It is this time of year, every year, without fail that the bank accounts of parents and players get drained while chasing all of the individual team camps they are invited to. The open camps and the team pre draft camps being run all summer long are simply ways for teams to identify potential prospects and make money. The odds of actually making a team from one of these camps? Lets look at facts.
What are the odds that you as a player will make a Tier II or USHL roster from a team camp or pre draft camp?
All season long I track AAA players, prep players, and many High School players. One thing every one of the best players have in common. Not one of them attend individual team camps unless it is the main camp. They get drafted, tendered, main camp or they don’t go.
The average number of non drafted, non tendered players making a team through the pre draft or open team camp is 1 out of 200. That is 1 out of 200 on average. Some camps have zero percent because the team is already picked before camp takes place. Some teams have so many different camps the odds are 3 out of 800 player.
Main camps. There is a new twist to this. Some teams run two main camps now. One is a three day main camp for free agent players, and they take ten or so of those players on to the week long main camp with drafted, tendered and returning players. Make sure you know what you are getting into before you decide on one of these camps.
Combines and showcases are great. You get seen by everyone who attends and that is what an undrafted, non tendered player needs. Doesn’t it make sense to spend the same amount of time and money playing in front of many teams as it costs to play in front of one team?
The trick to finding the right Combine or Showcase is simple. Look at the alumni list. Where do the players end up playing. The scout list mean nothing because scouts commit to events and then don’t show due to their team commitments or they send someone else. The player alumni list tell you all you need to know.
It is no different than a team alumni list. If you go to a team that have no promotion, chances are you will have no promotion on that team.
Do the math. If a team has three camps with 100 players in each camp that is 300 players. Plus they have the returning players, the drafted players and the tendered or already signed players you are not aware of.
If you are a defenseman and the team is only looking for 2 defensemen, then you fighting with nearly 40 other players in the open camp alone for one of two open positions. This does not include the drafted or already signed players you are not even aware of.
So why do so many of you go from camp to camp to camp every summer chasing the same scenario?
Stop listening to the other parents on what camp is good. They do not know. What works for one player does not work for all players. Stop listening to the rumors that someone heard this team was looking for this or that. It is just rumor. Stop wasting time and money chasing the rumors, you are better off chasing a lottery ticket.
Stop thinking its good idea to travel with your friend to try out together if you both play same position. When one of you makes the team and the other does not, it is the long trip home. Why would you put yourself in this position? If you looking for a new job to support your family will you tell the next door neighbor about the job when he is unemployed too and risk him getting the job before you?
It is time for parents to start thinking. Start planning. Stop reacting and acting on emotion to what you think is legitimate team interest. When in reality what you have is legitimate camp attendee interest. It is the time for parents and players to wake up. When you continue to do what you have always done and you do not get the results you want then it is time for you to change what you do.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser