What to know about official and unofficial college recruiting visits

Since this is the time of year for athletes to visit college campuses I thought it good to share a few helpful tips about official visits and unofficial visit. In most recruiting situations the official visit often follow one or more unofficial visits. Frequently, college coaches reserve official visits to make offers, but it is not uncommon to get a verbal offer outside of an official visit. 

By definition, an official visit is any visit to a college campus by a college-bound prospective student-athlete and his or her parents that is paid for by the college. This includes transportation, lodging, entertainment, food and as many as 3 tickets to a game. Conversely, campus visits paid for by the parents of the student-athlete is deemed and unofficial visit.

In total, student-athletes are permitted up to 5 official visits for D1 and D2 schools. However, only 1 official visit per school is allowed.
Photo by Travis Essinger on Unsplash

Traditionally, official visits have been reserved for Seniors only. However, since April 2018 new recruiting regulations have been implemented for sports such as baseball and softball, allowing  Junior and Senior student-athletes to take official visits after September 1st. In contrast, in many other sports, such as footballonly Senior student-athletes are permitted to take official visits.

In total, student-athletes are permitted up to 5 official visits for D1 and D2 schools. However, only 1 official visit per school is allowed. Parents and athletes should know that D3 and NAIA schools have no limit on official visits a student-athlete can take. Additionally, D3 and NAIA regulations are similar to those outlining the recruiting process of D1 and D2 schools where the prospective student-athlete is allowed 1 official visit per school.

Lastly, always keep this in mind that recruiting is a process. Many student-athletes and parents let their minds run wild with negative assumptions, especially when an official visit is not offered right away.  To reiterate, recruiting is a process and every coach has his or her method, budget and preference for recruiting. So, with this in mind I recommend to keep a clear head and a positive attitude. Try to relax, stay calm, and enjoy the process.

Finally, I would love to hear from athletes attending official or unofficial visits. Athletes can also tag me on twitter when posting about visits (@michaelwoosley). Also, if you need help preparing for a visit, I’m glad to schedule some time to help with preparations. Just send me an email at mwoosley@csaprepstar.com. 

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Tips for communication between prospective student-athletes and college coaches

Parents and students always ask about coaches not responding to their communication. 

Three tips to why:

  1. You may be contacting the wrong coaches so be realistic in your search for best athletic and academic fit
  2. You may not be asking the right questions. Often you get a reply if you ask. But surely you won’t get a reply if you don’t ask any questions. 
  3. You need to be more proactive. Proactive  is being  persistent. Being passive is not a plan. 

Coach Mike oversees the the recruiting of talented next-level athletes to develop a recruiting strategy to get seen, scouted and recruited.  As a coach with over 20 years of experience, and a as former college athlete, Mike now mentors families through the academic, athletic and financial aspects of college recruiting.  

Website: www.csaprepstar.com/coachmike

Blog: https://eliteathletesrecruiting.com/

Starting the recruiting process

Is your inbox full of invites to camps, showcases, combines and other “recruiting events”? Have you become frustrated by the promise of exposure only to pay a bunch of money then see your kid get minimal reps and very little exposure? 


Frustrating isn’t it? Most athletes and parents are. 


So, when is the best time to start the recruiting process? Thats the topic for today. 


Did you know that most prospects are identified before end of the sophomore year? (Thats the current class of 2022!)   However,  many parents are told by high school and club to wait. That’s not good advice. Here’s why.

 1. Waiting significantly reduces the amount of time for college coaches can properly evaluate players. 


2. College coaches can only recruit players they know about. (So if they don’t know about a you they can’t recruit you!)

3. For many sports, student-athletes can take official visits, recieve phone calls and even get offers starting September 1 Junior year. 


Bottomline, there isn’t as much recruiting time as you think. Thats why its best to start as early as possible.  Read my article, Checkpoints along the recruiting journey for year by year outline. 


It is certain, families that start the process early always have better recruiting results!  Why? Staring early allows time to work through the process. Plus, the extra time allows your family to be more strategic about recruiting events and will save thousands of dollars along the way!

If you want to know how to get started, text “Gameplan” to (480) 605-4050 free recruiting assessment to outline the recruiting process for you.  

COMMUNICATING WITH COACHES DURING THE FALL SEASON

Often, I compare the recruiting process to a roller-coaster. The speed of the cart is determined by the track. How the track is designed involves many twists and turns as well as places where the pace becomes so slow that it seems to stop. Like a roller-coaster, and depending on the sport, recruiting in the Fall can simultaneously cause both excitement and anxiety so here a few tips to as you buckle-in for the ride.

During the Fall, and after the window of the contact period closes, it is very important to know what contact period of your sport and the communication regulations that accompany them. This information is easy to locate within the NCAA and NAIA regulations on their respective websites. This information can also be accessed  in your Prepstar profile.Now, be aware that all divisions (D1, D2, D3, etc) have similar, but different, communication rules. For example, D2 coaches have much more leniency  with communications in comparison to D1 coaches.  Additionally, in football, FBS schools (those that go to bowl games) have similar contact periods but different number of evaluation opportunities.

The key to communicating in the Fall is to be proactive! Throughout the year, and at any time, athletes are permitted to contact coaches. This means that to communicate with college coach outside of designated contact periods, student-athletes have to be the one to initiate contact. Additionally, this rule also applies to underclassmen (Freshman and Sophomores). Again, no matter what time of year and no matter the contact period, college coaches are permitted to talk with prospects as long as the prospect makes the first move to contact them.

So, I highly recommend that student-athletes take the initiative to reach out to coaches with emails, texts and voicemails.  Don’t ever wait for them to call, instead call them.

