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I thought it would be helpful to address a common question that I have been receiving from many parents and players; is it a good idea to go to a particular school’s camp or a true recruiting camp like the Top 205 or Peak 200?

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Both types of camps offer benefits for you son or daughter. You need to understand what each type of camp offers and how you can leverage your exposure.

School’s Camps

Typically, a school’s camp is a great way for your son or daughter to get exposure to/attention from that school’s coaching staff. The camper will have four days to exhibit their lacrosse abilities as well as their personal character. Coaches feel that this is an opportunity to learn more about a particular player’s leadership ability, how they interact with teammates, and their athletic performance over a period of a few days as opposed to a few games.

The downside of attending a school’s camp is that you narrow your scope of exposure. Typically, at the Duke lacrosse camp, there will be Duke coaches and at the Brown camp, there will be Brown coaches. If opportunities at these schools do not pan out, you will be forced to rely on video to give coaches the opportunity to see you play.

Recruiting Camps

Recruiting camps like Top 205, Peak 200 and New England 150 (among others) are the staples of the summer recruiting circuit. Each camp has facilitated the recruitment of hundreds if not thousands of lacrosse players. Coaches have an opportunity to watch players that they may not have a chance to see play during the season. Also, it is an opportunity for players who may play against weaker competition during the school season to compete against better players. As a camper, if you have a few great days at one of those camps, your stock can rise exponentially.

The downside of attending a recruiting camp is these camps are normally larger than school’s camps. To make a recruiting camp worthwhile, you should reach out to schools of interest and make sure that you will be attending a camp where the coaches on your schools of interest list will be able to watch you play. If you do not make these connections, the chances of a certain coach watching you make a great play is very random. You have to be proactive in contacting coaches and making sure they will be at certain camps on certain days.

Of course, LacrosseRecruits.com makes all of this very easy. You can quickly figure out if the program you are interested in will be at the camp you are going to and if so, you can easily send a coaching staff a message alerting them that you will also be at the camp in question and inviting them to view your profile and video with the click of a button.

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Lacrosse Recruiting Camp Guide

We field daily calls from parents and players asking about the following camps, so we thought it would be beneficial to provide write ups for the top summer recruiting camps. Each camp write up consists of a “summary” from the camp’s website, an “overheard” section quoting players and coaches and an “our take” section which gives the LacrosseRecruits.com’s perspective on what players should attend each camp.Blue Chip 225
Bryant College, RI

Summary:

It is the premier recruiting camp for high school lacrosse players in the Northeast. You can expect to be coached during the week in both practice and game situations by college coaches, and to be observed by other college coaches who attend camp as observers and evaluators. You can expect to learn about the college recruiting process from the people who do it. What are the recruiting rules; who to talk to; what to expect on visits, how to communicate with coaches and a whole lot more.

Overheard:

“This camp is the best of its kind in the Northeast. If you aren’t going to Jake Reed’s Blue Chip and you want to play up North, you better be going to this Blue Chip.”

Our Take:

It is on point to say that this is the best recruiting camp in the Northeast. Coach Spencer does a great job drawing top talent to the camp along with loads of D1, D2 and D3 coaches. This year, he joined forces with Coach Pressler to host the camp at Bryant. The new location secures its spot as a Northeast destination. Blue Chip 225 is one of the best options for players who do not attend Jake Reed’s camps and want to attend college in the north.


Elite 180 Lacrosse Camp

Keene State, NH

Summary:

As the Head Coach of the Amherst College Lacrosse team, Coach Tom Carmean found it to be ineffective to travel to each and every recruiting venue looking for that small faction of student/athlete who could meet the academic and athletic demands of the Northeast’s most prestigious colleges. In turn, Elite 180 seeks to bring together the nation’s best student/athletes with the some of the nation’s best colleges.

Overheard:

“We found that your camp allowed our players to get that early look from these highly competitive schools that they might not gotten elsewhere. This exposure no doubt, allowed our players to get a better handle on the recruiting process as it relates to these schools.” Ken Miller, Owner Long Island Sting

Our Take:

Elite 180 focuses on exactly what Coach Carmean set out in his camp’s mission statement. Giving players the opportunity to be seen by coaches from high level academic schools (Ivy, NESCAC, Patriot) in a competitive atmosphere. Unlike some of the larger camps, like 205 or Peak 200, Elite 180 keeps their limit of campers low. If you visit their website, they provide a unique list of camp alumni, schools where players move on include, Kenyon, Dartmouth, Haverford, Bucknell, Providence, etc.

Jake Reed’s Blue Chip
UMBC, MD

Summary:

It is the premier recruiting camp for high school lacrosse players. 2009 will be the first year of Jake Reed’s Nike Blue Chip camp for rising Sophomores. Just like the Junior and Senior camps, the rising Sophomore camp will be held at UMBC. Invites are sent by the camp in the fall to players that pass a strict referral process. Acceptances are due by November 22nd, 2008. There is a 120-player limit for each session of the camp. If the invites are not accepted, additional invitations will be sent to alternates. All current invitees accept by November 22nd.

Overheard:

“If you think your son or player is good enough to play at the highest level, do everything you can to get them at this camp. Be proactive, try to get as many respected coaches as possible to lobby for your son’s spot at this camp.”

