SportsPage Insider: College Visits – Part I

23 03 2009

Here’s an issue that’s worth discussing as many of you find yourselves looking forward to Spring Break… the standard college visit tour. This is the time of year when student-athletes and parents from all across the country pack their bags, gas up the family car, and log hundreds (and perhaps thousands) of miles visiting potential schools of interest.

We’re going to give you ten things you should consider before you hit the road. Here are the first five:

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  1. Carefully plan your visit and target schools that you are interested in or that have expressed clear interest in you.
  2. It’s probably best to visit the schools that are either the furthest away or the most difficult to get to during this break. If you have time at the end, visit the closer or more accessible schools you are interested in. If you can’t squeeze the “local” schools in this time, you can always make a trip at a later date.
  3. Do your homework before you visit. Take time to research the school and the athletic program, including size, tuition, majors, graduation rates, campus, and surrounding community, to name a few. Rate these findings with your own ideas of what you want out of college and see ahead of time which schools may be the best fit for you. Take notes on your visit and compare when you get back.
  4. Call to schedule an appointment. Not only is this a busy time of year for you, but it is a busy time for coaching staffs as well. For this reason, have the courtesy to schedule an appointment with the school and coaches ahead of time instead of just showing up at the doorstep and assuming you will be invited into the dinner party. It’s a safe bet to say you will be given less attention if you just show up unannounced. Also, if it’s important for you to see a school or team “in-season” make sure the students are not on break as well.
  5. Show up when you say you’re going to show up. Remember: you’re never on time. You’re either early or you’re late. Don’t be overly early, and never be late. Showing up too early to your appointment means that coaches now have to rearrange their schedules to entertain you. Showing up late, well…that’s a bad thing. If you ever find yourself running late, be sure to call and alert the coaches to that fact. Coaches are always going to greet prospects with a smile and a handshake because that’s they’re job as recruiters. But, it may be a forced smile through clenched teeth and a really firm, never-ending handshake if you haven’t been respectful of their time.

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We’ll bring you the next five next time. Stay tuned!

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