Prospect Exposure Camp: Part 3 – Value of Information & Impact of Camps on Different Types of Players & Scouting Perspective
To conclude this topic today, I wanted to address three more discussion points that are important.
Value of Information
First, these two past articles have been our highest read articles to date, so thank you all! This increased interest has in turn has created a lot of discussion and debate. One point I need to underline is the value of an Exposure Camp as a provider of information for parents and players.
Every event I have been at has provided some level of assistance when it comes to discussing different paths for players in the hockey world. While they are not as in-depth as say ‘The Hockey Advocate Seminar’, they are VALUE ADDED! Please do not just sit and watch your player during their games when you could be gaining valuable information that just might help his or her future career or education. I was at the Global Event in 2010 and was amazed that there were so FEW parents and players at the WHL & NCAA seminars. While one could argue how much value you get from these sessions, why would you miss any opportunity to speak directly with NCAA or WHL coaches and learn from them first hand about their programs or leagues?
Yes, there is a lot of propaganda, but you have to network and learn things first hand or you will miss out on potential opportunities. You can watch the other 8 months of the year, at these events get your money’s worth!
Valuable Impact of Camps on Players
Second, going a bit deeper, I would divide the impact of these camps on two groups of players; Elite & Everyone else.
Firstly, if your son is an elite player in the top 10-15% of his age group, this type of exposure camp is a waste of his time and your money(outside of ice time…as I mentioned before). This is because he has been seen and evaluated at every BEST EVER camp, U17 or elite tournament by an army of scouts and the Main Camp invites or promises of ‘signed-cards’ should be piling up already.
However, if you are in the second group, which is on the outside looking in, then frankly, ANY exposure is GOOD exposure.
But you should still treat the event like just another chance to get quality ice-time and not have any inflated expectations. That way, anything else that might arise from your son’s participation is a bonus! It is not a matter of lowering expectations, just making them realistic. If he happens to catch someone’s eye in the process then that’s a great outcome, just not a probable one. Why is this you ask? Well, simply put, typically these exposure camps are conveyor belt meat-markets and as a scout, there are just so many players playing on so many sheets of ice that if only because of the sheer volume of players, you cannot see everyone.
So lastly, it is very easy for your son to get lost in the crowd. I cant begin to tell you how many times after the 15th or 20th game of the day that I have understandably lost my ‘focus’ just a little bit. At Global and Prospects, it is NOT unusual for 6-8 games to be going on at the same time. Truth be told, I’m lucky if I can keep my eyes open by the midway point in the day. Then you factor in travel time to the event, late nights schmoozing and ‘road-pops’ with the other scouts and coaches and you cant blame a guy IF he missed your son make a great move and score a beauty on DAY 4 and game 80+ of my schedule. At that point, if I remember where I am and which city I am in, I’m doing pretty good. Because inevitably, that night I am on to the NEXT week long scout-fest in whatever city my plane ticket happens to have listed on it. Lowered expectation is the buzz word for this discussion, sorry to disappoint, but I might have just saved your son some angst and saved you some money!