NESCAC ID Clinics and Follow Up for 2023 Recruits

I’d love input from families that have recently gone through the NESCAC recruiting process successfully. My 2023 D just attended an ID clinic at a NESCAC (her #1 choice). It’s the first ID clinic she’s attended there, though the coaches have seen her play elsewhere, she’s had an unofficial visit with itinerary, team lunch, tour, coach meeting, etc. She’s also been in contact with the coach regularly and coach has seen transcripts, etc. Coach has told her she’s in the “Top Tier” and will get a pre-read on 7/1.
We were shocked to see 40 2023 girls at the clinic (it sold out and another day also opened that sold out for another 40 girls, so a total of 80 2023 girls (because you were only allowed to do one day). Lots of “merch” for sale. Field was divided into thirds and three groups were playing/doing skills at the same time the whole time.
Girls were divided into skills group, and scrimmage groups. Long story short, the coach was all over the large field throughout the time, and I feel like it was not possible for her to watch any 1 girl much at all. D felt like she didn’t even really see her play or get coached by her. The competition was fierce. D has gone to multiple ID clinics at both NESCACs and D1s, but this was different. Questions:
1- D followed up with a ‘thank you’ email the next day and shared what she liked, and told her it remains a top choice, etc. Coach has not repsonded yet, which is surprising. Now D is feeling stressed and worried, and feels like she should have asked for feedback. She didn’t ask, because she feels coach didn’t even see much at all. The players worked with the recruits.
2-In your experiences, how much can a coach see in that setting? Can it make or break a recruit’s ranking? D felt good about her play; I’d say she was in a large group of very good girls and different girls (including D) took turns standing out. Hard for 1 person to consistently stand out in that setting. D had some great plays, but feels coach didn’t see them.
Anyone with similar experiences at ID clinics? D tends to “show well” and doesn’t really get nervous at these. She was disappointed there was little to no coach interaction and can’t get a sense of how she even did. She has not felt like this at other ID clinics.
Thanks for sharing your perspectives!

First, hugs to you and your D! D3 recruiting is a roller coaster ride and not for the faint of heart. As there are no national letters of intent etc., it remains unpredictable until it finally comes to rest.

Try to focus on what is within your control – what schools your D is reaching out to, what camps she is doing, how well rested and prepared she is heading into summer ID camp season. The rest of it is all moving pieces beyond your control. A recruit may be #1 on the list until the D1 recruit becomes interested bc something else didn’t work out or something else beyond your control.

Listen to what coaches say – and don’t say. If I had a nickle for everytime we heard “top recruit” . . . . Develop follow up questions such as, “what number am I on your list. How many recruits are you supporting with Admissions” etc. Try not to obsess about the silence post-clinic, the coaching staff is meeting and processing 80 athletes. Get in the habit of copying assistant coaches on everything, as they often run the logistics of recruiting until final decisions are being made. In the meantime, try not to get too attached to any single school, as there are too many unknowns still. Start with a wide funnel, and keep talking to other programs, including beyond NESCAC. Liberty, Centennial, North Coast Athletic and UAA all have great schools and sports programs! And hang in there!


Thanks, yes, it’s not for the faint of heart. We don’t put too much stock in “Top Tier” (out of how many??) and we know things will stay fluid (unfortunately) for some time. Her #2 choice (which her dad and feel should be her #1 choice, lol) has told her she has a supported slot and is their top choice, so that is a little more specific. Her plan has been to ask the coach of the clinic for another phone call and try and try to “drill down” the Top Tier statement. She has told D she is taking 10-20 through pre-read and that she is one of them, but again, I’m assuming that can change…I’m curious how often coaches make statements like that but change their mind…

I agree with everything midwestmomofboys said. The process is stressful. 80+ 2023s are contacting the coaches trying to get a sense of where they stand. These ID camps and summer camps are big money makers for the coaches that’s why they invite/allow so many athletes to attend.

