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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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.

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.