How to Own Your Spring Recruiting Visits

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So now you know the six simple steps for setting spring recruiting visits – right? (If not, click here to find out. Don’t worry, this post isn’t going anywhere.) This post is about what to do when you get there to make sure you own your visits and get the most out of them.

Getting There
So you’ve set up your visit: if it’s unofficial, you’ve budgeted and made plans for meals and travel. If it’s official, no need to worry about that, as the coach will be paying your way. Remember that only Division I and II schools offer official visits at all, and not all athletes will necessarily get them. If the school is nearby, just drive – it could make a bad impression to start your relationship by asking for expensive travel accommodations that you don’t need.

Set Aside Time to Talk to the Coach
It’s great to see a school and visit a game. It’s a good sign of interest that you’ve been invited to a visit. But you also want to make the most of the visit by talking to the coach while you’re there, if possible. Talk to him or her beforehand to see if they have a few minutes to talk before or after the game. Also try to set up some time to talk with assistant coaches.

Don’t be discouraged if the head coach doesn’t have time to meet with you. College coaches on game days are some of the busiest people on Earth, so if they can’t meet with you, it doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t interested. But if the head coach can’t meet, that makes it especially important to meet with one or more assistant coaches or recruiting coordinators. A successful visit should include some real communication with a member of the coaching staff. Even though it seems like a given, be sure to express your interest in playing for their program when you talk to them. Don’t assume they’ll figure it out.

Have Questions and Your Information Ready
Before you go on your visit, prepare a few questions. You never know who you might be talking to, and you want to communicate that you are prepared and interested. Have questions for both the head coach and assistant or positional coaches. Be ready to ask about topics like the direction and needs of the program, and team philosophy. Also have your video, your academic transcripts, and your athletic information handy – if the coaching staff wants to learn more about you, you want to be able to tell them! Also have a copy of your season schedule handy, in case they are interested enough in you to attend one of your games.

Present Yourself Well
Make sure you dress right – you can Ask Coach Taylor if you want to know more about dressing for visits – and that you present yourself well. Don’t say or do anything that you wouldn’t want your parents, grandparents, or high school principal to know about. Even if members of the team are getting rowdy while you are there, keep your cool. They’re already on the team, and the coach knows enough about them that he or she can put it in context if they act a little crazy. The coach hardly knows anything about you, and this is your only chance to make a first impression.

Set up a Follow Up
The visit is just another step in the recruiting process, it’s not the last. Unless the program is extremely interested in you, you probably will not receive an offer while you are there. So when you leave, make sure to thank the staff for having you, and express your interest in the program again. Ask if there is anything you’d like to send them or tell them about to follow up, and regardless of the answer, say that you will be in touch – and follow through! Keep in contact with the coaching staff so you can keep on their radar.
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