With the off season camp circuit in full swing, I thought it would be great to make a list of things that college coaches are looking for on the camp circuit.
A lot of the off season camps over the summer give college coaches at all levels a chance to evaluate and interact with potential recruits and future players of their program, so here’s a peek at what college coaches are looking for in recruits during these camps.
Here are 7 things that coaches want to see from guys attending camps over the summer.
1 – Be at (or near) the front of the line to start every drill and rep
This is something that I learned from my father that I still hold in high regard to this day. Coaches notice the guys who are eager to start each drill at the front of the line, and also have a tendency to notice the players are hanging at the back of the line – especially if they’re talented. I recently worked a camp where the youngest, smallest player in the entire group led off every, single drill and I made a point to communicate with him on that last day how great of a trait that is to carry with him beyond the camp. It’s something so many coaches notice and value and speaks to leadership capabilities as well.
2 – Take coaching well
The vast majority of coaches that work summer camps are going to coach you just like they would coach their own player, so there will be both positive reinforcement, and constructive criticism during the course of a camp. One part of a player’s evaluation is how they react to the coaching styles that are being applied. Look coaches in the eye, not at the ground, or your shoes when getting coached up. This is one part of the greater whole – the second (and equally as important) part being…
3 – Immediately apply the coaching points being provided
Taking coaching – both positive and critical – well is one thing, but camps provide a unique opportunity for recruits to show that they can take that coaching and apply it the very next rep, just like one would do in a fall practice.
4 – Find a way to have a blast while working your tail off
A lot of summer camps mean giving up a weekend, and chances are great that you’re going to battling the heat, so coaches will also be keeping an eye on not only an individual’s work ethic, but also if they’re genuinely having fun during drills, competition, and “down-time provided” at the camp. Coaches want guys who LOVE the game, and a summer camp is a great place to show them that.
5 – Cheer on and encourage others
Something as small as genuinely cheering on guys in your position group, on your side of the ball, and just in general is a great way to show coaches unselfishness and further show your love of the game, competition, and leadership abilities. Get excited when a teammate has a great rep, or when a guy on your side of the ball makes a great play. Bring some positive “juice”. Coaches notice.
6 – Control your body language
Coaches will be keeping a close eye on how camp attendees react with their body language to things like constructive criticism and getting beat during a rep. Most coaches believe in the “body language doesn’t whisper, it screams” mentality and they put a high value on guys who focus on the next rep instead of dwelling on mistakes. It’s important to be able to flush a mistake or bad rep and move on immediately.
Under the umbrella of body language, it’s also important that guys attending camps understand how important it is to do the little things like look coaches in the eye, give a firm handshake, and say “thank you” to the guys who gave up time with their families to work with everyone at the conclusion of the camp. That kind of little stuff goes a long way and speaks specifically to character and upbringing.
7 – Embrace, and dominate, the competition periods
Most camps have a period where the offense faces the defense in something like a 7-on-7, or 1-on-1s featuring a skill player facing a defensive back or linebacker, or an offensive lineman vs. defensive lineman. Coaches want to see guys who look forward to this type of competition, embrace the opportunity to compete, and flat out get after it. The cream rises to the top during these competitions and it gives coaches some valuable insight into guys that will be able to produce at the next level when all eyes are on him.