College Visits Part 2...What Happens While You're There.
You may have an opportunity to choose between 20 colleges or to work with only 2. Or if it's a high major or low major. Or if it's division 1 or division 3. Whichever is the case, keep in mind that It's seriously a business. In basketball terms, the coaches put the full court press on you. They double and triple team you. They trap in the corners. They try to see what motivates your family. They create a family environment and experience (you will be able to FEEL if it's real or contrived).
At the bigger schools where there is football you will attend a game. You would be surprised how much money is generated from college football programs that are successfull. Why am I telling you this? Because college football (arguably americas favorite college sport) money brings grand resources to all of the other athletic programs. You just have to watch how those resources are being shared with basketball and whether that program gets as much attention and support. You have to be able to read between the lines.
You should research the coaches and schools before you go on a visit. Do your homework. Write down the pros and cons after each visit.
Home visits. What role do they play? It's another avenue for relationship building and getting to know the athletes environment. Coaches want to know what home environment the child comes from because that determines what they will have to deal with in the long term. As a parent you will be able to marry up the experience of prior communication and how that aligns to visits on campus, phone conversations, text messages, home visits and any other interaction you have had with the coaching staff.
Our experiences included:
Meeting the school president. Is he/she a sports advocate?
Meeting the athletic director. Is he/she an advocate for all sports and is he/she a fan of your child's sport?
Attending football games.
Each coach (sometimes 4 or more) will attempt to feel out each parent. They take their turns and all try to figure out what motivates you. Is it the academic program? Is it the style of play? Is it the training regiment? Is it the coaching style? Is it the housing situation? Is it the cost of attendance? Is it all of the above?
Your child will hang out with the team a few nights to get a feel for the culture of the team.
Some schools will have you workout others wont.
Meetings with academic advisors and department program chairs specifically to the major your interested in.
Photo shoots for when you commit.
Campus and facility tours.
Film review specific to your child's position.
Dinner at coaches house with the team and family.
Dinner at the best restaurants in town.
Coaches work really hard to make the parents feel at home. If the coaches are married you will get a good feel as a mom as to whether your child is in good hands.
They keep you engaged from sun up to sun down. After all, they are paying for you and your family to come to the campus and the recruiting experience (on the D1 level). More to come on this topic in College Visits Part 3. Please post your comments and experiences below. We value your experiences.