Summer basketball is officially over. Hopefully, your phone is ringing with College Coaches on the other end of line. With a break before school basketball starts, right now is great time to set up visits to College campuses. If you are a 2019, hopefully your list is narrowed down and you know the schools you want to take an Official Visit to. Taking an Official Visit means the College handles the costs of the trip. Unofficial visits are an investment for your family, however it is very worth it! Below are 3 reasons why visits (Unofficial or Official) are very important for recruits.
1. It is a chance to see the campus up close and personal. Seeing pictures online or because the coach sends them to you is one thing, but being able to step on campus and view it for yourself is a completely different feeling. Visiting the campus, you get to actually get a feel of yourself walking to class or being in the courtyard. You get to feel if the campus is to big for you, to small for you or if it feels like home. You get a feel of if it is in a city, close to a city or further out away from city life. A good amount of coaches do not offer prior to you visiting for this reason alone. They want you to see the campus for yourself and take the time to tour it. They want you to invest your time in visiting their campus. Traveling to the campus allows you to see just how long the drive is and if you are okay with being that distance from home. Is it to close? Is it to far away? So many recruits want to go far as possible from home when they are a Senior in High School and then they visit a school 12 hours away and realize the distance is to far for them. Most of the time the coaches have set up meetings for you and your family to meet Academic Counselors or Teachers in your desired major. This allows you to get a feel for the faculty on campus and people that you will be working with closely to get your degree. This is such a huge part of your visit. Academic staff are the people who will be working closely with you in the classroom to help you get your degree!
2. Taking the time to visit campus also allows you the opportunity to meet the team of players you could possibly be joining. This group will become your family away from home when you join them. It’s good to know if you fit, have the same visions and can get along personality wise. Spending time with the team allows the recruit to ask questions! It is GREAT to have a list of questions to ask the team. These questions can range from things about practice, off season, coaching styles, memories from last year, practices, academics, how they managed academics with travel and MORE! The more questions you ask, the more answers you get, so do not be afraid to ask and to ask about things important to you! When you are a recruit and you get one on one time with the team, this is the BEST time to ask questions. The answers you receive are not rehearsed and are real. I would encourage you to ask multiple players on the team the same questions to see what their experiences are!
3. To be able to build on your relationship with the coaching staff on their own turf is great! You get to see them in their element, see how they interact with others that work on campus, see how they interact with their team and staff. The opportunity to learn more about the coaching staff face to face is a completely different feeling than talking on the phone! You actually get to see and experience some of the things you have been discussing! I once went with a player on an Unofficial visit. We were able to attend a Fall Football game and spend time with the team and coaching staff. The team was allowed to go on the field prior to the game. It was amazing to me to see their head coach with all of them taking selfies pictures and dancing with her team. You could instantly tell it was genuine and her players enjoyed being around her. This translated to the court for her team that season as well. You could tell her team was invested and bought in to their common goals which led to success!
If you have been talking with a coach over the course of the Spring and Summer on a consistent basis, it is important to invest in a trip to visit their campus! You investing your time goes a long way in these circumstances and it also shows you are serious about the conversations you have been having with the Staff. The decision regarding where you go to College is important and not something you want to go into thinking “if it does not work out, I can always transfer”. It is a decision you want to make knowing you have done your research, built your relationship with the staff and really like the campus feel, so you DON’T want to transfer! 🙂
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