March 15, 2012

Volleyball Recruiting - Unofficial Visits. And a Request

A Request from The Coach (that's me, by the way) - I am looking for a VolleyDad or VolleyMom to provide a comprehensive review of Inside College Volleyball.  If you would be interested, please drop me an email with a quick update of your specific recruiting situation (PSA is a signed senior, daughter is now a Freshman SA in college, just starting the process, etc) and I can update you with the particulars.  Thank you!


Hi Coach, 

Thank you for all the useful info you share with us volley families!!!

Can you elaborate a bit on un-official visits? Does a college need to invite a PSA to go on one?

Thanks, J.C.

Unofficial Visits have become the new Official Visit. Back in the day when I got into coaching and gas did not cost more than Big Mac combo meal, Unofficial Visits were rare because they were seen as unnecessary with the Official Visit being taken by PSA's before picking a college. But, with the trend towards the early recruiting process, PSA's are committing way before they are allowed to take an Official Visit per the NCAA rules (which is after the first day of classes their Senior year).

You can visit any school at any time of your own accord.  The only time a collegiate coach may not interact with you on their campus is during a NCAA Dead Period.  This does not mean you can't go to a campus during a Dead Period, just don't try to see the coach.  I think the ninja style Unofficial Visit is a good idea; this allows you to see the campus without being 'guided' by the volleyball staff.  

Coaches are very good about making sure you see what they want you to see, and not seeing what they don't want you to see on a visit. By doing your own visit, either through the admissions office or just walking around campus, many times you can get a more accurate impression of the school.  This allows you a better 'feel' for the school, instead of being 'presented' the school within a certain light.

If your PSA is in 'conversation' (either by phone or email) with a program that she is sincerely considering for her future, then you should plan on visiting that school.  Broach the Unofficial Visit topic by asking if the coaches would be able to show the athletic facilities and meet with you, if you wanted to come visit the campus.  

Each program has their own protocol when considering Unofficial Visits.  Some will be aggressive about inviting a large group of PSA's while some are very selective about who gets invited.  These invitations to come for an Unofficial Visit are usually extended through the club coach/recruiting director, or if a PSA telephones the college coach (a PSA can call a coach at any time, no matter their year in high school).

If you ask to visit, the program's response will tell you their interest level in you - They may seem interested via email/phone, but if they have a conflict or put you off/delay you out, then that illustrates exactly where your PSA stands.  

I suggest that VolleyFamilies take a number of campus visits, either with the volleyball coaches or just a self guided tour of the school.  It is only be getting a bigger picture of a variety of campuses, that a VolleyFamily has the experience to compare and contrast when a big decision needs to be made!!!

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