Athletic Quest Announces New and Timely Advice and Tips for Choosing Student Athlete Summer Activities

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The pursuit for college recruiting and athletic scholarships is a complex journey. This article will help guide student athletes and parents alike so that they can separate the real facts from fiction, making their journey more successful.

There are numerous opinions about how effective and worthwhile camps, tournaments, combines and showcases are for the student athlete who’s in the college recruiting mode and in search of athletic scholarships.

But these events aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be. However, maximizing the student athlete’s summer activities is a great idea.

“When considering college scholarships, you can’t afford to make mistakes,” says Coach John Scott, president and CEO of Athletic Quest, “even with something that sounds as simple as summer camp. The pursuit for college recruiting and athletic scholarships is a complex journey. One question I ask parents is, ‘Who would know more about college recruiting than a college coach?’ The answer: ‘An entire team of college coaches.’ That’s the power of Athletic Quest. Our team is comprised of current and former college coaches — the only team of its kind in the college recruiting industry.”

Summer camps teach fundamentals and competition, as well as providing exposure. However, if you’re a 6’3” center on your basketball team, and you attend a Division I camp at UCLA, it won’t impact your college recruiting possibility — their centers are 6’10”. “But any exposure builds confidence,” says Coach Scott.

1. Treat camp as a tryout — college coaches will. Call coaches at the colleges you’re interested in and ask if they’ll be at that camp.

2. Determine if they already know who you are. If they don’t, explain your athletic and academic credentials, including weight, height, athletic statistics, and academic accomplishments.

3. Find out if you’re good enough to be on their recruiting lists. If you’re not on their lists, don’t waste time going to that camp. All college coaches have criteria to pre-evaluate an athlete; ask the coach if you have what they’re looking for.

4. If you’re on the recruiting list, you may actually hurt your chances by performing poorly against average competition at their camp. It’s better to visit one-on-one with coaches and work out with their college athletes.

5. Choose the college camp where you already play at their level of competition. If you’re not being pursued by NCAA Division I colleges — with letters and phone calls — chances are less than one in 1,000 you’ll get discovered by Division I at a camp. “Most students and parents won’t consider an NCAA Division III college football camp or an NAIA basketball camp,” says Coach Scott. “They want big name schools. It might not even be a level the student athlete can play at. Going to a Division I camp or event, hoping to be discovered, is the least possible shot you’ll have at being recruited.”

‘Combines’ are structured mostly for football recruiting, where athletic skills are tested. Speed, vertical jump, lateral quickness, timing, coordination and more — they’re all markers college coaches use.    

Combines are good for official electronic times and legitimate testing scores. Find out what drills, exercises, and tests are going to be used and start doing them. Get documented results; combines are great for providing coaches with empirical data. If the data is high enough, you’ll be placed on recruiting boards (not just mailing lists).

1. Make sure it’s a combine that provides lists to college coaches.

2. Check to see how many coaches have attended in the past, and ask for a list of coaches attending this year.

3. Ask your high school coach about this combine.

Tournaments are available for all sports; they provide playing and competition experience. But you can count on only one or two hands the actual number of college coaches who might attend a major tournament in any sport. The average college recruiting budget is about $2,000 a year. College coaches cannot afford to travel to numerous events; they may pick only one major tournament to scout for athletes.

1. If you’re going just for competition, good. Going to be discovered? Seldom does that happen.

2. Check to see how many coaches have attended in the past, and ask for a list of coaches attending this year..

3. Are costs minimal or expensive? Will this tournament be worth it?

4. Typically, the more competitive and better-exposure events are held in larger cities.

Showcases highlight and provide exposure for top athletes. They’re different from tournaments because they’re typically by invitation only. Showcases work one of two ways: Either you’re a top prospect, or you have lots of money. Showcases charge top dollar and surround the event with marketing hype. Make sure the showcase can actually help.

1. Chances are if you’re not an All State, All League, All Region or All Star level athlete and you’re paying a lot of money for a showcase, it’s hype, not help.

2. It may be better to invest in a personal sports skills trainer or a quality development camp(s).

When attending any camp, combine, tournament or showcase, bring 20 copies of your player profile (free download at Bring a notebook; track all information and contacts. Bring 10 copies of a highlight videotape. Know how to introduce yourself properly to college coaches. Don’t know what that means? We’re happy to tell you (for free) (888.803.5157).    

Athletic Quest can be contacted by visiting or by calling 888.803.5157. Call for a free evaluation ($50.00 value) or to visit with a college coach recruiter.

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