Visiting a campus can be a make-it or break-it point when trying to make a decision on a particular university. There are several ways to visit a campus: camps, unofficial visits and official visits. We will explore the importance of each and the different aspects of a visit that you should focus on.
Value of the Visit
Camps put on by athletic departments and universities are a great way to build a personal relationship with a coach early in the recruiting season. After you’ve done the research needed to know what schools you’re interested in find out if they offer a camp in your sport. These camps are run by coaches and current members of the team.
A First-Hand Look
Attending these camps allows coaches to get a first-hand look at your skills and work ethic. They also get to know you as a person so they can determine how you would fit into their team. You can send a coach as many tapes and stats as you want, but allowing them to see you in person for a week is the most valuable piece of recruiting you can do.
Camps are a great way to spend a week on campus getting to know the area, staying in their dorms, and getting to know the coach on the team. Not only is a coach getting to know you better, but you are really taking the school for a test drive as well.
The Visit You Can Take Any Time
As you determine which schools you’re interested in you’ll want to visit the campus before you put it on your final list. An unofficial visit is a visit that you take on your own and pay for. Unofficial visits can be taken at any time and you’re allowed to take as many unofficial visits as you like.
Unofficial visits are a great way to explore a school on your own timeline and creating your own agenda.
An Official Visit Means the School Wants
If you’re being offered an official visit it means that a school is very interested in you. This is a great opportunity to see a school and meet a team through the athletic department. Be careful that you choose your visits wisely–you get 5 and only 5.
You’ll want to make sure that your visits are used toward schools that you are strongly considering and not for schools that you just want to visit.
On an official visit the school will pay for the visit by providing or reimbursing you for transportation, meals, lodging and entertainment (within reason). This is a great way to judge the priorities of the school by seeing what they choose to show you during your visit. The visits can only be 48 hours so it can be a very jammed-packed trip. Official visits can only be offered by NCAA Division I & II programs.