If you want to get recruited by college coaches, attending summer camps and showcases is a must. We’ve talked about it before, but taking the right steps before you attend camps and showcases can make all the difference between getting a scholarship and not getting a scholarship.
Collin Host, a senior set to graduate in 2013 from just outside Minneapolis, MN, thought attending an AAU showcase in Las Vegas was the right step to get recruited. His logic was sound, considering every July hundreds of college coaches descend on Las Vegas to scout athletes during three five-day basketball evaluation periods.
When Host showed up, he didn’t quite get the chance he was expecting. In a game where Host played well and scored 18 points, there was only one coach could be found watching the game.
A Lesson to Take From Collin Host’s Showcase Story
Collin’s experience is something all recruits can learn from. Attending and playing in front of coaches must happen during your recruiting process, but without building good relationships with coaches you are seriously jeopardizing and minimizing your chances. There are too many variables involved in showcases and recruiting for you to expect to be discovered by attending an event like this.
Host has received letters from several colleges, but none of the head or assistant coaches from those schools ended up attending his game. This speaks to the nature of recruiting letters. If you are receiving generic letters from schools that are type-written the odds are a hundred athletes, if not more, are receiving the same letter. When you start getting hand-written letters, phone calls, and text messages, then you know you are truly being recruited.
What Can You do to Have a Different Experience?
Start recruiting at an early age. Contact coaches and introduce yourself. The more time a coach spends looking at your film and communicating with you, the more likely he is to come scout you. Make sure to communicate with him or her and learn what showcases they are attending, and what teams they plan to scout there.
Set realistic expectations. Host wants to be an NCAA division I player, but the one scout that did show up to his first showcase game marked him down as a division II player. Always aim for the highest level you think you can possibly get to, but being realistic about your ability will help you match up with coaches who actually want to recruit you. Otherwise, you may end up playing in an empty gym and wonder why you don’t have any coaches’ attention.
Play your best, even when only a few people are watching. Host has the right attitude about playing in a showcase tournament. He knows that if his team wins, then they will have a chance to play against the better teams that attract better coaches and scouts. Not to mention, just because you think you are playing in front of nobody, you never know who might walk in the gym next.