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Official Visits

mayhewmayhew Registered User Posts: 643 Member
edited June 2010 in Athletic Recruits
All winter and spring, there have been several verbal references from coaches about inviting my athlete on an official visit to their individual schools this fall. Now, a formal, written letter has arrived from one of her favorite schools, asking her to choose a date for her official visit there this autumn. Of course it is exciting for her, but for me, as the parent, I am just struck with how all the speculation, wondering, etc. is now becoming "real" - we are moving on the next phase of this process. Just a little stunned, but in a good way - didn't expect things like this quite so early.....! Wow.
Post edited by mayhew on

Replies to: Official Visits

  • kttmomkttmom Registered User Posts: 269 Junior Member
    Does a parent go with the athlete for an official visit? And does the school pay all the expenses for the athlete and parent (airfare/food/lodging)? S is expecting to get a phone call asking for a visit in the next 2 weeks (college coach told this to HS coach) and I was wondering what to expect.
  • riverrunnerriverrunner Registered User Posts: 2,715 Senior Member
    Parents generally don't go, and only the athlete's expenses are paid. The coaches we worked with took excellent care of our daughter. A coach picked her up and dropped her off at the airport. She was with current athletes during the entire trip, staying in one of their rooms each night. They eat with team mates at school dining facilities.
  • mayhewmayhew Registered User Posts: 643 Member
    ^^^correct. Certainly don't want/need me around, and coach said they will make all travel arrangements for student.
  • kttmomkttmom Registered User Posts: 269 Junior Member
    Thanks for the information. I guess we'll let him go by himself. We could pay for ourselves, because we haven't seen this school, but I don't want it to look wierd.
  • riverrunnerriverrunner Registered User Posts: 2,715 Senior Member
    mayhew, forgot to say congrats on getting the first invitation. Kind of weird to go from abstract to real, eh?

    I'm sure you know, but for general info, the visit has to take place after your child's first day of school in the fall. Best visits for my daughter involved travel on Saturday, returning on Monday night so she could visit some Monday classes, avoid the Friday night chaos on campus, and compete in her sport on Saturday at home, if need be. Visit can't last more than 48 hours by NCAA rules. The coaches will plan the flights to follow this rule.

    Also, we explored trying to squeeze two officials into one trip, but were always dissuaded from this- anyone know if there is a rule about this, or is this just difficult to sort out? Coaches would have to somehow share expenses, report to NCAA, and what would possibly motivate these coaches to work together, anyway, when they are competing for the athlete? But from the parent point-of-view, it would have been great to travel across country and get more than one visit in. Anyone able to make that happen?

    kttmom, coaches want to see your child function without you there. A big red flag goes up if parents are overly involved at this stage. This is why cell phones were invented. I know, it's hard, but it's time to let go a little.
  • mayhewmayhew Registered User Posts: 643 Member
    ^^^ Riverrunner, Thanks for the good advice. I didn't think about going to Monday classes, but that does make a lot of sense. We will see what the coaches suggest/organize. 48 hours seems like a good amount of time, per NCAA - more than that might feel overwhelming - plus they do have to actually get back to school, and go to their own classes!!

    Fortunately, the majority of her top choice "hopes" are not thousands of miles from where she is. Of course, now that I've said that, maybe fate will have any more official invitations, if she is lucky enough to receive them, only come from the far away schools....!
  • kttmomkttmom Registered User Posts: 269 Junior Member
    I don't mind letting go, it's just hard to give an opinion about his options when we have never seen the school.

    Our situation is a little odd. He is already accepted and planning to attend Cornell in Fall 2010 (engineering), but at the 11th hour Rice is recruiting him for baseball. We are from NY, so Rice will be a huge change in climate and also it is a very different school than Cornell.

    But it may all come to nothing after the visit, so we'll just take it one step at a time and see what happens.

    Thanks for the advice.
  • fogfogfogfog Registered User Posts: 4,056 Senior Member
    Riverrunner--that is great advice re Sat-Mon..will keep that in mind if it plays out for our student to get those officials.

