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When Do Coaches Offer Official Visits?

thehistorian421thehistorian421 44 replies10 threads Junior Member
edited August 2013 in Athletic Recruits
I'm a rising senior at an excellent public school, who is a rower at a top club, and has not made any unofficial or official visits yet. My top choice is Penn, and things with the coaches are going well. I have expressed to the coaches since May that I am very interested in Penn and that I will probably apply ED. Both the head and assistant have told me that my AI (Academic Index) is slightly higher than that of the average recruit, and that my 2k is in the recruitable range. The head coach is very friendly, and when we talked we really hit it off (but I'm worried that everyone feels that way because he is so nice), and a personal friend of his, a rowing Penn alumnus who is still very involved in Penn's rowing community, whom I know personally as well, spoke to him on my behalf. In early August the head coach offered me an official visit in mid-September before we had even made plans for an unofficial visit. How much should I read into this? When do coaches typically offer OVs? How many OVs get in (for crew)? What are my chances?

Additional:
I'm 6'1 and 185 with a 6:34.0 2k

GPA: 3.38 unweighted (a 67 in CRS - the points on the AI scale)
SAT I: 720 CR 710 M 710 W (71 in CRS)
SAT II: 800 World History 760 U.S. History 660 Literature (78 or 74 if Lit included)

The friend who recommended me to the coach told me that anyone with a good 2k and an AI of 195 (out of 240) has a chance at Penn. I calculated my AI using the formula outlined in Hernadez' "A is for Admissions" and got 212 or 216 (depending on whether or not you include my third SAT II). I hope that this is enough, even if the adnission officers manually adjust my score down because of my GPA.
edited August 2013
85 replies
Post edited by thehistorian421 on
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Replies to: When Do Coaches Offer Official Visits?

  • momof2010momof2010 398 replies9 threads Member
    A coach would not offer you an OV unless he was definitely interested because it is their $$ not yours. Its very encouraging. Be excited. :)
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  • OldbatesieDocOldbatesieDoc 2020 replies39 threads Senior Member
    Your grades compared to your test scores make you look like an under-achiever, so be sure your recs(and coach) says how hard-working you are.

    I also would be careful about partying on your official. Team members will "report back". If you match the overall vibe, you are prolly OK, but a wise person would err on the side of caution.
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  • fogfogfogfog 3868 replies188 threads Senior Member
    Has the Penn coach seen your erg scores, race results etc and asked for your transcripts/test scores and had a pre-read done?

    Some of these are questions you can ask the coaches during an OV.

    I asked someone about this because I don't know enough ... they tell me heavy weight/open weights should be pulling sub 6:30 for the ivies and top D1 programs.
    If you have done summer training and racing and have new results, be sure to communicate that and have your coach communicate it. You have to have race results to prove you are a boat mover.

    Cast a wide net.
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  • OldScarecrowOldScarecrow 109 replies3 threads Junior Member
    You are an impressive individual but face two interrelated challenges in your quest to get recruited into an Ivy League rowing program.

    The principal challenge is that you are not strong enough academically to be admitted without serious intervention from the head coach (e.g. your SATs are quite good but not superlative; your GPA is lackluster and out of sync with your SATs and suggests that you have underachieved). The head coach will have to therefore spend one his of major chits with the Adcom to get you in.

    This gets to your second challenge. While you are a reasonably fast rower, you are neither fast enough nor likely to get fast enough quickly enough for a head coach to want to spend a precious chit, of which he has few, on you. These will go to the top rowers --the big sub-6:25 guys -- who are underwhelming academically. By the way, there will be boys with your ERG times but who have superlative academics who will find themselves with Likely Letters. In these instances, the coach will round out the team with decent rowers but without having to ask the Adcom to hold their noses too many times.

    In the recruiting process at the top programs, you’ll be assessed as to your upside going forward. This is not about a snapshot in time. A coach might come to the opinion that you’ve reached the asymptotic limit of development. That is, given how long you have rowed and your size (on the small side for a H/W rower), your potential to improve in the future is limited.

    Where does this leave you?

