Monday, March 12, 2012

How to identify college camps that are actually looking for a kicker!

I have had a lot of questions lately on kickers, punters, and snappers trying to maximize there trips to college camps in June.  Specialists want to know:
- How do you find out which universities are hosting kicking camps and where do you find them?
- How do you determine if that university or college is looking for a kicker, punter, or snapper?
- How can a specialist create a buzz about themselves before showing up to the camp?

Here is a brief rundown of these questions to help sort your way through the madness that has become college camps.

1.  How do you find out which universities are hosting kicking camps and where do you find them?

Answer - Its not hard, but can be time consuming.  Almost every college or University publishes any camps they have on their website.  Problem is, they all publish them in different places.  Here are some sections to check for them:
- Football section of the website (obviously)
- A tab labeled "Athletic Department"
- A tab labeled "Fans" or "Community"
- A tab labeled "Prospective Athletes" or "Prospective Recruits"

Rest assured it is on the site colleges or universities site somewhere, but you may have to spend some time finding it

2.  How do you determine if that University or College is looking for a Kicker, Punter, or Snapper?

Answer - A couple of different ways.  The old fashion way is to DO YOUR RESEARCH!!  Take a look at the rosters and see who there starter is.  If they have a "to be senior" starter, than chances are they will be looking to replace with a new kicking stud!  If the roster is filled with specialist, and more than one on scholarship at any specialty position (Kicker, Punter, Snapper), than sometimes (not always), that means that they have a fresh/soph stud waiting for his time.
Another way is to call or email and ask.  Esp. if you are a good prospect, they will tell you if they are looking to recruit someone out of the camp.  Some coaches will beat around the bush with you, but others will be honest and tell you straight up if they are not looking for anything in-particular from this camp.  I haven't known a coach yet that didn't offer at least a walk-on spot to a kid that blew them away, even if they were not looking for a kid.  Coaches can't pass up on talent, no matter how stacked the cupboard is.
The last way is to check with the kicking coach running the camp.  Now a days, most kicking camps are operated or coached by experts that are not associated with the college (Kicking Coaches like myself).  They can be a little more candid with you on what a college might be looking for.  They are not agents of the college or can speak for them, but they can use there experience and knowledge to guide you in the right direction

How can I create a buzz about me before I show up?

Answer - Contact the coaches, send film, create a website for yourself.  Everything you should already be doing to make sure you are prepared to sell your services to a coach, you should pass on to the school before you arrive.  That way, they can watch the film, and if they like it, they can keep an eye out for you when you show.
Connect with the kicking coach that is running it.  If you know that a certain kicking coach is connected with a camp you want to attend, make sure he has your film, or better yet, go complete a kicking session with him.  These kicking coaches all have a valued input on who is a good kicker when a college ask, so you want that kicking coach to say your name.  They only way to accomplish this is to make sure they kicking coach knows who you are!

I hope this helps!  If you have any more questions, take a look at my website or contact me directly!

Coach Nick Fleming

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