When you get invited on an official visit by a coach, it’s a sign that they are highly interested in you as a recruit. They want you to be able to see yourself playing for program and they want to host your experience up close and personal with the team. Official visits happen when you contact coaches and build relationships with them. While an official visit is a serious inclination of a great opportunity, it never guarantees a scholarship, or even a spot on the team.
Official visits are a crucial way for college coaches to determine whether they think you’ll be an asset to their team, not just athletically, but personally too. They will choose athletes with strong skills, potential, and great character. Since you have started contacting college coaches, you have talked about your athletic skills and strengths, as well as what you hope to achieve academically. Meeting a coach in person gives you the perfect opportunity to show coaches how you handle yourself, where they know you’ll be nervous because you are in a new situation with new people.
Recruits not only need to impress coaches, but the current players on the team as well; they are your potential future teammates, and it is important that you get along and have similar goals for the team. You should also be able to talk freely with them and ask them questions about being on the team. You want to make an impression on the team members, because the coach will ask them what you were like without him around.
You only get five official visits during your recruiting; and, because a college coach invited you to their school, don’t make them regret hosting you as a possible recruit. Here are some tips on how to make yourself shine on your official visits:
- Come prepared: As you get ready for your official visit, make sure to pack copies of everything you probably have already provided the coach (resume, test scores, high school transcripts, etc.) Anything that has been changed or updated should be given to the coach as well. You should also prepare a list of questions you might have, or write them down as they come up during your visit. This demonstrates to the coach that you are taking this visit seriously and not just here to get a free ticket to visit.
- Take advantage of your trip: Your trip will probably include sitting in on a class, getting a campus tour, checking out the dorms and cafeterias, and attending a game or practice. Make sure to really consider the environment you are in and whether you can see yourself at this school. You should also make time to see an academic adviser and get familiar with the academic requirements of a college student-athlete.
- Be yourself…to a point: While it is always important to be yourself, you also are trying to make a good impression. Consider this trip like a job interview; you want to present yourself as a mature and capable student-athlete, while also showing them a more personal side. Just make sure to think before you speak and make good choices. Remember, someone is always watching you on your visit and everything will be reported back to the coach. If you don’t want anybody to know about it, don’t do it.
Of course, these are great tips to follow on unofficial visits too, but official visits tend to have a little more pressure on both the coach and the recruit. With practice, all visits will become second nature and you will really be able to figure out where you see yourself playing in college.