Today is the fourth of a six-part series designed to help student-athletes and their parents know what to expect at the various stages of the recruiting process. I briefly explained these stages in the post, Recruiting – Gauging Their Level Of Interest; I will be going into greater detail at each step to help you maximize every opportunity to market yourself.
Today I am going to discuss “The Home Visit” and what to expect when college coaches come to your home.
When a college coach, either a recruiting coach, head coach, or both, expends the time and effort to spend an evening visiting with you and your family, it indicates an extremely high level of interest. The “Home Visit” and “Official Visit” go hand-in-hand.
When I was a coach at the University of Central Missouri, we always tried to schedule the home visit prior to the athletes “official visit” (see post Recruiting – the Official Visit) to campus. We seldom, if ever, did a home visit with an athlete that either was not scheduled, or at least offered, an official visit to our campus. Typically, if we offered an official visit to an athlete, we were anticipating making some scholarship offer to them. So athletes that we visited in person, at their home, were
- Scheduled for an official visit, and
- Probably getting a scholarship offer.
Why is it so important for the recruiting coach, and possibly the head coach, to come into your home to meet your family?
Your Evaluation of Them
The home visit should be important to you and your family in the evaluation process. It may be the first (and one of the few) times that your family (parents, guardians, etc) will have individual, personal, unlimited access to the coach. It gives you and your family another time to ask very specific questions to the coaches regarding you, your athletic and academic career, and how their college could fit with you. Now is the time to ask the “difficult” questions:
- What happens if I get injured?
- What are the time requirements of the football program?
- What kind of academic help is available?
- What is the graduation rate of the football student-athletes?
- How good is the degree program in my field of interest?
- What is the placement rate in my field of study post-graduation?
- How good is the student support of the football program?
- What type of offer, and when can I expect the offer to me made?
- How quick will you want a commitment?
- How many other athletes are you recruiting at my position?
- What is your redshirt policy?
- Is it possible to increase the scholarship amount while in your program?
- Will I be able to keep my Pell Grant? (if you qualify for the grant)
- Are you planning on staying at the college during my son’s entire career?
If the coach (or coaches) do not seem clear or straight forward in answering any of your questions… if they seem like they are dodging… that should throw up a red flag. Make note of the questions, and follow up with another coach, or follow up with current players in the program during your official visit.
Their Evaluation of You
Just as you are evaluating them, the coach(es) are continuously evaluating you, and the home visit is part of that process. They will be observing how you interact with your family during the evening… are you respectful, considerate, courteous? You and your family can expect similar questions that you were asked at the initial school visit (see Recruiting – First Impressions). One question that I always asked the family –
“When it comes time to make this very important decision as to where your son is going to go and spend the next 4-5 years studying, and playing football, what are the difference makers for you; what factors will separate one university and football program from the rest?”
Their Sales Pitch
The coach(es) will be operating under the assumption that your family will be helping you in the decision making process. They will want to make sure that all of the information they have given you (the athlete), through text message, mail, email, phone and personal visit, is conveyed to your family. The recruiting coach, and possibly the head coach, will want to “put a face” on the football program that you are considering. Often the home visit will happen before the official visit, so the coach will want to confirm specifics regarding your (and their if they come too) visit to campus. The main function of the home visit is to personalize and humanize the recruiting process, and demonstrate that you will be taken care of in their program.
We are getting down to the final stages of the recruiting process; the penultimate step of “The Offer” and finally signing the “Letter of Intent”. Details of these steps will come in the next couple of weeks.
The way to get to this point… keep working hard … and remember,
You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you… Don’t Believe It!
Jeff Floyd – email@example.com