Hello wise ones! It looks like we’ve landed at the next step in this recruiting process. Invites for official visits are coming in, and now I’m trying to figure out if there are advantages or disadvantages when it comes to timing.
Background - my athlete is a swimmer, looking at mostly top DIII programs. She is a super-achiever academically with tippy top grades and test scores across the board. The top three schools she’s interested in offer limited coach support for admissions. Top choice has EA, the other two offer ED only.
Did you find it better to schedule your visits to your top choice sooner if you can?
Scheduling and school - we do not live within driving distance to any of the schools. The two that are somewhat close to each other on the other side of the country could be scheduled fairly close to each other (with a couple of days gap) it would mean missing a full week of school and practice, but would be only one cross country trip. The pricing would probably be more expensive for the single trip as she couldn’t go on her own and we’d have to arrange flights and hotels for a parent too. Would you choose this option, or spread these trips out on non consecutive times? Have you found your kid’s school to be accommodating to these kinds of visits? We would work hard to find her a pool on the in-between days to keep her training up.
To add to the challenge, my daughter will be starting one of her online classes that week, and some time to access the class videos and do the homework will be vital. The in-between days can be used for schoolwork, but she needs to get this class going on the right foot -so an hour for the video and a little time for the homework on one night of each visit. Is that kind of thing possible? She does not have access before the class start date, so cannot work ahead in this case.
What to look for/what to ask/do’s and don’ts -anything to add would be very helpful. Thanks!
We advised our son to make his #1 the first visit - we felt that it showed how interested he truly was to the coach - and, frankly, it worked best with our schedule. Win, win!
As far as missing the week or 2 visits that’s really up to you. If you’re comfortable sending her on her own, then I might choose that, and if your’re comfortable not being “close by” then by all means. Kids do it all the time - on 2 of my son’s overnights they were from all across the country. We drove a kid back to the train station, and several others took an Uber to the schools. It’s very common for kids to travel themselves and I saw kids alone, and kids with parents from all over. Again, personal choice.
My son’s HS was accomodating because…well, I work there, and they knew what was going on. Just check with the powers that be - admins, etc. Our school has x number of college visits set aside and x number of absences - never was really an issue with us. This likely isn’t the school’s first rodeo with a kid going on visits like this :).
If she swims HS, I’d reach out to the coach and let him/her know what’s up and when as soon as you’re able. I’m sure he/she would appreciate the head’s up, and let them know you’ll try to find space for her to get in (you can even have her ask the coaches if the pool has time for her to get in on her own, though the coach can’t be there - my son did on one visit). I always think communication in that area is key.
As for studying, on my son’s first OV, coach had mandatory study time for the kids while the team members also had it. They were actually told to bring their books. So, don’t be surprised…:).
So first I would determine how many visits are actually practical with school and swim meet schedule.
Obviously difference of opinions. We had our boys not go on top choice first. Go to that one after she has become comfortable with the entire process and will feel more comfortable interviewing with coach and interacting with team. Do not believe coaches care which one you go to as everyones schedule differs and thats why there are different recruiting trips.
Make sure she has some questions to ask the coach but also to ask her overnight host. Is she looking for a boys/girls team that is close? If so do they eat meals together, go to parties together etc?
Enjoy the process.
Are the weekends set weekends with others on the OV, or is it being set up just for her? If just for her and the two schools are close, I’d to a Fri/Sat at one school and a Sunday/Monday at the other. There is no way my daughter could have missed a week of high school classes. She wasn’t even happy about missing a Friday. We flew up on a Friday am, made it to the school by 1 pm, she spent Friday and all day Sat at the school, and we left Sat night to drive back to the airport, stayed overnight and flew home Sun morning. She made it to practice by noon! That coach enforced the D1 rule (at a D3 school) that the OV could only last 48 hours on campus.
My daughter missed Sat night, but for her she’d had enough. Being ‘on’ for 48 hours is a lot. Friday night was a night of several parties and she was a little shell shocked as a 16 year old. She was happy to leave after 1.5 days. It was enough.
Before going to his first choice school, we had out son do another OV as a “practice” so he’d know what to expect. If your kid is a top notch student, missing days of school won’t matter. Schools tend to be accomodating for college visit, and teacher’s tend to give their prize students a break as well. Also, missing practice and meets is no big deal if your kid already has times. Use the OV to see if the school and team as a good fit. Conversely, the coach will use it to see if your kid is a fit for the team.
Of the three schools do the two that offer ED also have ED2?
I’m sure it depends on the student, but for kids who have already made a round of preliminary visits to meet with coach and start the recruiting relationship, I’m not sure how important it is to have some fall visit “trial runs” under the belt before they hit their top choice. I do think there is some value in hitting the top choices earlier in the process, to communicate to the coach that it is a priority for you, and to lock down the support so that the coach knows you are committed. Granted, our experience was with Men’s Soccer so it may not translate the same in swimming but – if a coach was looking at 3 center mids, and could only support 1, and after an early Sept visit, he got 1 committed, then he is likely to go through the motions with the other 2 later in the fall but they are no longer at the top of his list. Of course, that’s why asking detailed questions about coach support and admissions is so important, to figure out who else is coming in, what kind of support do you have, and what has been past experience for students with your same profile and support.
I would schedule as early as possible for the reasons @Midwestmomofboys listed above, the fact that the back half of the fall semester gets pretty crazy as college apps become due, and to get support, the coaches almost always require ED or EA as applicable. We bit the bullet and scheduled 4 separate trips that involved flying out Thursday afternoon/evening and coming back Saturday or Sunday so that the only classes S missed were Friday classes. He missed some tournaments for his fall sport, but he was being recruited for his spring sport. The coaches scheduled time with them, teammates and put S together with teammates that had classes in areas S was interested in. Two of the coaches requested specific weekends because of “events” at the school those weekends. The trips also give the student an opportunity to write a better “why X” essay. I would prioritize scheduling the number 1 school first – by this I mean the days that work out best for your daughter and the coach’s schedule, not necessarily the first trip in time.
New here so bear with me My son is in the same process of the OV’s for swimming, we actually had him narrow down his official visit choices to his top 5, also to limit missing too much time away from school/practice, etc. Most of the OV’s are being held on Fri/Sat and are for 48 hrs on-campus unless you have made other arrangements with the school. We decided to go with the offered recruiting weekends, because that way he can hang out with the team, follow a class or 2 on campus, and meet the other recruits.
Our HS school is very accommodating since he swims at national level and has to travel a lot during short course season, as long as his grades are good and homework is turned in on-time.
Good luck with the planning of the OV’s, for the past month, I felt like a travel-agent…LOL!