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Overnights - how important are they?

DecYetDecYet 14 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
My child is an upcoming senior and has been in contact with several NESCAC coaches. The coach from her top choice college does not like to do overnights because it can interfere with his athlete's academics and training etc. My daughter prefers to do one, however she doesn't want to annoy the coach. How important is an overnight? How often does the "snapshot" provided on the overnight truly represent the teammates and the team dynamic?
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Replies to: Overnights - how important are they?

  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys 3987 replies27 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    For my kid, sleeping on a prospective teammate's floor was not helpful in making his decision. What was useful was attending class with a prospective teammate, eating a meal with the guys, watching practice if in-season, and having some "chill" time with the team. As long as a program can make those types of experiences available, the overnight part is unnecessary. At least on the "Men's" side of visits, overnight hosts generally seem to feel obliged to show prospects a "good" time which, in-season, is definitely not helpful for the current team or necessarily gives a realistic view to the prospects. Out of 5-6 fall visits for my D3 kid, only 1 was overnight and that school came off the list precisely because his freshman hosts made it seem like party-central and he wasn't interested. We've heard from other players that was not a realistic picture of the team or the school, but it was enough to take it off his list.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22422 replies14 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I agree that a good 'day' visit is fine. Some schools have their own overnight visit programs (for non-athletes) but many do not and thousands of kids figure out if that school is right for them without the extended visit.

    If the coach doesn't like OVs, it's unlikely it will be well organized or helpful. The coach is taking the chance that your D will find a school, through an OV, that she likes better but that's a chance the coach has chosen to take.
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  • mamommamom 3657 replies24 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    My D found the OVs helpful, but a well scheduled day visit may have been informative also. Ask admissions and the coach if a day visit is possible.
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  • gointhruaphasegointhruaphase 509 replies3 postsRegistered User Member
    As with most of recruiting, you should "go with the coach's flow." The OVs are all a snapshot, anyway. You never really know until you actually matriculate. The only thing I would confirm is that this is the overall policy of the coach. There is an outside chance that the coach offers OVs to some and day trips to others (potentially signifying where you stand in recruiting land). While I think that is unlikely, it wouldn't hurt to ask how many the coach is recruiting and where your D stands on that list.
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  • fleishmo6fleishmo6 549 replies28 postsRegistered User Member
    I have had three children, all swimmers, two boys and a girl go through the recruiting process. For my kids the OVs were invaluable. My youngest, starts in the fall and the way the team interacts with each other definitely helped her with her choice. My three all had views on the type of team they wanted to be a part of and the overnights made their choices pretty easy.
    Not saying one cannot end up at a school/team that will work or that they will enjoy but most of the swimmers that we know were influenced by their OVS.
    good luck
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  • homerdoghomerdog 4841 replies88 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Our S19 was being recruited to run at a top 20 LAC (not a NESCAC although he ended up at one). When he went to do the OV, he was unpleasantly surprised about how much drinking was the main entertainment. He tried to fess out the real story that day and night he was there. Found some upperclassmen runners who seemed more mature and didn't drink so much and he liked them. But they would not be there next year. The freshman he stayed with and the sophomores he met would be his teammates and it just wasn't a match. It wasn't just the drinking but the kids too. A few made it sound like the school wasn't their first choice and didn't love it there. They weren't friendly to him either and he felt like he was just tagging along the whole time with no one trying to even talk much to him. I'm not sure he would have been able to see this side of the boys during the day, in class, at a practice with coaches present. Even if he would have just spent the day with one of the kids, he wouldn't have seen what they are like together, as a group, when they aren't with the coaches.

