One of the most exciting aspects of the hiring process is taking official visits. Being invited not only gives you the chance to see a college campus, but it also shows that the coach is seriously considering you as a recruit. This is your chance to become acquainted with the university, the people on the team, the culture, and the dorms before determining whether or not you would like to spend the next four years living there.
What To Expect On An Official College Visit
Although each official visit will be a little bit different, recruits should anticipate that the itinerary will include a tour of the campus. This is your opportunity to get a feel for the school and consider whether you would enjoy living there for four years. Make notes while you explore the campus. You can review your notes to refresh your memory about the trip and help you recall what you liked and didn’t like about each of the schools you visited. Make sure you visit all the important locations on campus by using the following checklist:
- Take a look around the library and observe a lesson.
- See the various on- and off-campus housing alternatives.
- Become acquainted with your future training personnel.
- Consume food in the school canteen or food court.
- Arrange a consultation with an academic advisor.
- Spend time on the college property.
- Put your phone away and explore the campus.
Usually, coaches will want you to meet with some or all of the team members to see how well you get along. You can also receive an invitation to take part in a team exercise or another activity. However, no workout that you attend while on an official visit may be planned by the coach or coaching staff under NCAA regulations. The captains of the team will usually lead the workout. Use this chance to find out whether you click with your possible team members.
What is an official visit
So what constitutes an official visit? Any visit to a college campus that is partially funded by the institution is regarded as official. Receiving an invitation is a significant step in your recruiting process because coaches typically reserve invitations for their best prospects. It’s critical to get ready in advance for this significant hiring process step. Everything you require to ace your upcoming official visit is compiled here.
What to Know Before Your College Visit
A vital step in the hiring process is the official visit. According to the NCAA, an official visit is any visit to a college campus that is funded by the institution for both you and your parents. Only five formal visits to Division I and Division II universities are permitted for recruits. The following costs may be covered in full or in part by the institute: transportation to and from the college, lodging, three meals a day while on campus, and reasonable entertainment costs, such as three free admissions to a home sporting event.
A few things to anticipate when getting ready for an official visit:
1. A host or an existing team member will be your place of residence.
This is a great chance to inquire about the coaches’ interactions with the squad, team dynamics, and academic classes.
2. Properly pack
It would be beneficial if you also kept in mind to pack sensibly. You don’t want to be known as the recruit who left their underpants or toothbrush at home.
3. Assume mental readiness
Mentally get ready for some stressful circumstances. You may be asked a lot of questions by your host or the student-athletes; you may even be required to sleep on the floor or go to a party where alcohol may be consumed. Never deviate from your core values or identity.
4. NCAA guidelines or policies
When hosting a recruit, the team and coach must adhere to NCAA regulations.
- An official visit takes place for 48 hours.
- During their visit, the host and their family are not permitted to use an automobile provided by the host institution.
- The potential student ought to go to bed and eat like other students.
- If you are invited to participate in an activity, it must take place at a location that is similar to the host institution’s amenities and within a 30-mile radius of the school.
- The prospect and their guardians may be entertained by the host, but friends and other family members may not be entertained (the 30-mile rule applies).
- A host could give away free passes to the school’s sporting event at the time of their visit, but only the prospect and their legal guardians may receive this service, and the ticket needs to be in the general admission area. It is therefore not permitted in the owner’s suite or sky-box.
- During the meeting, the prospect shouldn’t be provided any money for entertainment.
- There should never be any school-related gifts or souvenirs purchased by the host. You’ll have to go to the bookstore and spend cash if you want a t-shirt.
- No matter what division you are in, official visits cannot be done until the first day of courses your senior year. Official visits are prohibited when there is no recruitment.
5. Actions to take when on official visits
- Attend a lesson in person! It’s critical to determine if you would prefer a smaller or larger class size. With smaller class sizes, the professor will definitely know your name and you will be able to get to know the majority of your classmates.
- Since you will be in the library for a considerable amount of time, you should check it out.
- Spend some time touring the various on- and off-campus housing alternatives.
- Go to the school cafeteria to eat.
- Take in a practice or match.
- Arrange a consultation with a scholar advisor.
- Observing student interactions may be a useful way to obtain a sense of the campus environment.
6. Getting together with the coach
Meeting the coach is one of the main goals of an official visit. It could seem like a pushy sales pitch during this meet and greet, but keep in mind that the coach is attempting to convince you to “buy into” the institution. Interpret the coach’s words as best you can and be alert for any warning signs. Something may be too good to be true if it seems so.
7. Self-presentation techniques
It’s important to present yourself professionally. Put on something like khakis and a button-down shirt, trousers and a sweater, and make sure your shoes are clean. When you first meet the coach and players, you should shake hands firmly. I would advise not wearing sneakers, a cap, tattered jeans, or sweatpants. You ought to be respectful, project your voice, and exude confidence. Don’t act uninterested, mumble your words, or text while you’re there. Recall that, whether you like it or not, all eyes are on you.
8. The guardian/parent position
What part does the parent play? It is important for parents to realize that this is your visit and your chance to shine. It is imperative that athletes pose questions as adults. However, when discussing money, scholarships, and college funding, parents ought to be part of the discussion.
9. Things to ponder
- Find out how long the scholarship is expected to last and whether it is renewed annually. What occurs in the event of an injury?
- How does one go about using playing time?
- What is the required minimum GPA for that specific school?
