Having attended our first camp at Columbia, we now had a metric from which to work with. I was really looking forward to Harvard’s camp to compare it to Columbia’s. It is not just the camp itself but the entire experience: seeing the campus, getting a feel for what people are like, all the little intangibles that might give her an idea about what the school environment is like.
We didn’t have time to tour the school and so we went straight into registering for the camp. Unlike Columbia’s, this was a two day camp and she was trying out for two different positions.
The camp started with an introduction by the head coach. There were a lot of coaching staff present as well as many of the current players who had been practicing prior to us. Some of them stayed to get in a few extra reps – and that was really nice to see as well as being motivational for the attendees.
Olivia went in as a pitcher again. The camp was conducted in a similar manner to Columbia’s – most of these camps are some version of the same process, I’d imagine.
The turnout for the camp was impressive. There seemed to be close to 100 participants. A lot of parents stayed for most of it as well. Depending on which position your son/daughter were trying out for, the vantage point could be not ideal. The staff, however, realized this too and they made it so that they rotated the positions so that we parents could see our kids.
These camps can be intense because there are so few open spots on the team. At the end of the day, each person is competing to, at the very least, make a lasting impression on the coaches that will result in at least a verbal commitment from the college.
I’m of the mindset that as a parent, all the work we’ve invested into our children up until that point either will or will not be good enough for them to accomplish their goals. But we are literally on the other side of the fence as parents. We can’t throw, catch or run for them. This is it. The training wheels should have come off long ago.
So while the atmosphere can be tense (if you are here it is because you intend to have your child attend this elite University), parents were cordial and all of us were rooting for our kids – albeit quietly. I ended chatting with several other parents from other states. They were very supportive of my daughter being the only girl trying out and that was really nice to see.
I really enjoy watching these camps. It’s very fascinating to see how certain players manage to stand out from the minute they step on the field. It is a very raw talent competition where you will get by on your own merits. I think it’s a great reality check for a lot of players.
Overall, it was another amazing camp and the coaching staff did an excellent job with everyone. I found coach Decker to be very motivating in the way he engaged the players and the energy he brought to the camp. Olivia’s performance was very good for her age group.