    I was expecting to hear about officials being offered after July 1--guess they can come earlier..wow.
    Congrats Mayhew!
  • TheGFGTheGFG Registered User Posts: 6,187 Senior Member
    kttmom: My husband and I accompanied our D on unofficial visits first to do the regular info. sessions and tours, and to meet informally with coaches. Then D went on 4 out of the 5 official visits by herself. We never even thought of going, though afterward I wondered if I should have since D reportated that other girls did bring along their parents.

    However, the 5th school was clear across the country and we had never seen it nor met the coaches. So when the coach asked D if her parents would be coming with her on the visit, she told them that I would. I paid my own airfare, but the school covered my hotel and most meals. I decided to go because if D were to have returned from the OV with her mind made up to attend that school, I wanted to feel completely comfortable with that decision. And feeling comfortable meant having the opportunity to look the coach in the eye and making a mother's intuitive assessments about the person with whom D would be spending so many hours each week.
  • kttmomkttmom Registered User Posts: 269 Junior Member
    GFG- that's exactly my thought. But I think we'll see how the coaches approach my S about parents role and play it by ear.
  • riverrunnerriverrunner Registered User Posts: 2,715 Senior Member
    kttmom, I had been on the unofficials junior year, to my d's final choices, so I had already previewed. If Rice becomes the new #1, I can see how it WOULD be tempting to get a look...
  • TheGFGTheGFG Registered User Posts: 6,187 Senior Member
    I must be getting old. I'm making the weirdest errors..."reportated"????? And the worst thing is, I did proof read that post, lol.

    Coaches expect that parents will want to see the school their child is thinking of attending. It's only natural. I don't think going on the visit reflects badly on you or your athlete, and it's not as though you'd be doing the same activities as your child will. Since I had many more doubts about school #5 than I did D's other choices, I asked a lot of questions. It didn't seem to faze the coaches at all. Frankly, if they've spent the money to bring a recruit there, a parent would have to be really, really obnoxious for them to change their minds about the kid. Now if a parent were really, really obnoxious and lived very near the college (such that s/he might show up frequently for games or meets), then that might be another story.
  • authorauthor Registered User Posts: 317 Member
    Imagining a coach thinking less of a player, they are recruiting, when their family/parents accompany their student an official visit would raise a flag about the core values of this coach.

    editing in:
    we attended all the visits with our player. There were separate activites designed for the parents when the coaches wanted to talk alone to their player.
  • stemitstemit Registered User Posts: 575 Member
    I believe that a parent(s) should go on the official visit. This does not mean participating in anything set up for the visiting player -- it means visiting the school and the surrounding area. Six eyes are better than two.

    Each of our visits was very different -- ranging from a written schedule to totally informal "parents we have nothing set up for you." Each was fine. But, in the end, we did want to meet the coach to whom we were entrusting a 17 year old who was focusing on way different things then we were (like, how good looking were the girls; how was the pizza at the local hangout; how good was playing beer pong , etc.).

    We wanted to watch a practice (not with our son but by ourselves); we wanted to walk the campus; we wanted to see the local community (your student will simply not have time to walk the area outside the walls of the campus -- and in some city campus you should really see what is outside the walls); we wanted to read the local newspaper.

    We did not want to meet the players, attend a class, see a dorm room (we weren't going to live there), eat the cafeteria food, or hang out with my son (or even be around my son).

    We did want to establish a personal connection with someone in admissions and financial aid -- so that later we could pick up the phone with a question and expect a thoughtful answer.

    We did want to see the university which was going to be the recipient of all our wealth.

    While the choice of school was ultimately my son's, it was a collaborative effort which got us to the official visit and a collaborative effort at evaluating the schools which ultimately determined where committed.

    While he was apprehensive of having his parents even in the same state (after all, our entire existence is designed to embarrass him), once he realized that the weekend was totally his to experience without any real interaction with us, it really worked out well.
  • kttmomkttmom Registered User Posts: 269 Junior Member
    Thanks for the replies. I initially thought one of us would go with him to get a look at the college, but then Riverrunner was so emphatic that we shouldn't I began to second guess myself. We are still waiting for the coach to call (apparently he had a bad number for my S's cell), but now I am going to plan on one of us going with him to check out the school/area.

    Thanks for the advice.
This discussion has been closed.