    Penn – It is not unusual for only about half of the athletes invited to an Official Visit to get a likely letter. The Penn coach may be hedging his bets. He has been without a Freshmen coach, the guy in charge of recruiting, for the better part of the summer so he may simply be wanting to ensure that he has enough feedstock for next year’s entry program. You have also told him that you are applying ED. So he knows two things – that you are decent enough to row in the program and that he doesn’t have to worry about you going somewhere else. He will now look more closely at you in the light of all of the other rowers who are going to the OVs and he will triangulate on three things. How good a rower can you become? Will he want to go bat for you with ADCOM over your academics versus other rowers who need a push? What other top rowers can he get to commit to fill his need (8-10 spots)? You have an OK hand here but it is not a very strong one. Be cautious and not overread his friendliness at this point. He has a tough job to do and he is doing it. He is serving his interests not yours.

    Row at a top D-1 program that is less challenging academically to get into -- In addition to BU and Northeastern, consider schools like Wisconsin, Syracuse, Rutgers, Holy Cross and GWU. You can get admitted to these schools more easily and then enter the programs as a walk-on. Very good schools with good rowing programs.

    Go D-3. While it unlikely you will get into Williams, Wesleyan, Trinity and Bates have decent rowing programs and the coaches there will help you with admissions, especially if you go ED. These schools provide near-Ivy quality academics and would prepare you well for graduate school in history. You would have fun rowing but it would not be as intense as in D-1.

    Time is short. You need to get very focused on realistic options and not overinvest your scarce time on Ivy League programs where your chances of getting recruited are quite small. You must move with speed and alacrity. And be careful not to piant yourself into a strategic corner here. Think this through well and get help if you can with this.

    Best of luck. You will do well if you are realistic.
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  • 3xboys3xboys 292 replies27 threads Member
    Welcome to CC, OldScarecrow! What a fantastic first post!
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  • momofrowermomofrower 134 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Wow, Oldscarecrow, great post! Are you, or were you, a rower or parent of one?
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  • OldScarecrowOldScarecrow 109 replies3 threads Junior Member
    I am a very old man who coached rowing and taught in a number of well-known colleges. I try to follow the college rowing scene. My seven children have attended undergraduate school at Harvard (2), Dartmouth (2), Yale, Princeton and Williams. Two of my sons rowed.

    This morning, as I dressed after a brisk swim in the ocean, I recalled the line from W.B. Yeats in Among Schoolchildren -- Old clothes upon old sticks to scare a bird.
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  • mayhewmayhew 636 replies7 threads Member
    Excellent advice, OldScarecrow, and so well presented!
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  • thehistorian421thehistorian421 44 replies10 threads Junior Member
    @OldScareCrow: That all makes a lot of sense. It's difficult not to get overexcited about things, and perhaps I've overshot a bit. I very much appreciate a candid assessment of my chances. In your opinion, how long do I have to make improvements before coaches stop considering me? I can take the SATs once more before Penn's ED, and I have time to 2k again. What caliber of improvement do you think is necessary to safely make the threshold? A 2 second drop on 2k and 100 point improvement on SATs?
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  • OldbatesieDocOldbatesieDoc 2020 replies39 threads Senior Member
    You need to get your GRADES up, not your SATs....Agree with Old Scarecrow %1000,000,000.
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  • thehistorian421thehistorian421 44 replies10 threads Junior Member
    I'll definitely try, but I'm a rising senior, so I'm basically out of time for that.
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  • Cardinal16Cardinal16 124 replies18 threads Junior Member
    At this point, get the best SAT you can, grades are over with. Much better chance of vastly improving the SAT. Shoot high man, what do you have to lose?
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  • OldScarecrowOldScarecrow 109 replies3 threads Junior Member
    The die is largely cast.

    My message is simple. Rather than quest after schools where the chance of admission is small, pursue those that fit your considerable abilities and are in line with where you find yourself now. Your fascination with the Ivy League, while not unusual, is a bit of a chimera. Hope is not a strategy.

    Some dreams die hard. None of us live without illusions. They are necessary angels. To live is to have new dreams emerge. In them begin responsibilities. Change the frame through which you look at the opportunities that lay before you and you change everything. But only YOU can do this.

    Let me sketch these opportunities. Over the next five years, you will learn what it is like to give yourself completely to something you love. You will accomplish things physically -- as an individual and with others -- that you can't today imagine. You will know what real intellectual accomplishment means and pick up a Phi Beta Kappa key in the process. You will learn how to accept the love of a good woman and enjoy its fruits. And if you are lucky, you will have moments when you transcend yourself and touch the face of God.

    Never mistake the idea of the thing with the thing itself. It is the beginning of the getting of wisdom. Take the straighest line to your objective. Reduce all unnecessary movement. Time is your scarcest resource. Guard it and learn to use it well -- yours and others.

