Attending a track camp is a good idea during the track recruiting process. Camp can help high school runners and field athletes in a number of ways.
- Instruction provided by knowledgeable college track coaches and former college track athletes is a good way to learn new techniques and improve on your running skills.
- Track camps do provide some exposure to college track programs. But it’s important for high school athletes to realize that they’re not going to be “discovered” at a track camp. Coaches already familiar with your track stats may take a closer look at your skills at camp. But if a coach doesn’t know who you are when you show up, it’s a safe bet that they won’t know you when you leave camp.
- Track camp lets you see other high school runners and track athletes up close. This can help you see which skills you need to work on the most.
- A college track camp can give you a good idea of what campus life is like. You get to live in college dorms, see a school’s athletic facilities and gain some experience that might eventually help you choose a school.
Choosing a Track Camp
It’s important to do your research when choosing a camp. Decide if you’re going to a track camp mainly to work on your technique, or because you’re hoping to gain exposure.
If you’re headed to track camp to improve your technique, find out as much as you can about the coaching staff. How experienced are they? Do they have a history of producing talented runners, jumpers, and weights athletes?
If gaining exposure is your goal, go to a track camp at a college that’s already recruiting you. Remember, track coaches don’t really scout at camps, so go to a college where they already know who you are. Find out which track and field coaches will be there, and contact them ahead of time to let them know you’re coming.
What’s the difference between college track camps and private camps?
College track camps are run by college track and field coaches. They can provide an excellent level of instruction. But college track camps also offer a recruit the chance to get a feel for the track program he’s considering. Attending track camp at a school you’re interested in lets you check out the campus and athletic facilities, as well as gain some familiarity with the track coaching staff.
Private track camps are not associated with college track programs, but they still can offer a high level of teaching. There are plenty of high-quality private track camps run by former college track athletes, coaches, and even Olympians. And, several focus on specific skills (pole vault camp, throws camp, sprint camp, etc.). If you’re thinking about attending one, find out the qualifications of the staff. If you’re strictly looking to improve your technique these camps can be a great option.
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