School’s out for the summer (or almost is)! Now it is time to redirect your focus to life beyond high school (yes, there is life past high school).  But for athletes who are aspiring to play a sport in college, summer is no snooze. It is time to work hard, get seen and see schools. So what do you need to do and when do you need to do it? That what I am here to share.

So you just survived your first and second year of high school (phew) and the thoughts of college are beginning to creep into your head. Where do I want to go? What do I want to study? What classes do I need to get into certain schools? As all of this can be somewhat overwhelming, let’s just focus on one aspect at a time.

Freshman/Sophomore/Junior Summer

This is the best time to really get around and see campuses. Because as you all know from my first blog, really loving the school you go to, regardless of sports, is very important.  So if you are traveling around to play in tournaments, go on vacation, or visiting family and friends, take advantage of the travels to go see the local colleges to check out the campus and area. While there you can take a campus tour and if you have given a heads up to the coach of your sport, you can even go in and meet with them. Remember, they cannot call you or contact you in any way, but you can call whenever you want.  Set up a time to meet with them and they might even take you around the campus themselves! This elimination period will be helpful as you enter your junior summer as that is the time when you need to really narrow down your schools and begin to target your goals. By seeing the campuses alone, you will be able to eliminate many schools, thus leaving you with a more reasonable list to deal with.camps1

Summer camps are also very important. While all of your friends are going to Camp Nowhere for fun and kayaking, you need to be going to sports camps for a school that you are strongly interested in. Not only will five days of camp help improve your skills, but it will give you the most intimate interaction with the college coaches and some of the current players, as they tend to work camps. You will live on campus, interact with and be trained by the coaches, as well as be a part of high intensity competition. It is not only a great way to get to know their style of coaching, but for them to get to know you as a player and whether you will fit in with their program, and vice versa.

If going to a camp is not financially feasible, don’t worry, there are ways to get around the costs.  If you live nearby or have friends or family near a camp you want to go to, you can be a commuter camper. You have all the same amount of trainings and usually lunch on campus but will not have breakfast and dinner there and will not sleep over. I have done both, and as you may miss out on some of the social aspects of going to camp, you can still get in-depth perspective of the school and team. Or, a lot of colleges are having one and two day camps, mainly for the sophomore year students, and you would not stay on campus as well. But the costs are much lower.

To find out about camp dates, check out the website of the college you are interested in and I guarantee there will be a link to camps! Some schools have a website dedicated to camps alone. For example, Santa Clara University has the athletic sight, http://www.santaclarabroncos.com/ as well as a camp website http://www.scusoccercamps.com/. Many schools have this as well. Enjoy your summer, have fun and get out there and check out some colleges!!

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