Recruiting visits: The questions I asked

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If you have already done the hard work of getting one foot in the door, literally in the door of the gates to a prospective new school, the next portion you are responsible for is the preparation of your university recruiting visit.

If you think you can show up to the visit like you will be showing up to the next four years of class and winging it, you might want to rethink your strategy. This is not just a tour of the campus and giving yourself more material to daydream about, it is the first big step towards your college athletic AND academic career. This visit can make or break your decision about a school, or their decision about you. So, no pressure.

Dress the part and act interested. During your visit, there are several different types of information you should be aware of before you move forward in looking into where you will be spending your next four years. Here are some questions that are a must when you are on your visit:

Sport Questions

Of course, it is important to get to know your coach, facts about the team, like the history in the championship, which division they play in and where they are ranked. Though you can look up information on what formation the team usually plays, etc., there are other types of question which would be better answered straight from the horse’s…er.. coach’s mouth.

“How would you describe your coaching style?”

You should be conducting your research beforehand, but it is important to hear what the coach has to say about themselves. Whether they are aware of how they are, or if they truly have a method to the madness, is important to see for yourself. This can help to see if you can develop a connection in your coach-to-player relationship as easy as you expected, etc.

“What position do you see me playing?”

If they say left bench, for example, it will be good to know upfront what their plans are for you. Some coaches might give you vague answers, but this will be an opportune moment to get on the same page and prepare accordingly. Don’t be afraid to let them know where you think you play best as well, the last thing you want is to be stuck in a position that you don’t want to play for the next few years. Or worse, stuck on the bench.

“How many people are you recruiting for my position?/How big is this year’s recruiting class?”

Getting an idea of the number of people on the team and how many players you will have to fight against for a spot on the field is important to know beforehand. Some colleges and coaches like having a hefty amount of options in their back pocket, which might not be great news for you as a player wanting ample playing time in your freshman year.

“What is the practice/training schedule like?”

Getting an idea of how serious the team is will help you mentally prepare, and even physically prepare for your future move to the school. Try to keep the grimaces and disgusting looks to a minimum.

How many scholarships are available/What types of academic scholarships are available?”

Since here you are using the “s”-word, but not being direct, it is an inviting transition to talk about the subject. It tells the coaches that you want to talk about the question at heart, but are not being pushy about it.

Academic Questions

“Are there athletic study halls or tutoring?”

This shows the coach that you are serious about your studies and are also a resourceful person. You want the most and the best out of your college experience and are willing and want to go the distance, or you are just sucking up.

“How is it handled when there is a conflict between athletic competition or travel and academics?” AND

“Does the team have a full time academic advisor?”

It is good to be aware of how the school has already implemented this situation into play. It is also a good indicator of the attitude from the athletic staff towards the academic side and visa versa.

“Are any players majoring in ____?”

If you already have a major in mind, it will be good to know if you will have other teammates that are going through it and can help show you the ropes. This will also mean that the coaches and are already aware of the curriculum and the weight of the workload.

“Even though, they will take you to the dorms or apartments, ask questions about if players room together, if on or off campus is best, how long is the requirement to live on campus, etc.”

Depending on the campus, school and rules, living options are virtually limitless. It is a good thing to know what is expected, what you can or cannot do and the entire drama connected with choosing or not choosing a roommate. This also might prepare you if you need to buy transportation, etc.

 

Being prepared for your college visit doesn’t just mean dress your best and show up. Keeping these questions handy when they are showing interest in you, will show them that you have interest in them. Like any game, you have to prepare beforehand: scouting and delivering your best first impression.

 

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