    I'm not sure there's much you can do if the coach doesn't offer OV with the athletes. You could make sure to shadow one for a whole day and, hopefully, that athlete will eat meals with her teammates. Your D might be able to see some interaction there. Are you willing to name this top choice and the sport? Maybe someone could chime in here. I can talk to you via PM if the choice is Bowdoin and the sport is XC/track.
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  • DecYetDecYet 14 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thank you all for your thoughts. Your advice is immeasurable. My daughter is particularly interested in learning about the college's athlete-party scene. She would prefer to be with a team that doesn't focus their socializing around alcohol. She thinks it may be difficult to get a sense of that without doing an overnight.
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  • mamommamom 3657 replies24 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    There was no drinking at any of the OVs my daughter went to. Although one of her hosts dumped her after the group team activity disbanded and went out with friends. She said one of the coaches told the players who were hosting, "Do not bring the recruits off campus or to any parties." Now that my D has finished her freshman year, she says there are plenty of opportunities to drink, for those who are interested and plenty of opportunities to not drink. No pressure either way at her school.
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  • StPaulDadStPaulDad 382 replies1 postsRegistered User Member
    My DD found her overnight to be pretty helpful. It was D3 VB, but she was able to meet most of the team, hang out a little, see practice and ask questions. It was on a weeknight so there was less temptation to go out and party, but that really wasn't a huge part of how those players spent time. She learned the culture would work for her, and that's a big comfort when moving across the country. I guess a big part of an OV's value would depend on what you want from it.
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  • anon145anon145 610 replies7 postsRegistered User Member
    can generally get the same essential info from a multi day camp as overnight as long as current players are there... kid's school also generally only "invited" committed players to the overnight anyway...
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  • VADad1066VADad1066 29 replies3 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    I think they are important in helping the student athlete evaluate if a school is a good fit. My son was between two top LACs, and the overnight visit enabled him to get a great feel on both schools and helped him decide which school was best for him.
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  • BKSquaredBKSquared 1263 replies4 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    OV's incredibly helpful for S. He got to the schools on a Thursday and left Sat/Sun which allowed him to go to classes on Friday and experience campus life Friday night and part of the weekend. One school he found too small, at another he did not like the vibe he was getting from non-athletes (condescending), at the very STEMMY schools he knew he was going to struggle after attending classes. He enjoyed his time with his potential teammate and coaches at every school, so his decision was based on student life in general and the classes he attended. At the end, he took no offers and rolled the dice with an SCEA Ivy because he wanted a larger college experience.
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  • makemesmartmakemesmart 1391 replies13 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Do parents go with these OVs? DS20 is only 16 and he wants to do his OVs himself, I am ok with it, but wonder whether there are benefits for parents to tag along (checking out the team/coaches)? We have toured the schools he will be OVing soon.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22422 replies14 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Do parents go? Yes and no. I 'went along' on my daughter's visit to Smith but I dropped her at the school and I stayed in an hotel. She called and invited me to the public tour on the Saturday because otherwise she woud have been alone. Everything else she did on her own. In the she didn't really like it and I had nothing to compare it to so wasn't an advocate.

    Another OV I attended with her (all the parents did) because the recruites stayed in a hotel and not on campus with other students. Coach was new and didn' really know any students for them to stay with. The parents were very much a part of the tour and the decision.

    Footbal teams now can include the parents on the overnights (and pay for the transportation and stay). One, it keeps the players on their best behavior and two, the parents really are part of the decision of where to go to school.
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  • VADad1066VADad1066 29 replies3 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    I went to two of my son's OV (for football). The parents are included on things like a tour of the school and the athletic facilities. The recruits then typically stay overnight with a player and get to experience the school's social life. The next day my son and I had a private meeting with the head coach. This is typically a great time to ask specific questions to the HC.
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  • politepersonpoliteperson 279 replies4 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    @makemesmart This might depend on the sport but in the sport I’m familiar with, Track and Field, parents almost never go on the official visits. It’s a bit of a red flag if they assume they should. But that’s for D1, older kids, with a plane ride. Maybe D3 with younger kids would be different. I’d have your son email the coach directly...”I was planning to come alone, parents don’t want to get in the way, but they’re happy to come along if better. What do you suggest?”
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  • makemesmartmakemesmart 1391 replies13 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    @twoinanddone @VADad1066 @politeperson
    Thank you for the feedbacks. DS20 is a swimmer and the schools are D3s. He asked one school, and the coach told him about 90% of the students in the past went by themselves. The first one will be nerve-racking for me! 😅
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  • BKSquaredBKSquared 1263 replies4 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    S did all OV's on his own, but they were all fall of senior year. They were not done as part of an organized weekend event for prospective students in general where there is some anticipation that parents may also wish to come. I felt letting him deal with the logistics and interacting with coach/teammates with no safety net would be a good learning experience. I also get the feeling that unless the coach asks for parents to come, they rather not see parents. They want independent kids.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22422 replies14 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    My daughter was younger than most, 16 in the fall of senior year. Although she was an experienced traveler, she usually took direct flights and those weren't available to Hartford. So it would have been switching planes in somewhere like DC, then taking a suttle from there to the school, or flying into Boston and then taking the bus. It was just easier for me to go (and we flew into Providence). Also, I hadn't seen the schools since I was 2 years old so it was unlikely she would have picked it without my seeing it, or at least the area.
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  • kjs1992kjs1992 107 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Our son was also younger, 16 in the fall of his senior year. OV's definitely helped him rule out 2 schools, and moved 2 up the list.

    We did not attend the OV's, but stayed until the coach came and then we left. We enjoyed the sights surrounding 2 of the schools and stayed in a hotel nearby. 2 others were within driving distance, so we did a drop off and pick up.

    I remember at one (a drop off) the parents were shocked I wasn't staying and hanging out. First, I live an hour an 45 mins. from the school....nope....heading home! Secondly, when I turned to look and say good-bye, he was already long gone..... :)
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