The 7 Forbidden Secrets of Ranking Camps
Ranking camps are everywhere - with the age of the iphone and social media, any guys with a bag of balls and a social media account can do their own ranking camp. Here are 7 Forbidden Secrets we’ve found that, once understood, may give you a better idea about whether or not it is right for you.
Mythunderstanding #1 I am going to get coached
While there is a coaching element, these camps are meat markets designed to funnel top performing and top paying players and families into a funnel that will continually upsell them until they have, by the end of their high school career, typically paid out $5,000 - $10,000 for all this ‘exposure’.
If these camps are meat markets, you’re the cattle. (Or rather your wallet).
Mythunderstanding #2 I need to impress Coach so and so to get recruited
Correlation is not causation.
While a camp may claim to have worked with all DI athletes, it’s difficult to be 100% sure that the sole reason for them going to a DI school is because they, at some point, attended a particular camp or worked with a particular coach. A better way to put it would be their camps may have contributed to these DI specialists’ success in some way. When you break down the top specialists, in college or FBS, most have tried out a few different coaches to see whose style they enjoy the most. But, no kicking coach can replace the simple hard work you need to do on your own to own your swing and path. The best a coach can do is offer advice, suggestions and expose you to different ideas. You must decide which work best for you.
Mythunderstanding #3 College coaches take ranking camps seriously.
While some college coaches use rankings as a “starting point”, I have never heard a coach in our past 5 years, at any level, tell us the sole reason they recruited a particular kicker was because of where they were ranked on a 3rd party trainer’s website. If they like you, they will request you send GAME TAPE and visit.
Mythunderstanding #4 I’m already the best, I just need to show it.
Ranking camp recruiting messages are ideally crafted to the teenage macho male mind. “You’re already the best, come compete and show it” The reality is, there are only 130 FBS Football Teams in America. Performing well at a ranking camp in shorts and T’s, with no rush, off of a mechanical holder with perfect ball position might be enjoyable but it is not realistic. These camps bring in 1300+ kids a year easily…are they all ready to kick for Alabama tomorrow? Unlikely. However good you think you are, you likely still have even more work to do.
Mythunderstanding #5 Offers will come magically to me.
With the inundation of social media and the ability for technique coaches to connect and train specialists like never before, colleges now have a larger pool of talent to choose from than before. Even at big time schools, kickers are still de-prioritized in the recruiting game - some even waiting as late as May to bring in a PWO for the upcoming years. You need to market yourself and knock on doors - coaches won’t do that for you.
Mythunderstanding #6 So and so can get me an “offer”
False. Even if your coach knows many college coaches personally, the last person most of those college coaches want to hear from is (1) a third party trainer or “street agent” as Randy Edsall calls them or (2) parents - while you want to be involved parents, it is ultimately your kid’s rodeo. Do not rely on your trainer/coach to “set up” a visit for you. You still need to be the one to be the point person on all communications, visits and interactions with any given coaching staff. All any K/P/LS coach can offer you is a contact person, the rest is up to your grades, gametape and grit.
Mythunderstanding #7 Never go to a ranking camp!
Each coaching event is beneficial in its own way. For 80% of specialists, they will not benefit from an event solely focused on competition and ranking because their form has not progressed to the level where they could place in the top 20 out of 100 kids of an event like this. Conversely, no one who does well at these camps has a bad time! And, if being placed highly on a ranking camp chart can be the thing that pushes your interest over the top for a recruiter, then sure, it was worth it.
Most athletes find a middle pathway or some combination of form to performance camps and training. All those guys who place in the top whatever of these larger camps are right back working one on one or in a small group with their technique coach the next week.
Get really good grades (no talent required)
Get really, really good (2% talent 98% focus/work ethic)
Get really, really, really proactive connecting with college coaches (0% Talent Required)
…if you still really want to, try out a larger camp and see how you might like it.