NESCAC ID Clinics and Follow Up for 2023 Recruits

Not recommending to mention anything unprompted, but nearly every call my D had, particularly as things became more serious, was a question by the coach about who else she was being recruited by. She never misrepresented anything, but there was a noticeable reaction when she was able to say she was going through the pre-read process at multiple peer schools. Coaches seemed to want to accelerate the process once they knew that explicitly.

1 Like

Yes, her #2 school asked, and when my D told her the coach expressed frustration with the NESCAC process that she couldn’t do an official read with D until 7/1, per NESCAC rules because it was clear from D’s response to her that some schools she is in conversations with are not bound by such rules.

ID Camps. Been there and done that.

They serve 2 purposes:

1- money to the program, and a good bit of it for a nonrevenue sport.
2- provides an outside chance that a hidden gem is out there that the coach missed.

I believe that’s it. By their nature, their is some downside to kids already on their short list- in that someone they weren’t aware of makes an impact on them at these, and knock them down or off the short list. The likelihood is generally pretty low though. But it goes up with every session they schedule.

In short, it is very hard to play your way onto the coach’s short list through these events. But if a kid is on that short list and does not stand out significantly at these, their stock could fall. It is very tricky.

1 Like

I agree completely with that summary, and that is my fear. D played very well, but we were SHOCKED at the volume of excellent girls there who also played very well. D thrives in very competitive environments, and this was cut throat. I would think very hard for any one player to stand out, including D. This was higher caliber than the many D1 clinics D has gone to. I feel like recruiting has gotten so crazy post COVID, that girls who would have played D1, are now all looking at NESCACs and other competitive conferences. I can’t believe there are that many excellent players not yet committed.

1 Like

We felt the same way going to one of these ID Camps. If your kid is already on the short list, there is really limited upside to attending, but more potential downside. It’s OK to go one time and chalk it up to meeting the rest of the coaching staff, but there is certainly no need to go again to the next camp.


I tend to agree with this. I think these events represent more of an opportunity to play yourself out of contention (competing against D1 girls not really interested, or academically qualified for the school).

Recruiting is a Hunger Games atmosphere.

Maybe one saving grace here is that many of the girls there do not have the grades necessary for NESCAC.


That’s how I feel! I feel that she played well, but this served her no purpose, and possibly hurt her because despite playing really well, she could not “stand out” (except for a few isolated plays that coach likely didn’t see). Very frustrating and disappointing. I’ll remain anxious until she gets a response from the coach. Typically she replies back to D in 24 hours, but D has not yet heard from her after emailng “thank you” email on Monday. Worrisome.

Yes, completely agree, and that is my exact worry. My husband keeps saying that many of the girls likely don’t have the grades, but given that there were at least 20 excellent girls, certainly some do. I am just hoping that this didn’t “hurt” D, which seems crazy because she played well, but this is the insanity of this process. Awful!

Watching your frequency of posts and general anxiety…I’d recommend you step back, let things play out, stop overthinking it.

Whether your daughter does or does not play, and for whom really is not a huge thing in the big scheme. Things will work out in the end. When you step out of the fevered state that is college sports recruiting, you really do wonder what the hell you were thinking when you were in it. I have seen many people focus on the prize too much, only to miss the journey. I was one of them.

Enjoy watching her run, have fun and enjoy playing with her girlfriends. The pleasure of that will never go away.


Yes, and which is why I recommend you investigate several other NESCACs besides the #1 and #2 frequently mentioned (as well as other LACs in other conferences if that’s what you are seeking). Although each NESCAC has its unique set of pros and cons, they are all more similar than not. It would be better to be able to consider others as real options if the preferred choices don’t work out. Sure, it would be disappointing, but you would still have the ability to be in a similar environment.

Maybe you are already doing this, but enough of us have been through this to know that nothing is certain and what you think might be a real option can literally disappear the following week. Even the pre-read process is done for more recruits than there are spots. The good news though is that coaches who are experienced know what they are looking for and don’t want to waste time either giving false hope.

It’s a game of musical chairs, and you want to have enough chairs to fall on in case one or more gets pulled out from under you. The same will happen on the other end…once you decide to pursue an offer then that will ripple to any other schools seriously considering you and change the lists for others.


I never heard of an ID camp and we just went through the recruiting process with NESCAC/UAA schools. Is this sport-specific? Do parents pay the schools to have their athlete attend the camp?

I’m guessing that sports like swimming and track/XC just rely on times with no need for a camp.

The parents pay, but it is usually to the coach or the school funnels the money to the specific sport. It is often an opportunity for the asst coaches and even some of the varsity players to make some money too. The bigger schools (usually D1) will often have summer camps for high schoolers for 3 days. In lacrosse, sometimes the camps will be just before one of the big tournament weekends. Two of those weekends are in Midlothian VA, so Richmond, Duke, some of the DC schools and others will have a recruiting camp just before so the parents only have to pay for travel once. Some of the smaller (or lower ranked) schools will have a fall play day and more local kids will go and be seen.

Because the players are going as individuals, the level of play really varies. The cost can really vary too.

Thanks for the explanation. Glad I never had to deal with that. Much easier to have track times :grinning:

Yes, some sports (like my son’s, soccer) are to some degree subjective. It must be nice to know exactly where you stand compared to everyone else!


I can’t begin to estimate how many camps/showcases we attended over the years. I remember thinking that it was positive thing to sign up for as many camps as possible until one kid told me that “nobody likes showcases” or camps. I realize that you are way past most of this but, as I went through several recruiting seasons, I came to the following conclusions about showcases/camps:

  1. When I watched the camp attendees other than my kid, I concluded that most could play at the college level. If you attend a large camp (i.e., 500 kids), it’s gonna be tough to stand out even if you play well.

