Author: Kevin Sherry
University: Louisiana Tech University Head Women’s Soccer Coach
US Soccer Federation “A” Level Coaching License
Attending ID camps and Club Showcase tournaments are both very important with regards to
helping in the recruiting process. Both involve a lot of both money and time, so it is important
for players to investigate the pros and cons for each in order to get the most out of your
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With so many ID camps to choose from, the process of deciding which ones to attend can be
difficult. You may have been invited to ID Camps by coaches through a circular email. It is
important to remember that just being invited to a camp, does not mean that the College
Program is actually recruiting you. You might just be on a list that coaches use to email as many
players as possible. The bigger the number of camp attendees the bigger the profit for the
camp coaches. You have to be careful not just go to any ID camp just because you got invited.
When you get an invitation to an ID Camp ask yourself, has that coach actually seen you play?
Have they showed interest in you previously as a potential recruit? If the coach has seen you
play live, evaluated your play, and then invite you to their ID Camp, you can be pretty confident
that they have a true interest in recruiting you.
Attending ID Camps is a great way to get recruited as it gives you a chance to get a feel for the
campus and see how the coaching staff works. Coaches from other schools often also take part
in ID Camps which broadens your exposure to other programs.
When attending an ID Camp it is important to have a positive attitude. Make sure to participate
and give 100% in every activity the camp has to offer. I once offered a scholarship to a player at
an Exact ID Camp who was not the best player but was the most enthusiastic. She ended up
playing all 4 years and had earned a full scholarship by her senior year.
If you choose to attend ID camps at the colleges you're interested in I would suggest you
contact the coach first to let them know you will be attending. There will probably be a lot of
players attending the camp, and you want to make sure that you are "on their radar" from the
beginning. Attending ID Camps is one way to get recruitment exposure, the other is through
attending club showcases.
Attending showcases with your club team is an excellent way of getting noticed by college
coaches. Being on a club team does not guarantee college coaches will be lining up to sign you.
There are more players available than roster spots open on College rosters. Unless you are in
the top 10% of players in the showcase, college coaches will not really be coming to see you,
unless you tell them.
Playing in showcase tournaments is always a great way to get more exposure, but it is
important to choose the right showcase! The belief is that your club team has to go to the big
showcases such as Surf Cup, Disney, Las Vegas Showcase, etc. every year if you want to be
recruited. It is then believed that you will have to switch teams if your team doesn’t attend
those showcases. The thinking is that if there are hundreds of college coaches watching at a
showcase, the chances are high that one or more of those coaches seeing them will want them
to come play at their school.
This approach can bring results, but it’s a pretty big gamble. I think a better strategy, is to make
a list of colleges you are interested in and then use effective strategies to put yourself in front
of those coaches. Find out when they have their own ID camps, when they attend other
schools' ID camps, and which showcases they will be attending, etc. Then do everything you can
to put yourself in front of those coaches at those events.
Every showcase has a list of college coaches attending. Take a close look at that list to check the
coach of the program you are interested in will be attending. You could also just call the
coaches and invite them to the showcase tournaments you will be attending and see if they
would come and watch you play. Make sure your club coach knows what colleges you want to
attend and what college coaches you anticipate coming to watch you play so they can do their
best to give you adequate playing time in games where the coaches of your target colleges will
be watching. Give the college coach your showcase field assignment, kick off time, jersey color
and number as early as possible. College coaches sometimes get over a hundred emails a day,
so make sure you follow up. Persistence shows that you are interested in the college.
Showcase tournaments are a numbers game.
The college coach is there because there are
thousands of players to look at in the same place. They did not come just to see you play. You
may not have noticed, but coaches rarely watch full games. They are watching your team play
for 20 minutes or half a game and then they move on because they have a lot of players to see.
Efficiency is the name of the game and you need to make the most of every minute you are
playing in each game. That one minute could make or break your recruiting chances. Your skills
obviously matter, but so does your work ethic and your attitude. You never know when you are
being watched. After the showcase tournament, follow up with those schools you are
interested in by email or text, and ask if they had a chance to see you play and what
impressions they had of you. Remind them you are very interested in their school and ask what
you can do next.
If your club team is not playing in the showcases your target college coaches are attending it
might be your worthwhile to sign up as a guest player for that showcase tournament.
Every showcase tournament will have a guest player registration form which you can complete
and have a team assigned to you. Choosing the ‘best’ showcase is a different choice for every
recruit. Every recruit has different needs and wants in the recruiting process. It is important to
choose the Showcases which are important to YOU and give you the best chance to be seen by
the college coaches of YOUR choice. There are many showcases to play in and here is the best
resource for a list of showcases divided up State by State:
Getting recruited by a College is becoming more and more competitive for high school athletes
because of the increased numbers of players playing the sport and, with the introduction of the
transfer portal, transfers within the NCAA school system has become easier and more frequent.
Therefore, the high school recruit has to be proactive and efficient with their time and
resources to get noticed. Both ID Camps and Showcases are excellent resources to help achieve
your recruiting needs but always remember “The recruiting process is about standing out and