Meeting with Coach
In order to schedule your first unofficial visit you will need to be prepared to talk with the coach. At this point you will have emailed back and forth a few times and are now ready to take that next step. During your conversation let them know what you are interested in doing during your visit. Some coaches may have you come with a set group of recruits where they can meet several candidates at once. In either case you really want to accomplish the following with your visit:
- Meet with someone from admissions office to learn about the application process, financial aid, scholarship opportunities as well as endowments and grants you may qualify for.
- If you know what you want to major in, try and meet with a member of that department to learn more about the program.
- Tour the campus, dorms, classrooms and athletic facilities. Try and get a feel for for the school in general, try to answer the question can i see myself going here.
- Meet the coach and get a feel for how you would get along with them.
- Meet some of the players and talk to them about the program.
- Watch a practice or game to get a feel for the talent level of the team and how the coach interacts with them. A lot of people don't know this, but other than NCAA DI & DII schools, most others do not have restrictions on not allowing prospects to practice with the team. This is a great opportunity for you to show a coach your abilities.
When you get a chance to meet with the coach you want to ask questions about their program. This is why it's important to show them you did your homework. You should know the conference they play in and how they did the past few years. Try and find out:
- Have they or a member of their staff had a chance to evaluate you either at a practice you just participated in, ID camp or your recruitment video? If so where do they see you fitting in with their program and what would they recommend you continue focusing on to improve?
- Try and get a feel for how many athletes they plan on recruiting for your incoming class and how many are they aleady committed to.
- What types of training does the team do in the off season?
- How do they coordinate study time, class schedules and practice time?
At the conclusion of the meeting be sure to thank the coach, making good eye contact in order to give a good final impression. Then once you return home be sure to send them a thank you note letting them know what you enjoyed and whether or not you are still interested in their program and why. It's important that you never leave on bad terms. The college coaching community isn't as big as one might think and many of the coaches know one another and actually refer players to one another. Therefore, if you simply didn't like the coach you can tell them you felt the school was too small or too large for your comfort level.