Every wrestling camp is different. Make sure you find the one that will help you improve as a wrestler and as a recruit.

If you want to improve your skills on the mat and raise your recruiting profile, wrestling camps provide great opportunities. However, as every wrestler is different and every camp is different, make sure you know the differences so that you choose the camp that fits you best.

Know The Camp Types

Wrestling camps generally break into three categories:

– Technique camps

Technique camps allow you to focus on one area of your wrestling ability that you want to improve on. While the larger focus is on the mental side of things, technique camps primarily allow skilled wrestlers the room to drill down on one particular area they need to work on.

– Intensive camps

As opposed to technique camps, intensive camps are focused on the physical and, as the category name implies, involve intense physical training. While there is generally less focus on technique, intensive camps are designed to help you improve physically and mentally so that your technique can improve accordingly.

– Showcases Or Exposure Camps

Beyond matching you against wrestlers of comparable talent, showcases and exposure camps are less about raising your wrestling skills and more about raising your recruiting profile. That’s because most showcases allow you to wrestle in front of, and interact with, college coaches. Exposure camps offer more opportunities for improvement and interaction with coaches. Conversely, you likely won’t receive much instruction or have time to work on your skills at a showcase. But it can go a long way toward putting you on a coach’s recruiting radar.

Choose The Camp That’s Right For You

The first thing to consider when choosing a wrestling camp is your age and skill level. The more camps you can attend from 9th grade on will help improve your skills and raise your profile. As you get older and improve your skills, honestly assess your abilities and look for camps geared toward your talent level. You don’t have to be an elite wrestler to earn a scholarship. But, having an honest view of your abilities will help you choose the camp that’s most beneficial to your recruiting efforts. When it comes to choosing a camp or showcase, look for a balance between your age, skill level, and college goals.

While the majority of wrestling camps take place in the summer, you’ll also need to consider your budget, goals, and availability. Day camps are usually less expensive, but if they’re multi-day camps and too far from home, the daily commute can add up. Overnight camps are more expensive, as room and board are included. If they’re put on by a school you’re interested in, they allow you more time to interact with coaches and staff, current team members, and time to explore the athletic facilities and campus.

Finally, remember that most wrestling camps are open to anyone who wants to register. However, some “elite camps” may be by invitation only. In some cases, getting invited to a camp may only require asking. Reach out to the camp’s organizers about what you need to do to receive an invitation. If you feel like you have the talent to compete at an invitation-only camp, treat it like a recruiting opportunity and be ready to highlight your abilities and accomplishments. If you already have an online recruiting profile and highlight reel, be ready to share that as well.

Finally, note that some wrestling camps may be described as “elite camps” in the title, but open to everyone who signs up. The lesson here is to do your research to make sure the camps you sign up for will deliver on their marketing promises. This is so you can get your money’s worth, improve as a wrestler, and raise your recruiting profile.

Using Wrestling Camps For Recruiting

Ultimately, the goal of attending a wrestling camp is to physically and mentally improve, as a wrestler and as a potential recruit. In the age of the internet, the chances of being “discovered” at a camp are more fairy tale than fact. Focus on wrestling camps to become a better wrestler. You can certainly list the camps you’ve attended on your recruiting profile, but don’t assume attending a particular camp will produce a scholarship offer.

In addition to improving your skills, wrestling camps provide you with the opportunity to interact with coaches and raise your recruiting profile. Be proactive and make the first move. If you’re attending a camp at a school you’re interested in, reach out to the coach ahead of time. Mention you’ll be attending their camp, explain why you might be interested in that program, and offer a brief overview of your skills and experience. Have an online recruiting profile and highlight video at the ready. When you do attend a camp, you can show your commitment to improve, and, at the same time, you might also show a college coach why you’d be a valuable addition to their team.

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