Lots of folks want to complain about prospect days being a money maker for college coaches.
On one hand, they are right. Some of that money can be used to help pay assistant coaches.
But, if a D3 school charges $50 for their prospect day and only 25 kids show up, is it a really lucrative day for the staff?
On the other hand, if you decided to go to a D1 school prospect day without asking for guidance from your high school or club coach...and there were 200 kids there...and you felt like the coaches put all the good kids on one team...and you have been unwilling to accept that you're not a D1 player...
That's on you.
At the D1 level, you're almost guaranteed to have to attend a prospect day.
Likewise for very high end D2/D3s.
The full staff needs to see you play in person.
More specifically, the head coach needs to see you play in person. He is going to be the decision maker as his job security depends on you.
For the most part the prospect day is the best way to ensure you are playing in front of a head coach.
Another way to get around a college head coach is to play on a club team that has head coach on staff.
Certainly not all club teams have this great option and even if they do the coach might not be at a school you are interested in attending.
However, how that coach interacts with you could provide a lot of valuable insight about you as a player.
Let's say your club team is being coached by a D3 head coach. In his first season, they went 5-10, but they were coming off a 2-13 season before he arrived.
Let's assume he didn't graduate a huge senior class so expectations will be a higher for the following year. Maybe, they will go 6-9 and then look to break .500 when you, the hypothetical recruit, arrive on campus.
If over the course of your summer or fall season that coach isn't testing the waters with you with questions like, where else are you going this summer, how are your grades, who are you are you talking to...then that is useful feedback.
The coach has determined you aren't a good fit for his program either because of skill level or you're not a good fit for how they want to play.
It would be more likely the former.
The later would be the rare situation with a coach not wanting to bring in a crease attackman because they don't typically use that in their offense.
This is just like going to a D1 prospect day and not hearing any follow up communication through your club coach or high school coach.
No feedback is feedback.
How do you use this information? If D3 coach at 5-10 school isn't interested in you, you may have to adjust your list. That's far more useful than an assistant coach sending a mass email to get you to their prospect day after seeing you play somewhere and/or getting your email from an event.
How about this scenario:
An assistant coach at your dream school sees you play in June.
In July, he takes a new job at a school that is not congruent with your dream school.
You're out of luck.
Not really, but you have to restart the relationship with that school, because the guy that has seen you and will vouch for you in the room has moved on.
Long winded post longer...the head coach is the guy you will ultimately have to impress.