- Exist any further prerequisites for academic work?
- How does one spend the off-season?
- How can academics and sports balance each other out?
What to Bring on Your Visit to a College
You can arrange what to bring for your recruiting visit if you have an itinerary in hand. You should wear comfortable walking shoes because you will probably be exploring the campus for several hours. Are you meeting the coaches at a classy dining establishment? Pack clothing suitable for a restaurant. Are you meeting with the Dean of Admissions or the Athletic Director? Packing business casual attire can help you project a professional image. Will the team ask you to workout with them? Pack your bag with shoes and athletic training wear.
What to Ask on a College Visit
Are you wondering what questions to ask the current players when you go? Here are some sample questions you might ask your host or team members to get you started:
- What is the course of a normal day?
- How do you manage to fit practice in with your classes?
- How do teachers respond when you have to miss class because of a game or trip?
- Do the players train together in the off-season?
- Do you have close ties to other sports teams? Exists a chance to interact with other athletes?
- Do you live with teammates, sportsmen from different sports, or is it chosen at random?
- What aspect of the school is your favorite?
- Would you pick this university if you could start over?
- Do you have any advice for me?
In order to provide you and the team an opportunity to get to know one another, coaches aim to include social events during a recruiting visit that takes place outside of the athletic department and sports facilities. Recall that you only get one chance to make a good impression, so it’s wise to make wise decisions during your recruiting visit. Observe the NCAA’s guidelines and make sure you abide by team and college policies. Your chances of participating in collegiate athletics at this institution and other universities could be lost by making a poor decision during a recruiting visit. News spreads swiftly, and players and coaches converse frequently.
Questions To Expect From The Coach On Your Official Visit
It’s also possible that you will get some one-on-one time with the coach. This is your opportunity to ask any last questions you may have. Make a list of questions prior to your appointment and continue to add to it so you have something to refer to when you meet with the coach. It’s likely that the coach will ask you some questions as well. Some examples of questions you might ask a coach when you visit are as follows:
- Which other universities are you applying to? Tell the coach which colleges you are actively in contact with, and be honest in doing so. Make a list of colleges that the institution you are visiting is rivaling or comparable to, if that is true. The coach will want you on the team as a result of this more still.
- Which other universities are you going to see? Once more, it is crucial to be truthful. Tell them if you have visited any other schools or not.
- When are you able to commit? Although receiving an invitation for an official visit does not guarantee an offer, it may occasionally occur. This could be the ideal time to make a commitment if this is your top choice and you feel good about it. It’s acceptable to visit additional schools before making your choice. All you have to do is guess when you believe you’ll know. Find out from the coach how long the offer is valid and when they want to hear back from you.
Certain coaches will make arrangements for you and your parents to go to a sporting event held at home. They may also arrange for a teammate to show you around campus once more or to take you out to dinner. You’ll also have free time to explore the neighborhood and discover more about the school.
What to Do After a College Visit
Make a list of the advantages and disadvantages as soon as you are off campus and have some time to think things through. Did you enjoy the group? Would you still want to attend the school if you were unable to participate in sports? How did you feel about using a red shirt year, and did the coaching staff discuss it with you?
You must keep in mind that a visit is exactly that—a visit. You get to see everything that the squad and school have to offer at this particular moment. But for the next four years, it might not be the case every day. Consider college life beyond the coaches’ recruitment meal; it won’t be an easy life, regular event as soon as you join the team. Perhaps it was a warm summer day when you went, but winters in this area are usually very cold and snowy. Consider what it’s like to live on campus the other 363 days a year.
For you, picking a college can be a family choice. To assist you in choosing a college, have frank discussions with the people in your support system. Will it bother you if you are attending a college distance from home if your family is accustomed to attending every game? If your sport permits, do you have the money to travel the train or fly home during breaks, or will you stay on campus? Are there other team members in the similar circumstances? Do they spend the holidays at their colleagues’ houses?
Selecting a college can be compared to purchasing a car for aspiring collegiate athletes. To identify the ideal fit, you start with a list of alternatives, conduct research to make the list smaller, and then make an in-person visit.
Before selecting which universities to put on your visit list, student-athletes hoping to play collegiate sports at an NCAA institution may find it helpful to take virtual tours of the campus and visit campuses in their area.
There are restrictions on when high school student-athletes can meet with teams and coaches on campus, but this is still permitted by the NCAA. College coaches occasionally cover the cost of your round-trip transportation to the school and lodging during an official recruiting visit.
1. What attire is appropriate for a formal college visit?
A well-groomed appearance that conveys your sincere interest in the college is vital. Choose business casual clothing, including excellent jeans or khakis with a collared shirt or blouse. Recall that campus tours often require a significant amount of walking, so wearing comfortable shoes is essential.
2. How can I maximize my official college visitation experience?
Pack your questions for your tour guide and any admittance personnel you may encounter in order to get the most out of your visit. To obtain genuine insights, make notes on important facts, become fully immersed in the campus setting, and interact with existing students. Attend informative sessions as well as look into extracurricular and academic activities that fit your interests.
3. Is it required to make appointments with instructors while visiting a college?
While it’s not required, setting up appointments with instructors might give you important information about the subject you’ve decided to study. Try to schedule a quick talk with lecturers by getting in touch with them ahead of time. This reflects your initiative and your curiosity in the academic community. Remember, though, that instructors often have hectic schedules, so be kind and accommodating if they can’t make it to class.