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/

3 Tips To Get Noticed at Camps, Combines and Showcases

Are you exhausted from all the camps, combines, showcases and other “recruiting events”? Have you become frustrated by the promise of exposure only for to get minimal reps and very little exposure?

Collegiate recruiting events can be a great way to showcase skill in competition against some of the nation’s top high school talent. But they can also become burdensome and ill-effective.

Trying to rely solely on college showcases, camps and combines to get recruited and receive an athletic scholarship is not a very sound strategy by itself.

Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash

However, I have learned from past experience that trying to rely solely on college showcases, camps and combines to get recruited and receive an athletic scholarship is not a very sound strategy by itself. Most college coaches that attend these type of events developed recruiting lists of athletes they plan to watch well before they arrive.

So, if college coaches at the showcase are there to watch some other athlete how do you get their attention? What do you need to do to get noticed while hundreds of other athletes are at the same event trying to do the same thing at the same time as you?

The goal is to get on their recruiting list before the event. So, how do you do this?

So, here are 3 tips you can use to help assure you get some attention at the next camp, combine or showcase.

  1. Email college coaches scheduled to attend the event.
  2. Create a student athlete profile including academic information as well as athletic metrics that you can send to colleges coaches. (A free one is available at bit.ly/2vqZjH9)
  3. Connect with college coaches through social media outlets like Twitter or Instagram.

Again, the goal is to be seen by coaches who want to see you. Following this 3 tips before attending the next camp, combine or showcase are you are sure to get some attention.

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 you, instead you 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