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Official visits DIII

jmtabbjmtabb Registered User Posts: 194 Junior Member
edited June 2018 in Athletic Recruits
Ok guys, looks like we’ve reached the next stage in this recruiting process. My daughter has received her first invite for an official visit.

Her sport is swimming. The school is across the country, DIII. I know that we get to pay for it all

What can we expect? She can’t swim with the team, right? Any visit will require a full day of travel on either end, so missing 4 days of practice is a concern, she’ll also need to log in to do some work for an online class she’s taking, there will be some time for that I hope.

Sleep in a student room? Visit a class? Anything else we should know about or prepare for as we get these trips scheduled in?
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Replies to: Official visits DIII

  • RightCoasterRightCoaster Registered User Posts: 2,636 Senior Member
    She'll probably go to a game or event with the team. She'll eat in the cafeteria. She'll stay with a kid on the team. She might swim with the team if they have an unofficial "captains's practice". or something like that. She can workout in the gym. They'll probably head out at night, maybe to a party or hang out.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 20,227 Senior Member
    When mine went to a D3 visit, I dropped her off with the coach (and a teammate host). She went to a class, she ate lunch and dinner with her host. She was supposed to go to a captain's practice (it was the fall, for a spring sport) but it rained. She went to a party that night, to an a capella show at the school (really liked that), and then on Saturday I met with her to go on a 'public' tour of the school. She then went to a field hockey game (in the rain) and we left later that night.

    I think your daughter could arrange to swim while she's there, but it can't be at an official practice and the coaches can't watch. They'll know the rules so just tell them she needs some pool time over the 2 days (visit can only last 48 hours on campus). To save on time, she could fly in on a redeye and arrive on Friday morning, and out Sunday morning.
  • stencilsstencils Registered User Posts: 359 Member
    RightCoaster is exactly right. Almost the exact itinerary my D had when visiting a DIII school for an overnight as a recruit. There was a class visit and an arranged interview with the academic dept head as well.
  • jmtabbjmtabb Registered User Posts: 194 Junior Member
    edited June 2018
    Ok, so from those that have done this, what is she looking for? Questions to ask? Things to avoid? We have visited campus and received a pretty thorough tour from the coach when we were there a couple of months ago.
  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 3,768 Senior Member
    Congrats on getting to this stage of the process! It is exhausting, but exciting.

    Broadly, my D3 kid (soccer) found that typical visits as a recruit included: coach meeting with athlete and at least some of it with the parent, lunch with asst. coach and some team members, class with team member, admissions interview with opportunity for parent questions at the end of it, down time in a team member's room with a bunch of the team, watch practice/match (could not participate). We heard from several programs that the "down time" with team members was a key element of the visit -- was this prospie a good teammate? My kid was in his own sports season during fall visits so we often left at night, rather than have him stay over in the dorm, to get him back for his own matches -- when he did stay, some times the coach provided an air mattress and bedding so he wasn't literally on the floor, which was nice.

    Since you are looking at a cross country trip with a lot of disruption to her fall schedule, could you perhaps use the scheduled trip as a way to circle back with other coaches in that region to see the status of their process?
  • stencilsstencils Registered User Posts: 359 Member
    You definitely want the opportunity to hang with current team members, and watch a practice if possible to get team "vibe" and any clues as to coaching style. I also agree with @Midwestmomofboys -- the coach for my Ds team asks for feedback from the student hosts about fit of the prospect with the team dynamic. My Ds coach focuses very much on team fit as well as skills, but that's definitely not true of all coaches.
  • jmtabbjmtabb Registered User Posts: 194 Junior Member
    In an ideal world there is one other team we’d love to circle back to that is only a few hours away, yes. But it’s a bit early to clarify that point with that team -they’ve said they start scheduling fall visits in July. We’re not done with school here yet (2 more weeks!) and we were planning to update with end of year transcripts before July 1.

    Here’s a question I haven’t seen yet - “official visits”can’t start until after the first day of school senior year, right? Does this apply to DIII too? What happens if there is a teacher’s strike? This is a contract negotiation year for our teacher’s union, and I’ve got a bad feeling about this one for us...
  • RightCoasterRightCoaster Registered User Posts: 2,636 Senior Member
    I forgot to add that the coach will most likely want to visit with you for a few minutes and this gives you an opportunity to check the coach out and ask any questions you have regarding recruiting, studies, team travel, dorms, schedules etc.

    I also forgot to mention that sometimes the coach might set up an interview with someone in admissions. This happened to us a few times. You might be able to meet with admissions too, I was asked to so I complied.

    Things to avoid: Probably having your kid throw up from drinking too much, lol. Being an annoying helicopter parent in front of the coach.

