During the offseason, thousands of high school football players will head to exposure camps hoping to get their “name out there” in the recruiting world. These exposure camps are different from college prospect camps and usually don’t have college coaches in attendance. Some people question the value of exposure camps due to no college coaches being in attendance. However, with the proper preparation and research, both athletes and parents can get a lot out of attending one of these camps.
Know What You're Getting Into & Ask Questions
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across athletes and parents who weren’t aware of the activities that would be taking place at a camp they’re attending. Ask the person or people who are holding the event questions before you even think of participating.
Exposure camps usually have all or a mix of the following:
- Testing: 40-yard dash, Pro agility, broad jump, etc.
- Individual drills: Athletes are put into groups by position and led through several drills for an evaluation.
- 1 v 1’s: This is the main reason football players come to exposure camps. Athletes get a chance to see how they measure up against other athletes.
If you ask questions before the event, you won’t be disappointed when you find out that they are not doing a certain type of testing that day.
Find Out What Type Of Exposure The Camp Offers
There are a lot of camps right now that call themselves “exposure” camps. You can simple ask: What kind of exposure does your camp offer? You can take it a step future and ask for an example of the exposure the camp provides. Is their network good enough where the results from their camp might lead to interest from college coaches down the line if you perform at a high level at the event? It’s not often that a kid gets a scholarship based mainly on what they do at an exposure camp. However, it’s not uncommon for an athlete to do well at a highly respected exposure camp that leads to interest from schools who may not have previously known about the athlete. Some of these event holders are connected to college coaches and can put the word out about an athlete after the event.
Know Why You're Going To The Camp
I can’t tell you how many times I’m asked whether an event is “legit” or not or worth going to. The first question I ask an athlete is : Why are you going? Are you going to see how you match up against others? Are you going to get some work in before heading off to a college prospect camp later in the year? Are you going to get some exposure? The more you understand your “why”, the less chance there is of you getting disappointed when your expectation isn’t met.
Document Your Performance
The majority of the exposure camps will not provide you with video of your performance. That’s where you and your parents have to take the initiative and figure out a way to take video while you’re performing. The benefits of having your performance on video are all positive. You get to evaluate how you performed at a camp. You get to see what you did well, and you also get to see what you need to work on. The power of social media gets stronger every day. You can also put together a highlight reel of your performance and upload it to a major social media network such as Twitter. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of college coaches on Twitter looking for prospects. You never know who is looking.
Prepare Yourself & Don't "Get Exposed"
Unfortunately, there will be athletes that go to these exposure football camps and end up getting “exposed”. Word of mouth travels far and you never know who will hear about your performance whether it’s good or bad. To ensure that you are on the positive side of one of those conversations, make sure you properly train for the event. If the event is going to have testing, train for that testing. If you know you’re going to be doing individual drills specific to your position, work on your technique. The worst thing you can do is show up an event and look bad in front of coaches who have connections to college coaches.
Ed O'Brien is a 247Sports CFB team/recruiting analyst for #Pitt and Pennsylvania HS Football. Founder of All State Preps. His peeps call him Coach Cleezy.