Coaches Visits -- What to expect?

My son has been asked to visit multiple NESCAC schools in June for Lacrosse. Was wondering what we should expect or if anyone can share their personal experience? This is a first for us.


Others will have more experience with NESCAC and lacrosse than I do, but typically an unofficial visit like this would have some of these elements: a brief tour of the athletic facilities and/or parts of campus, some discussion of the team and what life is like as a student athlete in the program, discussion of the recruiting process, discussion of how admissions works for supported athletes, and then probably some questions from the coach to get to know the player.

I’d have your son confirm whether parents are expected to come along (usually yes, sometimes only for a part). And if your son or you aren’t clear on the process, I’d use this chance to get very clear on: will there be academic and/or financial aid pre reads (if the latter is a concern for you)? Is the coach able to provide admissions support and when will those decisions be made? What I’d be listening for is whether the coach has admissions slots and whether your son might be in the running for one of those, or if this is more a case of “we’d love to have you on the team…if you can get admitted on your own.”

Of course, you should have some questions in mind about the school, team culture, etc., to help give you a sense of differences among the programs. Good luck and don’t forget to enjoy the process!


So the differential here is between official and unofficial visits. With unofficial visits, expect an introduction to the program and your son to the coach (your son’s position, background in LAX, high school and club performances, etc.). Since your son has been invited to visit, I’d view this as closer to an OV, only without the overnight stay. The the coach likely knows some of the basics about your son and thinks there could be a match for the team.

I first would recommend (if you haven’t already done so) that you request an unofficial transcript from your high school before they go on vacation for the summer. With luck, the transcript will contain up to date information on grades. Bring a file folder with the transcript, college CV (which should contain up to date information with academic and athletic awards), and high school profile (you can probably print the school profile from the internet). You can give the coach this packet when you first sit down with him. This information serves as a conversation starter, just as a CV would with a job interview.

Tell your kid to have at least three questions prepared for the coach. At some point in time, the coach is going to ask him if he has any questions. Typical questions include study abroad, particular majors, and off-season conditioning.

Personally, I would attend the meeting to hear what the coach has to say. If your son is invited in the fall for an overnight OV, skip that one. Let the meeting flow between your kid and the coach. There will come a point at which the coach looks at you and asks if you have any questions, at that point ask: 1) will the coach provide support for your kid with admissions; 2) does the coach have a list of athletes, and where is the kid on the list; 3) in the past, how many athletes in a similar circumstance have been admitted, and how many denied; 4) ask about the pre-read process; and 5) would the kid have a confirmed place on the roster.

As difficult as this is to suggest, take it slow and enjoy the process.