1. On Your Unofficial Visit, You Need to Establish What the Academic and Athletic Requirements are
Whether it might be a certain grade point average, involvement in different athletic programs while you were in high school, elite athletic status, recommendations from coaches, or past game footage, you will want to find out the exact details on what they are looking for in athletic scholarship candidates.
2. You Will Want to Find out What Academic Support the Athletic Program Provides
Academic support will be very important to your success in managing both the commitments from your classes and your team. Find out what services advisers and professors offer and whether they may assist students in obtaining tutors, arrange study groups, or even help you to create your schedule, to effectively get good grades while also excelling at your sport.
3. Find out How Well the Program is Doing in Competition and Recruiting
Ask the coaches how their season is going and how they are doing on recruiting. This will give you a sense of where the program is headed and what kind of success you can expect.
4. Find Out What the Commitments Will be in the Offseason or During Holidays
Many coaches expect a year-round commitment, so you will want to find out on your unofficial visit if you are required to train from home or on-site during summers or holidays in order to plan accordingly with family members, a job, or any other obligations you have.
5. On Your NCAA Unofficial Visit, Exploring Living Arrangements is a Must Since You and Your Parents Need to Feel Comfortable About Where You Will be Staying
You may want to find out if most athletes live in dorms with roommates that are also athletes, if there are options for sharing rooms versus having your own space, and what the time line is for student athletes with regard to living on campus or off through the years.
6. Find Out What Kind of Coaching Style Coaches Use
It’s important to find out on your unofficial visit what the training regiment is to prepare yourself when the sport is in season and to find out a sample schedule, information on drills that might occur, and specifics about how the coach runs the practice for each position on the team.
7. Find an Opportunity to Meet the Current Athletes
Having camaraderie with your potential new college-level sports team members is a necessity. See if you can speak with a current team member on your unofficial visit and find out how they let loose outside of school and sports. You will be most successful and work hardest when you have a team you relate to, so this will help you to see if and how you will fit into their lifestyle.
8. What are the Training Facilities Like?
As an athlete, just because the season ends doesn’t mean you don’t need to continue to work out, train, and work with professionals on campus to help with any physical or medical issues. You want to find out on your unofficial visit what tools they provide you to continue to be successful in your sport and to keep on challenging yourself to get ready for a new season when the season is not in session.
9. Find Out if a Coach and His Staff Plan on Staying at a Particular School
When you do the research, pick a school you are interested in, and find the perfect coach to challenge you athletically; you want assurance that they will continue to work with you throughout your tenure at the school. You want to find a coach you respect, who can help with your development and lead you to success; and once you do so, you will want to make sure their time line at the college matches with yours so there are no surprises.
10. On Your Unofficial Visit, You Need to Size-up Your Competition
Find out what the coach is really looking for and how well the recruiting staff and decision makers are doing in terms of their search for new additions to their athletic teams. Get a sneak peek into how many people have shown interest and what you are going to need to do to stand out.
Are you planning any visits to colleges? If you need to get the phone number or email for coaches before you visit let us know and we can help. Leave your questions in the comments below or check in with us on Facebook, Twitter or Google+!