Attending a wrestling camp or clinic is a good idea during the wrestling recruiting process. Camp can help a high school wrestler in a number of ways.
- Instruction provided by college wrestling coaches and former wrestlers is a good way to learn new techniques and improve wrestling skills.
- Wrestling camps do provide some exposure to college wrestling programs. But it’s important for wrestling recruits to realize that you’re not going to be “discovered” at a camp. Coaches already familiar with you may evaluate your skills more closely at a wrestling camp. But if a coach doesn’t know who you are when you show up at camp, they probably won’t know you when you leave.
- Wrestling camp shows how you measure up to other high school wrestlers. This can highlight which skills you need to work on the most.
- A college wrestling camp can give you a good feel for campus life. You get to live in the dorms, see a school’s athletic facilities and experience aspects of the college that might make it easier to choose a school when the wrestling recruiting process is over.
Choosing a Wrestling Camp
Do your research when choosing a wrestling camp. And decide if you’re going to a camp mainly to work on your technique, or because you want to gain exposure.
If you’re going to wrestling camp to improve your technique, learn as much as you can about the coaching staff. What’s their level of experience? Do they have a history of producing talented wrestlers? Ask someone who’s familiar with the camp about the athletic talent there.
If you want to gain exposure, go to a wrestling camp at a college that’s recruiting you. Remember, coaches don’t really scout at camps, so go to a college where they already know who you are. Find out which wrestling coaches will be there, and contact them before your arrive to let them know you’re coming.
What’s the difference between invite-only “elite” wrestling camps, college wrestling camps, and private camps and clinics?
Elite wrestling camps (like the U.S. Club Soccer’s exclusive id2 Camp, which finds players through a national scouting and intense recommendation process) are generally invitation only. Because of this, the level of talent at these camps is usually extremely high. The high quality of instruction at these camps allows for outstanding development. If you’re interested in attending an elite wrestling camp, the first step is to have your coach submit a letter of recommendation.
College wrestling camps are run by college coaches, and can offer an excellent level of instruction as well. But college wrestling camps also offer a recruit the chance to get a feel for the wrestling program he’s considering. Attending a wrestling camp at a school you’re interested in lets you check out the school’s campus and athletic facilities, as well as gain some familiarity with the coaching staff.
Private camps and wrestling clinics are not associated with college wrestling programs. But that doesn’t mean that they’re not worth going to. There are plenty of high-quality private wrestling camps around the country run by former college wrestlers and coaches. If you’re thinking about attending one, it’s a good idea to find out the qualifications of the staff. If you’re strictly looking for instruction about your technique, these wrestling camps can be a great option.
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