You've been offered a visit by a coach at a university that you may (or even may not be) interested in attending. You accept, you are excited to go and they are excited to have you. Perhaps you have already taken an unofficial visit to the campus during the summer and met with the coach of your sport or event.
But an official visit, which by NCAA rules is paid for by the team, is so different: you are on-campus for 48 hours and live as the student-athletes of your sport do. You are meeting who could be your teammates for the next phase of your athletic career.
So the first thing to remember is this: first impressions last
. While there is no need to alter your personality on a visit, it is best to be aware that just as you are testing out the team, the team is doing the same with you. If you come off as rude or offensive, you may not be considered as a viable option for the team. Even still, remember that if you don’t mesh well with the team, that will not make the collegiate athletic experience any easier. After my visit, I realized that the perks and facilities didn’t matter so much; when I picked my team, it was based on the fact that I could not see myself running without the girls that had made me, just a high school senior, feel like I was already a part of the team.
Be open to the campus experience.
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Every visit is wildly different because campus cultures vary no matter where you go. Schools and teams may have their own traditions that they partake in and it is best and exciting to be a part of them in order to get the full university experience. And if you’re not interested in an activity, be sure to communicate
. If an activity bores you or makes you uncomfortable, be sure to let your host know.
Finally, enjoy your visit, but be aware of the rules and yourself
. There are many rules regarding visits that it is important to be aware of (they can be found on the NCAA website). One of the most important is that you can take a maximum of five official visits to universities of your choosing. Do not feel obligated to take all five—at the end of the day, you can only attend one, and it is no easy task telling four coaches ‘no.’
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Alternatively, you are a student-athlete in college and your coach has told you that you will be hosting a recruit for a couple of days. Having never done it before, all you know is what your teammates have told you, but you do not really know what to expect. You have been entrusted with helping this high school senior figure out if your university is where they want to be. The above advice applies to you as well: the impression you make on the recruit will last, so be attentive
. It goes without saying that you should make sure that the recruit is comfortable—rested, fed and entertained.
Don’t make every moment about ‘entertaining’ the recruit
. The reality is that they will be quite tired after travelling, so allow them to rest whenever they need to. Be realistic and honest about the experience at your school, and answer whatever questions they may have. With this in mind, be sure to let your personalities come out
! Many of the recruits I have met have commented on how quiet student-athletes are during their visits. Perhaps this is done to avoid making recruits nervous or comfortable, but in my experience on both sides of the situation, even just hanging out with members of the team and having a conversation or having a movie or game night can let a recruit know if they belong on your campus.
Remember to engage the recruit when they leave your campus. Text or email to stay in contact; this will ensure that the recruit is still thinking of your university long after they have left.