As a baseball player who also happens to be a female, my daughter Olivia has had experiences that have been mostly positive, unlike a lot of girls her age. When you consider that on any average year since 2008/9 school year, just under half a million boys play high school baseball compared to about 1,000 or so girls, those who stay on the path are part of a very small, but extremely focused, community.
When she started Little League in Lob Ball (we weren’t able to register for T-ball the year prior), there were a handful of girls on the team. No one made a big deal out of it because it was all about having fun at that age. Girls didn’t pose a threat to boys (or to their parents). The next year, however, things started to become more competitive as the players started pitching to one another at seven years old.
From eight years and on, there have been people that have tried to talk us into having her play softball. Nine years later, she’s preparing for her season at 16U.
I signed her up for Columbia’s camp for several reasons. For one, it’s an amazing school that just happens to be so very close to us. Two, I wanted her to see what that experience is like as well as get a feel for the talent pool that comes to these camps.
As usual, she was the only girl at this baseball college camp. Many of the participants were from all over the country, particularly the midwest, which produces a lot of big kids.
Her positions were Pitcher and Outfielder. I was hoping that the camp would have had some showcase style play where players would see some game action, but it was mostly the coach pitching to the kids.
The camp was very professionally conducted I have to say. You can easily spend thousands of dollars in the hopes that some coach will give your daughter/son an honest assessment but that process can be very uncertain: will the coach actually look at my child or will it be just another money grab?
This college baseball camp was the real deal. All the actual coaches for Columbia were running it – in addition to coaches from other Universities. There was a solid plan in place for the activities and they kept everyone involved at all times. As far as baseball college camps are concerned, I would highly recommend this one.
Personally, my favorite part was the campus tour and the college recruiting talk.
What I was hoping for my daughter at this camp was that she would be treated no different than any other player there. That she would be taken just as serious as the best player there. To that extent I can say that she was given an equal amount of time at her positions and treated with the utmost respect.
Although these camps are really for Juniors, since this is when coaches can start approaching prospective athletes, I felt it was important to start attending now. For one, having done it, there will be less nervousness and hesitation the second or third time around. Two, I think it’s important, but particularly for girls, to show growth from year to year. Physically she isn’t going to go through a growth spur like boys do, but mechanically and strength wise, she will have made a lot of progress a year from now.
And then there was Harvard…