Our Take:

If you get an invitation to this camp… go. It is that simple, if you want to play at the highest level of college lacrosse, this camp is your best opportunity to impress top tier coaches by showcasing your skills against the highest level of competition. The number of total players is kept to a manageable level, so coaches are able to get a good look at each player.

New England Top 150 Lacrosse
Portsmouth Abbey, NH

Summary:

The New England Lacrosse Camp Top 150 provides the experienced high school player with excellent competition and advanced coaching techniques. Each player will have the opportunity to improve their individual techniques and tactical knowledge and to compete against strong competition. Over 50 Colleges are in attendance providing student/athletes an opportunity to meet college coaches.

Overheard:

“The camp has the best corral of Ivy and NESCAC coaches out there. They aren’t just scouting, they are getting players better. And you will see lots of high level, intelligent lacrosse players.”

Our Take:

Coach Brown puts together one of the best camps in the country for players who want to improve their game and compete at a high level. This is one of the rare recruiting camps that teach players how to become better. It also boasts a full roster of coaches from the top programs in the Northeast. Every level, D1 to D3. From UMASS, Yale, Tufts, Providence, Bryant, Vermont, Middlebury, Bates, to name a few. The coaching staff is excellent, and they care about the players and helping their game. The experience is more personal than most camps out there.

Peak 200

Springfield, MA

Summary:

The Peak 200 Lacrosse Camp is a focused, competitive program designed to provide the best possible advanced coaching and playing experience for the nation’s most exceptional secondary school players. Each player will be on a team with its own complete coaching staff and will be exposed to individual, position and team training. Emphasis will be placed on advanced techniques, tactics and strategies from some of the top coaches in the country.

Overheard:

“It is a fun camp that has good competition, good numbers and a number of scouts.”

Our Take:

Having a college coach as the coach of your team at Peak 200 gives you an opportunity to be exposed to great coaching for the entire week. Not only are you getting better, but as you play all the other teams at the camp, it also gives you the opportunity to play in front of a lot of coaches. Peak 200 also has a great “College Fair” night where each school in attendance sets up a booth and you are given time to speak with all the coaches.

Showtime Recruiting: National Recruiting Showcase

WCSU, CT

Summary:

160 of the top rising sophomores (Class 2012) and juniors (Class of 2011) with college lacrosse aspirations will compete from July 13th - July 16th, 2009 at Western Connecticut State University, in Danbury (Fairfield County), CT. Participants will have the opportunity to showcase their skills while being individually assessed during position specific instruction and game sessions. CT. Many top DI, DII, and DIII coaching staffs will be in attendance. In 2008, some of the nation’s top coaching staffs were in attendance, headlined by Johns Hopkins and Syracuse.

Overheard:

“The camp is still in its second year, so if you can go to Blue Chip, Top 205 or Blue Chip 225, you may be better off there. But Paul, Joe and Mike have lots of coaching connections and will be able to build their camp into a first choice camp for upcoming players.”

Our Take:

This camp is run by former Syracuse standouts, Paul Carcaterra, Joe Ceglia and Mike Springer. They offer invite only spots to rising Sophomores and Juniors. The camp is in its 2nd year at Western Connecticut State University. Last year’s camp drew a wide range of top-notch players from throughout the country. The lowdown on this camp is that it is a great place to be seen by some big time programs. Word is that Syracuse found 4 or 5 players who are high on their recruiting lists for the upcoming season. As mentioned above, Hopkins was also patrolling the sidelines. The camp also drew a number of D1 and top D3 programs in the tri-state area. Since the camp is only open to rising sophomores and juniors, this camp is for top players that want to play at the highest level.

Texas 99

Summary:

The camp covers the Top 99 players in the state selected by the HS coaches. Over 50 colleges were represented. Top 20 D1 schools like Harvard, Notre Dame, Yale, Towson, Ohio State, Navy, Army, Air Force, Maryland, Dartmouth and Penn State as well as developing programs like Hartford, Bellarmine and Manhattan College. Additionally, top D2 and D3 programs like Washington and Lee, Salisbury State, Merrimack College, Bates College, Bowdoin, Limestone, etc attended.

Our Take:

Coach Byrne from ND runs a very well attended camp. You can see by the schools that they list above on their website. The camp is a lifeline for strong high school players from Texas who might not have the opportunity to attend camps on the East Coast.

Top 205

College Park, MD/Towson, MD

Summary:

The original recruiting camp. It is still regarded as one of the best opportunities to be seen by the top-level coaches. They offer three sessions for players, rising juniors and two open Top 205 camp sessions. The 4 days provide players with the opportunity to go from unknown to on the tip of the coaching communities tongues with an impressive couple of days of play.

Overheard:

“Do not expect to get much individual instruction, this camp is almost all playing, but coaches are camped out on the sidelines.”

Our Take:

The camp is known as a stronghold for colleges from the South. The opportunities are there to be seen. It is the best alternative to Jake Reed’s Blue Chip camp. If you make the All Star team you are guaranteed looks from top 10 Division 1 programs.

If you have any suggestions for additions, please feel free to email me directly at chris@lacrosserecruits.com.

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