    Before you leave you should talk or text with your kid to see if they liked their visit. If they did like it, during your final meeting with the coach before you say goodbye you can ask the coach where things stand in terms of recruiting if they have not covered it already. If your kid is so-so about the place, just say thanks for arranging everything and your kid will stay in touch.
  • jmtabbjmtabb Registered User Posts: 194 Junior Member
    No issues with drinking for my kid. She doesn’t like the taste of alcohol, and recently she genuinely asked me why people get drunk - she doesn’t get it LOL. Must have been switched at birth!

    We pointed out that my brother doesn’t like alcohol and was the designated driver the whole time he was in college and that he turned out OK :).
  • RightCoasterRightCoaster Registered User Posts: 2,636 Senior Member
    My son was sort of worried what to do. Drink and have the coach find out which might not be good. Don't drink and seem like a noob. I think one time he drank a beer and another time said he didn't feel like it, and the kid he was hanging with was fine with it. I think they hung out, got some food, and played some video games. My son did say that he went to an off campus house where a bunch of the guys on the team lived and they were having a party. He said some of them were partying pretty hard and he didn't really the guys all that much.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 20,227 Senior Member
    If your daughter doesn't want to drink or go to parties, she needs to have a way to handle that as it is likely the team will take her to a party where there will be drinks offered. Or more.

    My 16 year old was shocked when she went to Smith and was asked a lot of personal questions. What pronoun would you prefer? Are you gay? Are you sure you're not gay? Really? She was offered beer, liquor, more. She knew her host from high school and the host was also a very young and shy girl, so she wasn't abandoned at the party. It was a little too much for my daughter at 16. I wish I'd been more prepared and been able to prepare her more. She was the one who invited me to the public tour (I was staying in a hotel). The coach was not very good at including me in the visit or the discussions at all. My daughter didn't go there.
    My Ds coach focuses very much on team fit as well as skills, but that's definitely not true of all coaches.

    My daughter's coach doesn't even introduce the recruits to the team. Her choice. She doesn't care if they fit together. It seems to work out and most become friends.
  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 3,768 Senior Member
    Others may be able to confirm, but I thought NCAA D3 allows official visits after Jan of 11th grade -- so she doesn't need to have actually "started" senior year if there is a strike.
  • jmtabbjmtabb Registered User Posts: 194 Junior Member
    Awesome. One less thing to worry about!
  • kjs1992kjs1992 Registered User Posts: 94 Junior Member
    @jmtabb Congrats! Our S had three OVNs and here's how they went:

    As a parent, I felt at ease when we met the coach when he was dropped off, when the coach gave us a copy of the itinerary, and when the coach had us sign papers protecting the school and our kid. We had 2 schools do that. He was scheduled every minute of the day at those 2, and one he had an interview scheduled. It was very professionally done.

    At a 3rd, we barely got a hello from the coach (who was late). No papers to sign, etc. When I asked, I got, "We know where to find you" Huh??? Nothing as far as meeting one on one with our S or any other recruit that whole weekend. No itinerary, no information. It was a huge party. Our S withdrew his application after he got in to #1.

    A few things to look for:

    1) Have your daughter take note of the team dynamic. How do they interact with each other - do they seem to get along, or not? Do they like the coach(es)? (They'll generally have no problem divulging that info....). Do they seem happy with their school and their choice - again - kids will generally tell. We found that our son could tell almost immediately from the weekend as well who was really serious about the school and who's just there testing the waters, adding it on to their list, but not a top choice.

    2) Treat the weekend/OVN like an interview. She's interviewing them and they are doing the same. All she says and does can be (and in many cases will be) reported back to the Head Coach - including how interested she is and other schools she's looking at. The kids will flat out ask. We advised our son not to divulge any specific info regarding his top choice at any of the visits - keep it generic. The swim world is small and word travels. And, to always keep in mind that, especially if you're looking at schools in the same league, you never know where another coach may end up.

    Also, if the kids are involved in sketchy behavior with a recruit, that just tells me a lot about the team dynamic....everyone should want to put their best foot forward from coach, to team, to recruit.

    Everyone's trying to see if the puzzle piece fits - sometimes it doesn't at all, sometimes one part fits, and sometimes it looks to fit perfectly...don't burn bridges....

    3) Be prepared to sleep on a floor :) hahaha

    4) Tell her to have fun - it's a great experience!

    5) If your weekend doesn't include it, try and get there for a meet if possible - or to see them in action somewhere. That might be hard cross-country, but if it can be done, we found it to be invaluable and it really sealed the deal for our son - he could realistically see where he "fit".

    Best of luck!!!!
  • SevenDadSevenDad Registered User Posts: 4,298 Senior Member
    @Ohiodad51: I know the "thread builder" threads are closed, but I think "OVs — what to expect/dos/don'ts" would be a good post to include in your general thread.
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