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Tips from NCSA Experts: How to Maximize Your Summer Visits

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Summer visits are super important when it comes to the college recruiting process. They give you a chance to check out the campus, meet coaches and get your recruiting questions answered to see if you can picture yourself living there for the next four years. 

To help you make the most out of your college visits, we’ve got some great tips from NCSA Recruiting Coaches. We’ll also talk about the recent rule change in D1 regarding official visits and how you can leverage them to find your right fit.  

Let’s dive in.  

Plan your summer visit strategy

Having a well-planned strategy will make a big difference in making your summer visits successful. Start by finding colleges that really catch your interest and match your athletic goals. Consider things like location, division level and what academic and athletic opportunities are available to you. 

Once you have a list of potential schools, create a schedule that gives you enough time to truly explore each one and think about your experiences there. This way, you’ll be able to gather valuable information to decide which college is the best fit for you. 

Expert Tip:  
“Immediately after the visit write down everything you liked and didn’t like while it’s fresh in your mind. Visits can be a whirlwind, and this can help you eventually compare schools.” – Lindsay Vaughn, Field Hockey Recruiting Coach

NCAA breaking news

The NCAA made recent changes to the D1 recruiting rules allowing athletes to take unlimited official visits beginning July 1, 2023. This is especially beneficial for unsigned seniors and juniors who need more time to explore their college options.

However, it’s important to note that not all schools can cover official visits for their entire recruiting class. But don’t let that discourage you! Unofficial visits are still valuable for getting to know schools and narrowing down your top choices. 

Expert Tip:  
“Schedule college visit trips together regionally. If you have multiple schools showing interest in the same area, get the most out of your time, money and effort!” – Pat O’Malley, Baseball Recruiting Coach 

Research target schools

Do your homework to figure out if your target schools check all the boxes for your academic, athletic, financial and social needs. Take a deep dive into social media to get a better feel for the school, their athletic program and overall campus vibe. It’s like getting an inside look at what it’s like to be a part of their community. Plus, being prepared shows interest and will impress the coaches!

Expert Tip:  
“Have a handful of questions ready to go for all the people you’ll speak with. This will help you stand out from other recruits and learn a lot more about the school.” – Ben Wright, Basketball Recruiting Coach

Make the most of your campus visits

Before or during your campus visit, don’t hesitate to ask to see everything that interests you. This is your opportunity to gather information about the school and team to make an informed college decision. So, take the time to ask questions and get the answers you need. 

Make the most of your time on campus with these tips: 

Expert Tip:  
“Ask the players you stay with something like, “Knowing what you know now about the school and program, would you make the same choice to come here if you had it all to do over again?” – Ellen Brown, Soccer Recruiting Coach

Showcase your character on visits

Campus visits aren’t a one-way street. Just as you  learn about the college, these visits let college coaches meet you face-to-face, get a sense of your personality and evaluate your character.  

They’ll be keeping a close eye on how you interact with the team and college staff, so don’t forget to bring your A-game and good manners along for the ride. Trust us, nothing annoys a college coach more than spending the day with an athlete who clearly doesn’t want to be there.  

How do you demonstrate good character on official visits? Show up on time, be present and engaged, treat everyone with respect, and be your true, authentic self.

Steps to show good character on official college visits

Expert Tip:  
“Put your phone away and stay engaged. Coaches don’t want to see someone with their head buried in their phone.” – Eric Vierneisel, Basketball Recruiting Coach 

Build relationships with coaches and players

When you’re on campus, building relationships with coaches and players should be a top priority. Emails and phone calls can only do so much, but being there in person gives you the chance to really get to know them on a personal level.  

These relationships will help determine if the team and program are the right fit for you. Coaches also want athletes who will positively contribute to their team’s chemistry, so take the time to engage, listen and show genuine interest in building those meaningful connections during your visit. 

Expert Tip:  
“While setting up a visit, ask the coach if any of the current players will be available to get Starbucks or a meal one-on-one. This can really help get in-depth insight into the program and school.” – Ashley Heidelberger, Soccer Recruiting Coach

So, there you have it!

Expert tips from the recruiting coaches at NCSA to help you make the most of your summer visits. Take the time to build those relationships, show off your personality and make the most of every college visit. Just remember, a little preparation goes a long way. You’ve got this! We’re right by your side, cheering you on as you chase your college dreams.  

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