Congratulations! You just received a letter from University of Texas inviting you to come to their "select" prospect camp and be seen by their coaches. They must really want you, right? The only catch is the camp costs $500.
Does this scenario sound familiar to you? Well if that is the case, you are not alone. I am an incoming college Freshman and will be pitching for a Division III school this school year. During my Sophomore, Junior, and even Senior years, I received daily letters and emails from hundreds of schools inviting me to their camps. A large majority of these camps cost a few hundred dollars or more.
The big question is, which camps should you attend? The first step is to be realistic with yourself. If you are a right handed pitcher with a low 80s fastball, and you get a letter from Texas, do you really think you have a shot? The fact is, the chances of you playing for the Longhorns are slim. Many of these high profile colleges try to make money off of their camps by inviting players that have hopes of playing college baseball, but have no realistic chance of playing at that school.
However, don't ignore all of the camp invites. If you have a strong passion for playing for a certain school and you have a realistic chance at doing so, then I encourage you to go to their camp! It is a great way to get your name on the school's recruiting list. Take caution though, these camps can cost several hundred dollars, so use good judgment when deciding which camps to attend.
If in doubt, talk to your high school baseball coach and ask them for their truthful opinion on which colleges you have a shot at playing for. Don't waste thousands of dollars on camps for schools that you can't play for. Go to a couple camps for the schools where you have a realistic shot at playing. Good luck!
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