Even though everything with this school has been positive so far I also encourage your D to cast a wide net. Things can change and fast. The timing can go down to the wire for coach decisions too…some coaches won’t make offers until October, so that’s yet another question to ask "what is your timing to make full support offers?’

If she hasn’t heard back from the coach in a week or two, it’s ok to text/email again, however they are communicating.

For her #2 choice she needs to understand for how long that offer is open. Has she asked that? It’s uncommon that these offers are open indefinitely, because the coaches have to move on to have the best chance at getting their recruits.

Good luck.


Thanks for your thoughts. For her #2, it’s not an offer per se, since an official pre-read can’t be done until 7/1, per NESCAC rules. She had a call with that coach to get a better sense of where she was on that list and coach told she’s at the top of the list and that she would be supported through admissions. I’m wondering how often these types of things change? We’re hoping she gets an offer this summer, but obviously, that’s not a given. She is talking with other coaches/programs as well.

All makes sense. Time will clarify things. Things can change, I would tell your D to expect change. Some coaches might leave. Some coaches might have a D1 recruit become available. Some recruits won’t pass the pre-read, some coaches will start making offers and the dominos start falling.

One thing that can be tricky is the timing. The coaches aren’t necessarily going to make offers within the same time frame. Some will take vacation. Some will chase a top recruit. And on and on. Your D may be faced with having an offer that she has a week or two to decide on, which is before her top programs intend to make offers, as but one example.

It sounds like your D is doing all the right things. She can only control what she does, everything else is out of her control.


I probably didn’t articulate it well, but my question is more about the format of ID clinics, follow up, etc. at this point in junior year/leading into summer before senior year, for NESCACs. I’m curious about others’ experiences with different NESCAC ID clinics, formats, how your childs’ “showing” did/didn’t impact their place on recruiting list, etc. This particular school is having clinics on campus literally every few weeks. Given we’re 6 hours away, we can’t get to every one, but wondering if that has impact as well. Her #2 choice is only having one more before summer, which she is going to. Thanks!

It tough to make blanket statements, but yes one’s performance at these can make a difference either positively or negatively. It sounds like they are an important money maker for the coach that is holding multiple ID camps of 80 students, knowing they are taking 10-20 into pre-reads, and maybe have 2-5 full support slots. Next time she speaks with the coach she should ask whether she should attend the rest of the camps.


If a coach has offered a preread, it’s highly unlikely the coach will renege on that. If a coach is specific, you can pretty much rely on it – in other words, offering a preread is not puffery, wheras saying your daughter is a "top recruit " may, or may not, be. A coach relies on their reputation of their word being good, and not just for offers of support.

If your daughter is on the coach’s radar screen, they are watching her at the clinic! Often, parents can’t tell just how their child played – or at least, they aren’t coaches, and aren’t looking with a coach’s eye.

I always thought the quality of play really varied – there are a lot of not great players at these clinics, hopefully you felt that your daughter was among the best players on the field.

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Thanks, that’s helpful. There were 3 large size groups all playing at the same time, so didn’t see how everyone played, but both my husband and I felt there was a group of girls who were very good, and our daughter was in that mix. She had some isolated stand-out plays at times, and other girls dominated at other times. I saw every good athlete lose the ball or flub a shot at one time or another. I feel like some of it is luck, depending on when the coach happens to look. So hard to say, but overall my D was very competitive within a smaller group of very competitive girls.
Other ID clinics D has attended have had a smaller group, so coach is watching the whole field at all times, and I would think sees more, gets a better sense of overall play.

Were there not assistant coaches or even other players from the school running the drills with each group? They’ll report to the head coach. They may have had a rating sheet too.

You’ll be surprised at how much a coach does see. My daughter was recruited by a coach who saw her at a tournament. That coach was reffing that day, probably 8 per day, but she could pick out players she thought would fit in with her team.

