How to Pick Your Football Camps and Clinics

As the spring approaches, so will the recruiting season. A huge part of the recruiting season will be choosing camps or clinics to attend this summer. How do you chose which ones are best for you?

The NE ELITE FOOTBALL CLINIC helps players accomplish many of their goals for the all-important camp/Clinic season. Most importantly, with over 250 college coaches and 90+ colleges in attendance, we allow you to see multiple schools and meet multiple coaches at one spot. This is invaluable in itself.  In addition, we run the clinic at night when its cooler, don’t test the 40 for those who don’t run well, give you a numbered shirt so you’re easily identified during the 8on8 games and have your contact and academic information available for every coach. Bottom line, it’s a “no brainier” for any player to attend the ELITE.

This being said, we do endorse that you attend other camps at your favorite colleges. These camps will allow you to see the college and meet the entire staff on campus. But you can’t do many of these; maybe 4 or 5 at the most. Thus, you need to be smart in choosing which ones and be ready!

What you must remember about football camps and clinics are they can be very productive in the recruiting process. They can also be EXTREMELY counterproductive if not properly scheduled. I say this because I’ve seen players play well at college camps and clinics and secure offers while on campus. However, even more players attend these events with hopes of obtaining offers and perform poorly, thus not only ruining their chances at that college but also ruining his chances at other schools that may be attending.

So how does a high school junior go about picking which camps or clinics to attend? I advise the following hints:

1. Do not attend any camp, clinic or combine unless you are in 100% ready. Just like you were at a job interview, every time you step onto a college campus you are being evaluated. Would you show up to a job interview unprepared, unshaven, poorly dressed and lethargic? Of course not. Well, the same applies to camps. Don’t go unless you are ready to WOW the coaches there. That means being properly dressed, well rested and in great shape.

2. You better be in the best shape possible because it’s a tough day or two- Not in great shape? Stay home and don’t ruin any chance you may have. Football camps are tough; one or two days of intense drills. And let’s remember, it’s going to be 90 degrees most days. Only attend events where you in the best shape possible.

3. Only attend camps where you are a prospect- Lets face it; you can’t attend every camp or clinic that invites you and hope to perform great everywhere. It’s physically impossible. This being said, you must determine who is REALLY recruiting you and try to get to those camps. Even then it’s tough because they may overlap. In this case, prioritize which are your favorites (and where you have the best chance) and attend those.

4. Try not to do back-back camps. I say this purely for the “burnout factor”, meaning no rest can lead to burnout. My oldest son Nico (Columbia ’12) was a victim of this when tried doing Maryland and Brown back-to-back. He performed well at Maryland and the 1st half of Brown. Then the heat got to him and he “melted down” the 2nd session at Brown. I learned my lesson and limited son #2 Dante (Amherst ’18) to one camp per four days. Things went much better with him. I suggest at least two or three days between camps and clinics to ensure optimum performance.

5. Hydration, Nutrition and Rest are incredibly Important during the Camp/Clinic Season. Indy Cars need tune ups, new tires and premium gas to run the Indy 500. Your body will need same preparation and fuel to perform at these camps and clinics. This takes proper planning prior to the summer. Set a plan, be prepared, don’t skip meals, get to bed early and hydrate like crazy before and during the event.

6. Forty’s rule: Get Training. I’ve seen some poor football players get D1 offers because they run a great 40 at a camp. Conversely, I’ve seen plenty of great players not get offered because of a bad 40, regardless of how good of football players they are. The lesson here; make sure you run the best that you can. To ensure this, you must get training on “how to run a 40″. Speed schools, local gyms. high school track coaches know how to run these sprints. Get advice and training how to do it.

7. “It’s Not the End of the World” if you Don’t Do Well at a Camp/Clinic. If you don’t do well at a camp or clinic, all is not lost.  Almost every school makes offers at their camps; few schools take 100% of their recruits from camp. Most colleges have three “offering seasons”. Those schools will offer recruits in the spring, during the summer at their camps and late after the season/before signing day. All levels (D1, D1AA, D2, D3) are different on how many they offer and when they sign them. Within the levels, leagues are also on different timelines (for example, at the D1AA level, the Ivy league is totally different than say the CAA). A great performance at camp can definitely help. However, if you don’t play well at an certain college camp, hang in there. Play great in fall and hope that new opportunities present themselves after the season.