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The unofficial visit(s) - how to set up, advice

rhandcorhandco Registered User Posts: 4,292 Senior Member
edited August 2013 in Athletic Recruits
My son just signed up for a Friday campus tour at one of his top choice schools, which has been sending him gobs of advertising based on his PSAT scores. Before he signed up, we checked to make sure there is a home soccer game that weekend, and there is one on that Saturday.

My advice to him is to call the coach and ask to set up an on-campus meeting and get some free tickets to the game. I told him if he couldn't get through, he should call the assistant, and then the athletic department.

But I am wondering, since he is a 2015 and the visit is in October, should he just wait until September 1st and email instead? Would any coach consider an email lack of interest and prefer a phone call?

Since this is one of only two campus tours, I expect he will be with other recruits and there will be some activities.

Does the plan sound correct, and what can he expect / hope to have on his schedule for the unofficial visit?

If it matters, it is a D1 school that is in the top 75 of the NCAA rankings.

And one other thing - he has four other schools off-hand that he'd like to visit and see a home game for. Is that too many? One is close, one is 2 hours away, and two are five hours away.
Post edited by rhandco on

Replies to: The unofficial visit(s) - how to set up, advice

  • classicalmamaclassicalmama Registered User Posts: 2,261 Senior Member
    If this is an initial contact with a coach, then to me, it makes more sense to email because your son can attach an athletic profile. Also, he can cc more than one coach if he's not sure who the correct contact is. I don't think my kid called coaches at all until he had had several email contacts, a few months into the game. Most coaches responded quickly to emails.

    Unofficials varied for my kid. Some just involved a meeting with the coach and touring the athletic facitilies. Over spring break, when coaches' interest was more firmly established, they ranged from overnights with an athlete (observe a practice, visit classes, etc.) to meeting the coaching staff for a meal. Those latter visits were definitely more informative, but they came once he had established a relationship with the coach.
  • rhandcorhandco Registered User Posts: 4,292 Senior Member
    Thank you. I blanked that D1 will of course practice throughout the year, so he should do a spring visit as well for his top choices, or spring if another college pops up on his radar.

    classicalmama, just for comparison, how many unofficial visits did your son do overall? Do you think 5 is good for fall junior year?
  • evertonnutevertonnut Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    rhandco, I would recommend your son send an email with his academic and athletic profile and then follow up with a phone call. If the coach is interested in your son as a potential player, he can arrange free tickets to athletic events and also allow your son to stay with one or more of the players. Remember that it's soccer season, and the coach and players will primarily be focused on the games, so your son should not be disappointed if he doesn't get to spend much time with the coach or team.
  • 4kidsinarow4kidsinarow Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    Agree with above. To add, unofficial visits are limited only by your energy, time and of course interest on the coaches part. I would suggest completing unofficials to each of your top "match" schools during your junior year (preferably not during competition season). By match, I mean, realistic athletic and academic matches. It gives the coaches a chance to meet your child and begin to develop a relationship. As previously stated, during the competitive season, there will be little time to focus on your child as a recruit.

    From experience, for the schools that did not meet our child, he was treated more like a number (athletic and academic statistics). For those we met in person, the communication has been much more personal, detailed and authentic.

    Bottom line, it is worth your time and energy.
  • classicalmamaclassicalmama Registered User Posts: 2,261 Senior Member
    My kid only did five unofficial visits, but rowing's a lot different from soccer--fewer programs to choose from for one thing. Four or five in the fall sounds great. I agree, though, that you'll probably get more of the coach's time in the off-season and later in junior year, when your son has taken the SAT and has junior year grades to offer. I guess the only thing I'd be worried about is whether those more distant visits might start to affect grades or interfere with his schedule...but if not, I agree with 4kids that unofficials are well worth the time.
  • rhandcorhandco Registered User Posts: 4,292 Senior Member
    Sounds like in the fall we should focus on getting him the three free tickets, and to a see a game and not worry about the level of on-campus contact.

    A stupid question - he started filling out contact forms, but wasn't keeping track of which he submitted. Should he just start from the beginning, and resubmit any he has not gotten an email reply on? Do they care if they get repeat recruiting forms by accident?
  • classicalmamaclassicalmama Registered User Posts: 2,261 Senior Member
    I wouldn't worry about it--a brief email with a profile gets more attention IMO. If the coach needs the recruiting form and doesn't have it, he'll ask for it down the road.
  • fenwaysouthfenwaysouth Registered User Posts: 988 Member
    4kidsinarow posted...I would suggest completing unofficials to each of your top "match" schools during your junior year (preferably not during competition season). By match, I mean, realistic athletic and academic matches. It gives the coaches a chance to meet your child and begin to develop a relationship. As previously stated, during the competitive season, there will be little time to focus on your child as a recruit.
    I totally agree. In this case, I would request 15-20 minutes of the coaches free time when/if you have a break from the campus tour. If the coach can't make it no harm no foul....he/she knows you are interested.

    I would make a point of attending the soccer games to get a feel for the level of play. This is an extremely important point as you begin to try to find your athletic level and college's style of play. It is essential that you understand what you could bring to the table....could you be a 4 year starter or a 2 year starter at this school. Are they deep at your position? Are similar schools in need of your position? Answering these questions is essential to understanding how much athletic leverage you have. Too often, recruits and parents over estimate their talent level and under estimate how competitive it is to find playing time...which is two reasons why you have so many transfers. JMO.

    PS....If the coach can't see you during the tour, why not see if he can meet after the game?
  • musicmom26musicmom26 Registered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    My D is a junior and runs XC and TF, so we went on several unofficial visits over the summer as well as email and phone calls. She kept calling until she got the coach. We plan several more visits in between XC and TF. The ones that are really interested have kept in touch and want her to visit, so it will be interesting which ones will wind up OV's. We sent in questionnaires and attached her XC schedule. Most emailed back and said they were happy to hear from her and looked forward to seeing her. Some said she was in scholarship range, and some just said keep in touch, and then some, mostly D1, emailed back and said they couldn't talk to her through email until September 1st. One of the D3 coaches came in just for us during the summer to meet with us, gave us the grand tour, and bought our lunch and ate with us. He's my favorite so far, really personable, and the school is great but doesn't really have her field of interest after we talked to one of the professors:( She's not a superstar, but she has great grades, EC's, and is consistent with her times in multiple events, and that seems to be what most schools are looking for.
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