7 things you need to know
about summer camp
7 things you need to know
about summer camp

Dean Stotz's go-to tips for maximizing your summer camp experience

With 41 years of experience directing the Stanford Baseball Camps and 37 years coaching at Stanford, Dean Stotz is nationally recognized as one of the top evaluators of baseball talent in the country.

Here are his go-to tips for maximizing your experience at baseball camp:

  1. Baseball camps and showcases are NOT the same thing. At a showcase, coaches or scouts may see hundreds of players each do a few repetitions of fielding, batting, and pitching drills. Athletes who stand out at showcases are those who have a specific dynamic, such as power-hitting or exceptional speed. The reality is that 90% of athletes don't fall into that scheme. Baseball camps, on the other hand, allow coaches to see more repetitions from each athlete (i.e., field 150 ground balls over three days, versus 20 at a shorter showcase) and develop a greater appreciation for their overall talents. 
  2. Ask the hard questions when choosing a camp. To ensure you?re making the most of your investment in baseball camp, it's important to find out if colleges are actually gathering players from your camp of interest. Ask for specific examples of athletes who have created college opportunities out of the camp. If you're targeting specific schools, ask how many current players on their roster attended the camp. 
  3. Stay motivated and engaged at camp. If there are scouts or coaches watching you, we are looking to see if you're fully engaged in the process and putting forth your best 1) effort, 2) attitude, 3) hustle, and 4) enthusiasm. These factors tell us everything we need to know about whether or not you actually enjoy baseball and if we will enjoy coaching you. It's not just about skills alone; baseball is a long season and you have to stay motivated. 
  4. Demonstrate great relationships. How do you engage with your teammates at camp, even though you don't know them well? Scouts and coaches want to see what kind of team player you are and look for those who are not threatened by someone else doing well. We also notice your relationship with your parents, because your respect for authority speaks volumes about why type of player you'll be. 
  5. Standing out is great, but do it the right way. Separate yourself from your peers by making people notice you in a respectful, energetic, and enthusiastic way. Coaches are looking for who picks up a piece of trash and throws it away. We watch to see if you take a few anticipatory steps to back up a teammate on an easy throw in case the ball gets by him. 
  6. Here's another example: I always send an introductory survey to athletes when they sign up for camp. It takes no more than 10 minutes to complete, with easy questions like, What is your coach's name, and What summer team do you play on. Many players wait weeks to complete it, or they don't bother filling it out at all. Sometimes it's little things like completing an assignment quickly that separate you from the rest of the pack.
  7. Focus on your action and less on the results. Campers often think a coach will like them because they got three hits or dislike them because they struck out three times. In reality, coaches are looking for the mechanics of a swing. Hits are important, but we are equally as concerned with your technique.