  2. Recruiting drives the camp, the camp doesn’t drive recruiting. There were some surprises when out of the blue a school contacted my kid from a camp (although most of the time that school wasn’t an academic or other fit). More usually, the hard work of coach communication before the camp resulted in the coach paying attention to the kid at the camp.

  3. Be strategic about the camps that you choose. Start with an easy camp without coaches to get the student used to the drills. Then work your way up to more competitive camps. Some commercial camps are moneymakers and are best avoided. On the other hand, some are extraordinarily well run. Try to figure out the best for your kid, sport and schedule.

  4. College-sponsored camps most likely are not moneymakers. Fund raiser is a better description. Assuming that a one-day camp costs $150 and 40 kids attended, the most they are going to bring in is $6000. Subtract from that insurance costs, payment to the coach, assistant coach and players, payment to the trainer to be on hand, and meal costs if supplied. By the end of the day, it won’t make much money, but if it saves a team (or a parent’s pocket book) from another bake sale, I’m all for it.

Have your D continue the coach communications just as she has been doing. There are times when coaches don’t reply, or delay replies, and that could be for a million different reasons (other 79 campers emailing, vacation, illness, busy with team, league committee meetings, you name it). The only thing you can do is hang in there until the process firms up, and even then you probably won’t find the comfort you seek until your kid receives the fat email.


You know when my daughter learned the most from the summer camps? In 7th-8th grade! She went to the camps at DU and got to stay in the dorms and have attention lavished on her by college players. Not the best player in any way, but she learned a lot and was exposed to the fun of a team at a higher level. It’s likely she would have learned something as a high school freshman too but we moved and then it became too expensive to do a 2.5 day camp with the travel costs.

She liked playing in the summer showcases, but mostly because it was with her friends and they got to stay in hotels with swimming pools and eat junk food.

Yes, all of that is understood. D has a list that extends beyond the NESCACs and she is in communication with the coaches. She’s been offered a roster spot at a high academic Liberty League school as well, so she has options. I frequently reference D’s top 1 and 2 choices, because those are NESCACs and my questions about the NESCAC process relates specifically to those schools and I have found all of this board’s info. relating to that very informative and place to vent the stress of it all.
One other question- D will have another phone call in a couple of weeks with one of her top NESCAC choices, following another visit at the school. This is one where the coach has told her she will support her through admissions and do pre-read. By the time of that call, it will be May and I’m honestly feeling that being really direct and honest at this point is the way to go, since nothing can be assumed or taken for granted. Thinking that D should tell coach point blank that IF she passes the pre-read, and IF she is offered a supported slot, she would agree to apply ED since it is now her top choice. Basically, the equivalent of telling she’ll commit if offered. Any risk in being that direct? She’s already had muliple visits, team meetings, coach meetings, phone calls, etc. Coach asked for her school profile (already has her transcript) a couple of weeks ago, which D sent. Thoughts?

I’m sharing the experience of the 2022s I saw getting offers (their parents are very generous and lay out the whole process). I’m assuming you’re talking about soccer?

First of all, due to Covid recruiting is still messed up. One coach said “I have 15 players returning on my team now and I’ve never seen them play.” That’s for basketball and that’s about the biggest roster they carry so you can see how recruiting on top of that is tricky. I think it was either the Williams or Amherst seniors who all decided to take their extra year and play again - also messing up recruiting!

This past fall even a few Ivys had yet to complete their offers. Which means the NESCACS were behind them. All the nescac kids I know got offers in the fall - that’s a long long wait from 7/1 and let me tell you it was stressful for those kids!!! If the sport you’re taking about is soccer you may have the pressure of the coaches season starting to speed up decisions but I’d expect it to come down to the end of the summer vs the beginning in that case.

So not specifically referencing the ID camp (which I agree is somewhere between scammy money maker and useful recruiting tool) but the nescac timeline - I suspect if its like last year its going to be a longer wait than you’d like and you and daughter should prepare.


Our 2022 experience (not soccer) with some schools went well into the fall, also. Some NESCAC/Centennial coaches did not have their recruits ordered until late Sept./October. By this time, of course, all have passed the pre-read process.



I applaud your wanting to be honest and direct. I am just not sure it can or will be reciprocated, and maybe more importantly, get you the certainty you desire. . I don’t think the coaches are evil or have ill-will. I do think they are in a position that requires them to hedge all bets and leave options open for as long as possible. The regular meetings, preread, overnight, meetings, checkins — one purpose they serve is to give the coach the needed time to keep options open. 7/1 is not a random date. 7/1 takes the pressure off of them (“I’d love to commit you but…”)

In the NESCAC they want to leave spots open for that D1 that could fall to them, until the last possible moment. What determines that moment: the D1 commit commits to D1 -or- the non D1 (you in this scenario) recruit they are currently “pursuing” seems to be slipping away to a competitor. Until one of those things happens, they will drag it out until they are forced into a corner.

The first event you obviously have no control over. The second you do… sort of. Its a bit of a game of chicken. If you make your commitment to them absolute (“if you get me in, I will come”), the power is now all theirs and the timeline unlikely to work in your favor. You will stay on needles and pins- and you do run the risk a D1 slides into your spot.

On the other hand, if you signal (anything more direct would be taken badly) that you are close to wrapping up and committing elsewhere you will likely get your answer which is either:

1- we are committed to you- giving you all of the assurances you wish for. With this you will know where you stand in their pecking order.
2- niceties, but not change in timeline- this will let you know that you are not on top of the board.

I am unsure how to send this signal without overplaying your hand. Others can chime in. But I think your best option is to bolster your #2 and #3 options. For some reason, people with other great options they are considering seriously come across as such without direct sharing of this information. In any case, it will embolden you a bit, and who knows- maybe #3 is better than you thought.