This is a look at an official visit from the eyes of a mother and what she thought about the entire experience. Before getting underway with the questions, let me state a few things about the situation. Her son received a scholarship offer for football from a BCS school during the summer and he ended the recruiting process in late August. He has remained committed to this program and is not considering any other options. Before the recruiting process ended, she did frequently visit this site and used a number of methods that are recommended so it was a perfect example of these articles working. A special thanks for her help as well!
How did the official visit compare to unofficial visits that you have been to there?
“Our son will be going to a college that is two and a half hours from home so in the past we only made one day trips to attend games or visit the campus. The official visit was for 48 hours and we were on campus and with the coaches and players during much of it. We had more time to really get to know the coaches and players and to get very comfortable with the campus and city.”
When did your family arrive?
“We arrived by 3 pm on Friday in time to see the team practice as they get ready for the bowl game.”
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Give an overview of what you did throughout the course of the weekend?
“Friday: Attended practice, had dinner in the press box at the stadium and then attended a great college basketball game (we sat on the court). Afterwards we decided to go back to the hotel and our son spent some time with some players.
Saturday Morning: We had breakfast at the team training table, spent a few hours on ccademics (meeting with professors to learn more about his major of interest and then learning about the study table requirements, the process to get help in a class and touring the learning center, which was very impressive). Then we had lunch with the other recruits and coaching staff. His position coach met with us and we spent an hour reviewing tapes and learning more about what our son will do in practice.
Saturday Evening: The other recruits and families attended the team’s award banquet but we were able to get to his high school team’s basketball game because we felt it was important to show support to them.
Sunday: We had breakfast with the other recruits and coaching staff at the head coach’s home. The recruits met individually with the strength & conditioning coach as well as the head coach. There was great personal interaction the entire weekend!”
What was the highlight of the visit?
“Getting to personally know more of the players, the new recruits, their parents and the coaches/spouses. It reaffirmed the “family” atmosphere we have always felt with the program.”
How much new information did you learn about their program and the school?
“We learned more detailed information on how things work at practice, what to expect academically, and got more familiar with the campus layout.”
Did the visit just reaffirm your son’s commitment to the school?
“Yes! We all left very excited that he was going to get the opportunity to participate in a first class program with first class coaches!”
How often were parents and kids separated during the official visit?
“Only in the evenings if the kids wanted to. It just gave the kids a chance to hangout in the dorms and meet other players.”
When they had your son doing other things, what was he doing and what were the parents doing?
“Most of the time we were all together but in the evenings after the scheduled events the current players got together with the recruits and spent time together playing video games and hanging out.”
Did parents stay the nights in different locations than the athletes?
“We all stayed in the same hotel.”
How much time did you spend with the coaching staff?
“We always had some if not all of the coaching staff around during the entire weekend. It was a neat chance to see how they all interact and it’s clear they get along really well.”
Do you have any advice for parents about to go on official visits?
“Make sure both parents attend if possible because each of us saw different things and it was fun to share on our drive back home. I believe athletes and parents have a good ‘gut” instinct if they feel a place is right. Ask tough questions of players and coaches – this is your chance to learn and check it all out!”
With the school being local, how was travel handled?
“We were reimbursed for mileage based on the miles MapQuest generated.”
For those families that are uncommitted going into official visits, what should they really look for in their visits?
“I would want to watch how my son interacts with other players and coaches and if he is comfortable with them. They are going to spend the majority of the next five years with these people so they need to feel good about it. “