SPUSA 20 years

College Recruiting Letters and Camp Invites: What Should I Do if I Receive One?

One of the most important hats that a college coach wears is that of recruiter. It is their job to attract and recruit the best talent. To do so, oftentimes coaches will attempt to entice as many players as possible to attend their recruiting/talent ID camps by sending bulk letters and emails to prospective student-athletes. This is particularly observed in team sports. This type of contact from coaches is rarely personalised to a particular recruit and does not necessarily reflect a coach’s interest in a specific athlete. Below we examine what this type of contact often looks like and what to do if you receive it.

A common question we get asked by recruits is, “what should I do with this email from a coach inviting me to attend their recruiting camp?” It can be easy for a young high school student-athlete to think that they have been personally sought out and hand-selected by the coach to receive an invitation. The email/letter will often address the student by name in the greeting, giving the impression it has been individually sent. However, nine times out of ten, this is not the case. Most invites are sent out in mass and will contain generic information about the college, the program, and details of the recruiting camp (date, time, location, etc.). If you have completed an online recruiting questionnaire, registered with College Board to take the SAT, or subscribed to anything college sport-related, chances are you have found your way onto coaches’ email lists and will receive several marketing/informational materials disguised as coach interest. There are, of course, authentic situations in which a coach may personally invite a prospective student-athlete to attend their recruiting camp as a sign of their genuine interest. This may be the case if direct communication has already been established with the coach or if the email/letter invitation is explicitly tailored to you and references either your video footage, results, or athletic level.

If you are unsure about the nature of an invite to a recruiting camp or what it means, please feel encouraged to reach out to the Study & Play USA team and we will be glad to offer some insight.

Should I attend the recruiting camp? 

Attending a recruiting camp or talent ID event can be a great way for prospective student-athletes to be evaluated by coaches in person and gain a competitive edge over other international athletes. It also signals to a coach that you have a genuine interest in their program. However, it is important to note that while it may put you on the radar of a coach, attending a recruiting camp doesn’t guarantee continued coach interest or lead to a scholarship. Strong performance, demeanour, and the ability to stand out among other recruits at the camp is crucial.

Another key consideration is the financial cost to attend. Recruiting camps are held in the US, so there will be substantial travel costs involved, as well as a registration fee for each camp. If this is feasible as a family and you do decide to participate, it is important that the respective college coaches are aware of who you are and that you will be traveling all the way from Australia to attend. This can be done by emailing the coach to advise them of your attendance. At the conclusion of the event, send another personalised email to the coach thanking them for their time and the opportunity to attend. Regardless of the outcome, your participation in recruiting camps and talent ID events can be of great benefit by providing you with insight into how your skills and level compares to American student-athletes. Go in with a positive mindset and a willingness to learn, which will ensure the experience is worthwhile.

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An Aussie's Transformative
US College Journey

By Study & Play Director, Chris Bates