There was 1 assistant coach. There were about 2-3 players “coaching” each team who had some papers in their hands; three games going on at a time with the field divided into thirds. I’m sure the coach and assistant saw some things, but I would think in that format, it’s more likely for them to see a couple of " mistakes" and draw conclusions, than overall sustained good play over a period of time, if that makes sense. Coach stayed in same place throughout scrimmages, but games rotated, so there’s no way she could consistently watch any one player’s sustained play.

I sounds like you don’t think you got your money’s worth from the ID camp, and maybe you didn’t, but it is the coach who decides how he wants to recruit (and make money) and many players do get recruited from the ID camps.

For my daughter’s sport, the big recruiting events are 3-4 summer tournaments. The teams play for 20 minute games and there is an area blocked off for coaches to go between games and watch certain players. Many will stay about 10 minutes, make notes, and go on to the next match. All games are video taped so players send notes to the coaches afterward and say “please watch me at game 210, around minute 16 as I led a transition up the field.”

A lot seems to rest on a few plays but the coaches are able to see what they want.

I’m not complaining about the money and of course the coach is free to run their ID clinic any way they wish. My point I guess was just to express frustration at the format in terms of it not seeming like the best set up to get a true sense of any one athlete’s overall play. When a lot rides on these clinics, that feels very frustrating.

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My experience is that these type of camps are mostly for fundraising, but there are select number of kids that the coach has identified ahead of time.
Of course, there will be kids that are identified from the camps that were not originally on coach’s watch list.
These camps may also be a chance for the assistant coaches to see identified kids, as not all assistants go to tournaments to recruit.

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If the coach has already offered your daughter a preread, the coach has already formed an opinion about your daughter! A good one :slight_smile: They won’t feel the need to watch every moment of her play, because they already know how she plays.

The usual criticism of these ID clinics is that coaches are only watching a handful of players, players that they’ve already identified before the clinic. So if your player is coming in cold (without being in talks with the coach) it is extremely difficult to be identified. But that’s not your daughter’s situation.

There’s no need to attend multiple ID camps to demonstrate quality of play, the coaches only need 1 clinic to decide that. Coaches know it’s hard to get to the clinics and don’t expect attendance at all of them. It is good to demonstrate interest, and one way to do that is to go to more than one camp. But that’s certainly not the only way, or necessary.


I agree these can be frustrating events, especially for the athletes that go to these unknown by the coaches. Many potential recruits come away feeling they did not get to know the coach at all by the end of the day (and often they haven’t had any 1:1 time with a coach). Knowing the coach is an important element to many students’ decision making process, so I don’t even think these events necessarily serve the coaches all that well (aside from the $).

I also agree with cinnamon who said it’s highly unlikely the coach will renege on the pre-read commitment, and your D has already been building a relationship with the coach and the team, so that’s great. It’s such an up and down process, which can be stressful and emotional for the students and parents. The good thing is you can vent here! I look forward to updates on your D’s process, and continued good luck.


Given that your D already had an unofficial visit and a direct meeting/conversation with the coach, she is definitely on her short list. I would just be patient and surely there will be a follow-up conversation at some point soon. You can then ask for feedback and more details about where she falls in the recruiting pool.

As everyone has mentioned, keep pursuing multiple schools as nothing will really solidify until the summer. With the NESCACs in particular, even if other schools aren’t at the top of your list right now, you should reach out and establish communications with other coaches for 2 reasons: 1) as a backup, and 2) to be able to namedrop to coaches that you are talking to their peers/competitors which may help prod them to make a decision sooner if they know multiple schools are also interested.


I would not recommend any prospective recruit unprompted ‘name drop’ coaches they are talking with. If a coach asks who else are you talking to, maybe, but otherwise not so much. Coaches know they are in a competition, and any recruit that is on their short list is likely attractive to other programs too.

Thank you! Very grateful for this board, because it’s not something one can discuss with other people. Very helpful to vent/ask/stress about these things with others who have walked this road!