otherwise. There is time set aside at the beginning of camp for everyone to do warm-ups together. Camps are mentally and physically draining so don’t tire yourself early on.
If you treat this as a regular practice, a coach will never take interest in you. It is only a few hours long so give it your all to compete against your peers.
7. Introduce yourself to your position coach.
There are hundreds of athletes that attend their camps and it’s hard to catch a coach’s attention unless your skills are over the top or you make an effort for conversation. Coaches are always busy so it may be difficult to have a full conversation, but a quick introduction is satisfactory.
Combine all of these tips with skill and hard work and you will be on the path to having a great camp!
Hailey attended Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. Her experience began with working in the recruiting department of TCU Football for her entire four years of college. She then moved on to work for the Dallas Cowboys as a member of the promotions team. She now lives in Denver, Colorado to contribute her knowledge of the college football recruiting process to Student-Athlete Showcase.