UPDATE: Don’t attend Exact ID camps or events like this.
As I mention below, they are a money grab. I have never seen a player actually recruited from these camps. Coaches don’t watch the video recordings and it’s all a gimmick! I still have clients attend these camps against my suggestion, and afterwards I see the video, the evaluations and all that goes with it. The coaches are happy and talk to the kids, as they are getting paid well. I watch the video, the prospects aren’t even wearing shin guards.
Trust me, you can’t play at full speed without shin guards and this is a major RED FLAG. It honestly looks like a rec game. I even saw film from one Exact Camp last winter where it was cold and those attending were literally wearing hoods while playing. Trust me when I saw no coach that’s worth it is going to recruit players when they see that.
Exact Camp is a marketing machine that is going to make you feel like you are missing out on something. Trust me, save your time, energy and money and DO NOT GO! These camps are the same weekends as large showcase events including ECNL, GA and MLS Next Events. College coaches are going to spend their time at these events and not at Exact Camp. To learn more about this scheme, I encourage you to read the rest of the blog post below …
STOP SIGNING UP FOR EXACT Soccer ID Camps (and other massive “national” recruiting camps) THEY ARE A MONEY GRAB!
I know many clients that sign up for these camps. EXACT is a marketing machine. They are a huge company that runs camps “ID” camps for all sports. They don’t have a specialty in soccer and I really don’t think they help anyone get recruited. I am sure some kids have connected with coaches here, not all will agree with me, but I truly think the chance for real recruiting to happen from these types of camps is very minimal and has a very low return on investment. There is always the small chance that you can get lucky and start the recruiting process at one of these types of camps, but generally speaking, I just don’t see them as a good investment of your time, energy and money.
You may get an insane amount of emails and texts from these companies making it feel like you have to go and they are going to run out of space and that the camp is so “elite” and that all these great coaches are going to be there. They try to make you feel important and that coaches are interested in you. They announce big-name schools will be in attendance to draw kids in, even though it is usually the last assistant in the program that really has no say in the recruiting and they are just there to make some money since they are not paid much to be the volunteer assistant at their college or university.
There is even one camp company, Collegesoccerprospects.com, that goes as far to pay college coaches for their mailing lists and sends a physical letter via the post office on college letterhead saying how they really want to see you play more and encouraging you to attend their camp. They pay an assistant coach at a college money for every kid that signs up from the list that coach supplied. The email is “sent” from the coach and makes it seem like the coach is interested in you, when it is truly a mass mailer/mass email. Again, great marketing as it makes prospects like you feel wanted, but this is nothing more than a MONEY GRAB!
I don’t know many head coaches that go to Exact camps or camps like these. In most cases, it is usually the lowest assistant and it is a way for them to earn some extra money. While they offer evaluations, keep in mind that I have also never seen a poor evaluation from Exact. They are going to give everyone a good evaluation because they want you to come back next time so the coaches are trained in being positive with you and giving no one a poor evaluation.
They tell you that certain coaches are being sent the video recording of the event for recruitment, and I can promise you, coaches DO NOT watch this. They will then offer you a highlight video for an additional fee, when it is really just every touch you take in the scrimmages, good and bad. This does not show you in your best light. On top of all that, you could find yourself on a team that you are head and shoulders above when it comes to skill. While it can happen at any ID Camp, it seems to happen more frequently at camps like this.
If it is a huge organization running a camp, I would highly encourage you to be skeptical. They don’t have the ability to be personal, they probably aren’t going to help your recruiting.
Same goes for paying for an NCSA membership. NCSA is an even bigger money grab than Exact Camps. They are relentless marketers and salespeople, but they just don’t have the ability to have a personal relationship with nor do they have the experience or connections to help you.
NCSA is another topic by itself – but stop believing a company like this can help you. They are a do it yourself program that usually pushes you to spend more money, and they have sold your email address to companies like Exact Camps and collegesoccerprospects.com
In an attempt to avoid dragging on and on on this topic, TSA Recruiting is here to save you time, money and energy in the recruiting process. I always tell my clients the truth and my professional opinion on topics like this.
When you look at camps, use the info below in the email I sent last month. In case you missed or or it’s buried in your inbox, you can read it on the TSA Recruiting website here. I am happy to give you my thoughts on any options out there and jump on a zoom after you send me the worksheet and I can look it over.
I have a few other hot topics I will address in these types of emails in the next couple of weeks.
- How to pick the right club to play for
- How to use away games to your advantage in recruiting.
- How NCSA is a money grab
At the end of the day, I can only guide you. I can’t make decisions for you. But I am telling you this to help you get the most out of your recruiting and your time, energy and money.