All steps of the recruiting process are necessary in order to successfully find the right college fit, however taking college visits is when the process really begins to take shape and you can actually see what the ultimate goal will look like. You must be assertive and take the initiative to try and set up visits early in the process. Visits will not only give you an opportunity to meet with a coach but they also help you begin to figure out what you want in a school and help to motivate you to work hard in order to reach the level it takes to play at those particular schools. Also the more comfortable you get with speaking with coaches, then the more confident and prepared you will be on future visits.
It can be difficult for freshmen and sophomores to set up visits since coaches can’t reply to emails or return phone calls, but with a little persistence you can make it happen. Try emailing and making phone calls to the coach, include your high school or swing coach’s contact information. A coach is allowed to call them back and use them as a third party reference. Keep in mind, if a school is a far stretch from where your resume currently stands then it is highly unlikely a coach will go out of their way to try and arrange a visit. Be realistic when contacting coaches so you can maximize your time when taking visits. Check the team’s schedule to make sure they aren’t away at a tournament on the weekend that you plan to take a visit. Take advantage of days off from school to take visits. Be proactive and start early!
Some tips to keep in mind on the visit:
- Leave your cell phone in the car. To keep you from even being tempted to check your phone during the visit it is best to just leave it in the car.
- Look the coach in the eye and firmly shake their hand when you walk into their office.
- Sit up straight in the chair. Don’t slouch and slump.
- Be enthusiastic. Make sure the coach knows you are excited to be there.
- Ask questions!! The worst thing you can do when I coach asks if you have any questions is to say “no”. Jot a few questions down on a notepad and take it in with you. (The next RecruitPKB article will address some good questions for you to ask on visits)
- If you haven’t been regularly communicating with the coach and/or they haven’t seen you play yet, don’t ask about scholarship money unless the coach brings it up. You can ask how many players they are recruiting for your grad year and if you would be considered a recruited player, but avoid asking specific questions about scholarships until you have developed a relationship with the coach.
- Try to avoid looking at your parents when the coach asks you a question. Speak for yourself.
- Be gracious. Coaches are very busy so thank them for taking time out of their schedule to meet with you.
- Send a handwritten thank you note following the visit.
- If your junior golfer is shy/quiet help prep them for the visit ahead of time. Make them go talk with an adult who they don’t know very well. Push them out of their comfort zone so they aren’t nervous on the visit.
- Let the junior golfer run the show.
- Coaches want to hear from the parents as well but never answer for the junior golfer.
- Try to allow some time for just the coach and junior golfer to talk.
If you would like more information on scheduling and taking college visits please contact RecruitPKB College Consultant Brandi Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org