    As to your ERG time - yes - continue to improve it. Do not do it for purpose of admission alone, do it because it is what champion rowers do. As Aristotle once wrote, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit."

    Let us know if you are ready to shift the frame. Many of us here are willing to help you tactically get what you want.
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  • SamuraiLandsharkSamuraiLandshark 3428 replies22 threads Senior Member
    Hopefully, by this time of the summer, the OP has sent out athletic resumes to at least 15 colleges and followed up with weekly emails. I agree with Old Scarecrow - make sure that you aren't setting the bar too high. You want to row and get an education, to boot.

    Don't wait for the coaches to come to you, you do have to pursue them a bit. It's hard to sell yourself, but you should be realizing that is exactly what you have to do. Why are you a standout? Remember, you have to get into the college and pass muster with the coaches, too. They may be straight shooters or used car salesmen - you really don't know what they will offer you, and they may have several rowers on their short list. Keep all your options open. Also, consider rowing for a school that may not be the tippy top on the academic scale, and you may get a load of offers.

    You should have overnight visit offers from at least 5 coaches - otherwise, you haven't cast that net far enough. You may miss out.
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  • fenwaysouthfenwaysouth 976 replies12 threads Member
    I agree the practical advice (mostly by OldScareCrow) given here is well suited for thehistorian421's situation. The die has been cast is very,very true, and the time it would take to improve your overall academic or athletic metrics is not worth it given the upcoming deadlines. You need to act now with the metrics you've earned. I also think that the OPs dream is to pursue an Ivy school and he should do that as a stretch school that he has already made contact with. It is common sense and practical to pursue your dream while also casting a wide net for other interested colleges.

    The best advice is to pursue as many schools now that meet his academic, athletic metrics, and to find a program that wants him. He has been given excellent guidance with specific programs that fit those metrics. Best of luck and let us know how it turns out.
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  • OldScarecrowOldScarecrow 109 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Here's what you should do.

    1. As suggested above, treat Penn as your reach school. To the extent there is time in September, reduce your ERG time to sub-6:30 by the end of next month. Then send a summary letter making your case for why Penn should select you. Acknowledge your shortcomings and outline your plan for addressing them.

    2. Send letters this week, FedExed overnight, to coaches at Wisconsin, Syracuse, BU, Northeastern and GWU. Ensure the letter is clear and presents your interest in them and your abilities without cant. Include with the letters a copy of your high school transcipt and your standardized test scores. Your letter should address the courses you will be taking this school year. Follow up at the end of next week by e-mail if you have not heard back from them. For these schools, you should be trying to get an Official Visit for September.

    3. Do the same for the D-3 schools -- Wesleyan, Trinity, Colgate, Hamilton, Holy Cross and Bates. For these schools, beginning TOMORROW, start visiting them. Coordinate your on campus visits with meetings with the coaches. You should target visiting 5 schools by the end of next week. Wesleyan and Trinity can be done in back-to-back days; silmilarly Hamilton and Colgate.

    4. Begin developing a list of criteria by which you will sort and select among these schools. These criteria will include academic factors, rowing factors and overall feelings for the school. You will also have to decide how intensively you wish to row in college. Obviously, D-1 programs will require a greater commitment from you. This is a big decision that you will have to make. Keep a notebook to record your impressions.

    Good luck and let us know your progress.
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  • SamuraiLandsharkSamuraiLandshark 3428 replies22 threads Senior Member
    I would also add that emailing these things (transcript, letter, test scores) may also help speed up the process for historian.

    When coaches are on road or even enjoying downtime with their family, they may not be in office to receive a FedEx package! Yet, most of them operate using email and check their work email, even when on the road. Both coaches at D's top school have travelled extensively this month - both for work and pleasure.

    I would send an email with the above information and following it up with sending in the mail. A hard copy package is always nice for coaches.
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  • OldScarecrowOldScarecrow 109 replies3 threads Junior Member
    ^^Excellent point adding the e-mails.
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  • OldScarecrowOldScarecrow 109 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Historian,

    Come back and let us know how your search and recruiting strategy has evolved. We are interested to hear how your college visits are going and what we can do to help.

    This is a very exciting time.
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  • bellybonesbellybones 129 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Just to make a slight correction to OldScarecrow's excellent posts--Colgate and Holy Cross compete in the Patriot League and are Division 1 programs, not Division 3.
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