What is an official visit?



What qualifies a college campus visit as an official visit? Any visit to a college campus in which any part is financed by the school is considered an official visit. Official visits are invite only and coaches tend to reserve these invitations for their top recruits. Being invited to an official visit is a huge step on your recruiting journey, so it’s important to prepare in advance.

How do you schedule an official visit?

Depending on the sport and division level, athletes can begin taking official visits junior year. You will likely be invited by a college coach via phone call, email, text or direct message. Once a coach invites you, it’s time to review your family schedule and determine a weekend that works for everyone who plans to attend.

Keep in mind that receiving an invite doesn’t mean you’ve locked in your spot just yet. During your visit, the coach will be evaluating you to better understanding of your personality and character and determine if you will be a positive asset to their team and the school.

What to expect during an official visit?

Official visit will vary from school to school, but recruits can always expect a campus tour. This is your chance to familiarize yourself with the campus and visualize yourself living there for four years. Be sure to take notes during the tour of things you like and don’t like, so you can refer back to these notes as you evaluate your top schools. Use the following checklist to make sure you hit all the key spots on campus:

  • Check out the library and sit in on a class.
  • Visit the different housing options, both on and off campus.
  • Meet your future training staff.
  • Eat in the school cafeteria or food court.
  • Set up a meeting with an academic adviser.
  • Hang out on the campus grounds.
  • Stay off your phone and experience the campus.

You’ll also likely meet a few members of the team—or the whole team—to see if you have chemistry. You may also be invited to participate in a workout or another team activity. However, the NCAA prohibits any kind of workout you attend during an official visit to be organized by the coach or coaching staff, so these workouts are usually led by the team’s captains.

What happens after an official visit?

What you do after your official visit is the most important part of the entire process. After each visit, make sure you follow up with the coach. Start with a “thank you” note, thanking them for their time and telling them some of your favorite parts of the visit. Also include where you’ll be competing next, if they’d like to watch you in person. The follow-up keeps you top-of-mind and shows the coach you’re a thoughtful and genuinely interested.

Parents: While parents are encouraged to let their student-athlete take the lead when communicating with college coaches, there are times when it’s acceptable for parents to play an active role in the conversation. Here are 8 questions parents should ask college coaches.