How to Set up an Unofficial Visit for Football
Unofficial visits are a crucial step in the college recruiting process for football players. These visits allow prospective student-athletes to get a firsthand experience of the campus, facilities, and coaching staff. While official visits are coordinated the college or university, unofficial visits require the player to take the initiative and plan the visit themselves. Here are some steps to help you set up an unofficial visit for football.
1. Research the schools: Start researching the schools you are interested in. Look for colleges or universities that have strong football programs and align with your academic goals. Make a list of the top schools you would like to visit.
2. Contact the coaching staff: Reach out to the coaching staff at each school to express your interest in visiting. Send an email or make a phone call introducing yourself and explaining your desire to visit the campus. Be respectful and professional in your communication.
3. Schedule the visit: Once you’ve made contact with the coaching staff, work with them to schedule a visit. Find a date that works for both parties and make sure to confirm the details in writing.
4. Plan your itinerary: Prepare an itinerary for your visit. Include the specific activities you would like to participate in, such as attending a football practice, touring the campus, meeting with academic advisors, or observing a game. This will give the coaching staff an idea of what you are looking for in your visit.
5. Arrange transportation and accommodation: Determine whether you need to book a flight or drive to the school. If necessary, make travel arrangements in advance. Additionally, look for near accommodations, such as hotels or campus housing, to stay during your visit.
6. Familiarize yourself with NCAA rules: Familiarize yourself with the NCAA rules regarding unofficial visits. Make sure you follow the guidelines set forth the organization to maintain your eligibility.
7. Dress appropriately: Dress in a professional and respectful manner during your visit. This shows your commitment and seriousness as a prospective student-athlete. Wear comfortable shoes as you may be walking around the campus or participating in physical activities.
8. Prepare questions: Prepare a list of questions to ask the coaching staff and other relevant individuals during your visit. This will help you gain a better understanding of the program, the school, and the athletic facilities. Here are 14 common questions to consider:
a. What is the coaching staff’s philosophy?
b. How do you balance academics and athletics?
c. What is the team’s practice schedule like?
d. What are the team’s goals for the upcoming season?
e. How do you support student-athletes academically?
f. What is the team’s strength and conditioning program like?
g. How do you handle injuries and rehabilitation?
h. What is the team’s game day routine?
i. How do you determine playing time for athletes?
j. What support services are available for student-athletes?
k. What is the team’s approach to player development?
l. How do you handle player discipline?
m. What are the team’s expectations for off-season training?
n. How do you help athletes transition to college life?
9. Take notes: During your visit, take notes on your impressions, observations, and any important information you gather. These notes will be useful when comparing different schools and making a final decision.
10. Follow up: After your visit, send a thank-you note or email to the coaching staff expressing your gratitude for the opportunity to visit. This shows your professionalism and appreciation.
Setting up an unofficial visit for football requires planning, organization, and thorough research. By following these steps and asking the right questions, you can make the most of your visit and gather the necessary information to make an informed decision about your future as a student-athlete. Good luck!