To wrap up, it is an understatement to say that recruiting is a year round process. There is no downtime because college coaches are always recruiting. So use the latter part of year to your advantage. For Fall sports this is a great time of year to get aquatinted with coaches, take visits and build that ever important recruiting relationship. Likewise, student-athletes that play winter or spring sports can use the Fall to as a great opportunity to get on the radar and generate interest from coaches for the upcoming seasons. Good luck!

Coach Mike oversees the the recruiting of talented next-level athletes to develop a recruiting strategy to get seen, scouted and recruited.  As a coach with over 20 years of experience, and a as former college athlete, Mike now mentors families through the academic, athletic and financial aspects of college recruiting.  

Coach Mike – Email: mwoosley@csaprepstar.com   Office: 805-622-STAR

Recruiting after September 1 : contact rules explained

Recruiting Contact Rules

I wanted to share a quick tip about the recent communication period. It is important to know that as of Sunday, September 1, 2019 the recruiting contact period begins. Once the new contact period begins, Junior and Senior college prospects can start receiving a lot more communication from college coaches. Various forms of communication will take place, however the most common are:

  • Weekly phone calls from college coaches (one per week)
  • Personal correspondence from college coaches via text, phone or email
  • High school campus visit (only one)
  • Verbal Scholarship Offers
  • Invitations for official college campus visits
  • Recruiting materials such as college brochures and letters

Athletes who experience this level of communication can be sure that it is a favorable indicator of interest.

Athletes not getting any communication we should be proactive immediately. Consider contacting a reputable and credible recruiting resource like PrepStar to to learn how to open recruiting communication with college coaches during this contact period.

The NCAA recruiting calendars for DI and DII sports can be accessed here:

http://www.ncaa.org/student-athletes/resources/recruiting-calendars/division-i-and-ii-recruiting-calendars

Have questions? Need help?  Contact me to set up a time to talk (get free advise!) or use the comment section below.

Coach Mike oversees the recruiting of talented next-level athletes by helping families develop and implement a recruiting strategy for athletes to get exposure, evaluated and recruited. As former college athlete with over 20 years of coaching experience Mike now mentors families through the academic, athletic and financial aspects of college recruiting.  

Coach Mike – Email: mwoosley@csaprepstar.com   Office: 805-622-STAR

Recruiting contact periods during the high school football season

Many high school football teams will take the field towards the latter part of this week to compete in their season opener. Along with the excitement of the lights, crowds and cheers comes the hopes of college recruting. In the previous two article  we looked at the three contact periods that take place within the football season. This article is to outline the dead period and provide some useful tips improving recruiting opportunities throughout the season. 

By definition during a dead period a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, and may not watch student-athletes compete or visit their high schools. Coaches may write and telephone student-athletes or their parents during a dead period.

Not to be mistaken for the quiet period, the dead period does leave open the doors for communication. However, there is no room for coaches to evaluate players by watching games in person or visiting high school campuses. 

Not to be mistaken for the quiet period, the dead period does leave open the doors for communication.

This rule seems to handcuff athlete exposure. So how can athletes get exposure during the quiet period?  First, athletes should rely of video. They can improve exposure opportunities by keeping game video resources up to date with recent game film. Additionally, athletes can contact coaches by email and social media but should do so not expecting a return reply.  Athletes can also use a credible, reputable recruiting resource to keep them on the radar.  These groups, like PrepStar, act as a go between. For instance, PrepStar provides college coaches with your updated athletic, academic and video highlights throughout your high school career, ensuring you that college coaches always have access to your latest and most updated information.

To conclude this outline of the three contact periods that take place during the high school season I want to wish a success season to all high school football players. Hopefully, the details provided have been helpful and created some new ideas for communicating with college coaches during the season. If you need help, I’m glad to share tips or advice to help you along in the process. Simply, text the word GAMEPLAN to 480-605-4050.  I’m glad to talk with you about your recruiting concerns and give you some helpful suggestions. 

Contact periods for football college coaches and prospective student athletes.

To pick up where we left off last week lets pick up where we left off. During the football season, the NCAA mandates 3 different contact periods for college coaches and prospective student athletes. The first of the two periods work in tandem. Beginning August 1, the Dead Period/ Quite Period is underway. At this time, college coaches may not have face to face contact with athletes or their parents. It also means that college coaches cannot watch players compete UNLESS that student athlete is actually on the college campus for a camp or college visit.

During the high school season, there is another contact period squeezed in September 1 through November 30, 2019

Now, during the season, there is another contact period squeezed in. The exception arrives between the days of September 1 through November 30, 2019. This is the evaluation period. By definition the evaluation period permits college coaches to watch college-bound student-athletes compete, visit their high schools, and write or telephone student-athletes or their parents. However, a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents off the college’s campus during an evaluation period. 

So, even though coaches can see athletes compete the coaches is not permitted to communicate with the student athlete or their parents. Additionally, coaches are permitted a certain number of evaluation dates depending on the sport.  For example, football coaches are allotted 42 evaluation dates. During those dates, coaches can visit a player once at his or her high school. 

What does this mean for student-athlete seeking to get recruited? First, the primary focus for the athlete should be playing ball. It should go without saying that athletes who are distracted and don’t perform on the field won’t get recruited so limit the distractions and just go play ball.  Second, its important to be patient with the process. The contact periods are designed to slow down the process so that coaches have adequate time to scout prospects. Thirdly, players can, and should, continue reading out to coaches during all contact periods so that they stay on the radar.

Lastly, if your not sure about the ins and outs of the contact period I’m glad to send you free contact period outlines for your sport.. Simply, text “GAMEPLAN” to 480-605-4050 and I’ll send you the sport specific contact period outlines.