Mailbag Monday FAQ

Mailbag Monday… There’s a new Women’s College Hockey Pipeline blog post coming on Monday’s where we’ll be answering questions about some of the most popular questions asked by readers like yourself about women’s NCAA college hockey. Whether you’re a parent, player, coach, or club/association administrator – you won’t want to miss our ‘Mailbag Monday’ question and answer series. Check back to this page as we will be updating our Q & A’s after each week. Stay tuned!

Mailbag Monday #1

August 23, 2021

Today’s Mailbag Monday question is:

1. How important is it to attend college/university specific camps/clinics if you are interested in a particular school? 2. If you are not set on a particular school is it better to attend showcases or school specific camps?

Russ from Greensboro, NC

Great question Russ. Your question would have been timed perfectly had we started Mailbag Monday’s earlier in the Spring when summer recruiting got underway with camps/clinics, showcases, and exposure events. But nonetheless…

Question #1 – How important is it to attend college/university specific camps/clinics if you are interested in a particular school?

The short answer is – VERY IMPORTANT. Attending a college camp or clinic program could be the single most important college decision making exercise a recruit goes through to help them make-up their mind and pick a school – OR NOT!

Here’s why.

  1. Attending a college’s camp or clinic automatically communicates to the coaching staff you have at least some interest in their program. Coaches LOVE when they know recruits have interest in their program and attending a college camp/clinic is a great way to show it. It’s always a good idea to send an email or call the coaching staff to remind them you have interest in the school and their hockey program. You’ll potentially stick out a little bit extra and perhaps the coaching staff will pay a little more attention to you during camp.
  2. You actually get to be coached by the coaches! One of the hardest things for recruits to do in the recruiting process is evaluate their potential future coaches… as coaches. You can have all the emails, phone calls, texts, etc., it’s still extremely hard to determine if these people are the type of coaches you would enjoy playing for. What better way to evaluate your potential college coaches than to have them coach you at a camp? You’ll get to see how they communicate with you, other campers, as well as the other camp/clinic staff members. May you don’t want someone who is a bit of a ‘yeller & screamer’ or a coach who is too laid back. Going to a camp can also tell you a bit about their hockey knowledge and how they teach the game. Attending a camp is a great way to judge how you might be treated as a part of their program.
  3. You put yourself on campus and in the physical environment. Pictures look great on the internet, but there is nothing like putting yourself in the exact physical environment of the school. A lot of college hockey camps take place right on their own campuses. Getting a chance to see what campus not only looks like but feels like could be crucial in making your college decision. Tough to do that from the internet.

Question #2 – If you are not set on a particular school is it better to attend showcases or school specific camps?

Great question Russ… there are a number of qualified answers we could give that might be acceptable. With out knowing your particular end-game in attending both, we’ll answer it this way.

If you are looking to become a better hockey player and improve your overall game, go to a camp that provides a structured hockey development experience you feel will help you improve as a player.

If you’re more interested in trying to catch the eye of a college coach with the hope of getting recruited, an exposure type showcase event is probably the right call.

Can you accomplish both development and exposure? Yes, you can, but most likely only at camps. Showcases are great for playing in front of many college coaches and showcasing your skills. They are not great on the hockey development end of things. There really isn’t a lot of teaching going on at a showcase. Camps can provide both hockey development and exposure (to a limit) at the same time. Only camps where many college coaches are part of the camp staff do you know what kid of exposure your getting. Don’t assume all college hockey camps are going to have 10-12+ other college coaches working at it.

Thanks for your questions Russ! Be sure to tune in next Monday for another addition of Mailbag Monday. Remember you can submit your questions HERE or email them to us at