You can improve your skills, gain experience, and even get recruited
A volleyball camp is a great way to gain experience, improve your skills, and get noticed by coaches. However, not all camps are created equal. Depending on where you are in the recruiting process, some camps might be more helpful than others. So, to help you make the right choice for your goals, make sure you know which volleyball camp is right for you.
All Abilities Camps
For most high school volleyball players, choosing the camp that will be most helpful for you will depend on your experience and skill. These camps are usually broken down by age and or skill level, which for volleyball is defined as beginner, youth, intermediate, and elite. As the category implies, an all abilities camp will focus on improving all aspects of your volleyball skills.
If you’re a high school junior or senior, attending an elite-level volleyball camp will likely offer the most bang for the buck. That’s because elite camps not only offer training for high-level players who aspire to compete in college, but they can also provide you exposure to college coaches and recruiters. It should be noted, however, that many camps offered for elite players don’t restrict who can attend. There are several that are invitation-only or require pre-approval before you can attend. Most generally promote the skill and experience level the camp is designed for and leave it to the athlete to decide if that camp matches their skills and goals.
Position Specific Camps or Clinics
Position-specific volleyball camps offer specialized instruction designed specifically for hitters, setters, blockers, defensive specialists, or liberos. Focusing on drills and instructional sessions specific to a given position. These camps are usually better suited to players who want to develop their positional skills. The focus is more on training over evaluation. There are elite-level position-specific camps, but they are often offered only by invitation.
Prospect or ID camps are most often held by individual colleges as a way to evaluate potential recruits. You can expect training run by that school’s coaches and players, scrimmages, and tournament play. As coaches can use prospect camps to develop their recruiting pool, be sure to reach out to that coach prior to the camp. Send your recruiting profile and highlight video so the coach will know to keep an eye out for you during the sessions.
Prospect/ID camps are good options for high school athletes who may want to attend the host school or for those who want to be seen and evaluated by more coaches. In addition, as they’re most often held on a college campus, prospect camps also give you an opportunity to tour the campus. This is also a great time to see the athletic facilities, and get to know the coaches and players.
While the decision to attend is generally made by a club’s coaches, a team camp provides an ideal opportunity for you to show off your skills to a variety of college coaches. The team camp format allows coaches and recruiters to see you compete in a team setting against other clubs. For many coaches, it’s the opportunity to view many potential recruits at the same time that makes team camps a useful prospect identification and evaluation opportunity.
Showcases And Combines
With less focus on improvement, volleyball showcases and combines are most often held as opportunities for individual players to show off their talent directly to coaches and recruiters. Showcases and combines are ideal for players who want to raise their recruiting profile. You can even use a video of your standout performance to update your highlight reel.
Daytime or Overnight Camps
While it can be any volleyball camp type, the distinction between daytime and overnight most often involves expenses. As the name implies, overnight camps include room and board for one or several nights and are usually more expensive. Don’t forget to add in travel expenses if a camp is a good distance away from home. Daytime camps are usually more affordable but, if they’re not close to home, remember that the daily commute costs can add up.
Summer Camps or Winter Camps
Traditionally, most volleyball camps have been held during the summer when student-athletes have more free time. However, as volleyball continues to grow, winter and spring camps have begun popping up. If you’re looking for every opportunity to sharpen or showcase your skills, a winter camp may be worth your time.
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