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Uncommitted 08 son and myself are taking first OFFICIAL visit. Have been on at least a half dozen unofficial visits.

For those seasoned vets, do you have any tips, suggestions or recommended questions we should ask at/on an official visit vs. what we may have done in the past?

Thanks in advance for your assistance!!!!!
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What do you mean by scripted? I wouldn't think it would make any difference at all if I seemed mechanical or well rehearsed in the questions I ask the coach. Really don't see why it would matter even if I pulled out a list to ask. Just want to be sure I ask all the right questions and get all the answers.
If a coach decides not to recruit me because I seemed scripted, maybe that's not were I want to play.
Leave the eccentric personality quirks at home........get a hair cut, shave and wear decent clothes........ if you would watch the players get off my sons college team bus, you would swear its a photo shoot for Abercrombie and Fitch commercial....

Be confident but not cocky.........know something about the school.......history, record, roster size and postional make up, conference and any rivlaries.........

Dont wear another programs hat or camp t-shirt.....

Understand and be humble..........when my son was recruited we were ushered into the admissions office....where in big letters there was a sign with his name on it welcoming him to the university......then as we were on our escorted private tour, we walked past all the other HS seniors who had come to take a tour on a school bus.........

We stopped and I reminded him how fortunate he must feel that his grades and ability afforded him this opportunity.........and that while the univ was hand walking his application through the system.......there were many deserving students who were riding that school bus home that night hoping the university would accept them.......

best of luck.......
Here's the real deal, coaches are veterans at the recruiting game. They've been doing it for years, and usually know what you're going to ask before the words are out of your mouth. They know every answer to every question because they've been asked them over and over. So, feel free to ask.

I wish I had not been afraid to ask some questions that I now have the answers to. Heck, I didn't even know I had a question...but I sure got the answer.

Every coach has trends regarding playing time (let's face it, that is the number one question on most recruits minds even though they don't ask and wouldn't get an answer other than a.) it is earned on the field...mostly true, and/or b.) your my guy....maybe true, maybe not). The answer to whether freshmen have real playing time is generally found in the roster and stat pages.

Look at the roster. Of the 35 roster guys, how many are true four year players, red-shirts, transfers from 4 year schools, and transfer from Juco.

Then look at stats, who is getting the bulk of at-bats and/or innings pitched? Which group do they come from (4 year guys, red shirts, transfers, Juco)? Is it balanced?

Look at recent games. What does batting order look like. Freshmen representation?

Does he do a lot of late game substituting? Does it corrospond to opposing pitcher's being lefty/righty? Some coaches sprinkle lefty hitters throughout lineup, then pinch hit late in game if lefty pitcher comes in (or vice versa). Personally, I find it to be over coaching, but, heck, if they're succesful at it...who am I? lol Does the starting lineup change day to day for the same reason (lefty/right matchups)?

Do you see players with lower batting averages entrenched in the lineup compared to another same-position player with fewer at-bats and higher batting average and other stats? That may be an indicator of the coach's preference of lefty/righty matchups (among other things...defensive ability, other tools, etc)

Looking more at the recent games. Is the lineup full of transfers? In other words, is he developing (or not) his own four year players? This will change moving forward.

A coach who leans heavily on transfers/Jucos does so at the expense of developing freshmen. It's OK for a freshman to sit a year, but if the Juco influx means that guy is ahead of you for two years, then you've lost developmental time for two years, making you vulnerable to another Juco transfer who has spent the last two years getting 350-400 at-bats.

This could go on forever, but this points you in the right direction.

We had really studied Wayback Jr's eventual selection roster. We checked who was leaving. We checked who was coming in (based on pretty sound rumors..NLI lists and so on). We weighed it out and moved forward. We didn't anticipate five Juco transfers coming in during the summer. In retrospect, knowing that now, I still wonder would I have had the cajones to ask him about that possibility. You still have to win the job on the field. But, it seems like the leash for a Juco kid is a heck of a lot longer than a freshmen player. Admittedly, he's earned that right. But, it's tough waiting for your chance watching "slumps" last half a season. Can't wait for Jr to be an upper classman. Each at-bat won't be as internally grinding as they are now.

In the end, the money offer is a good indicator of what the opportunity is, and how long the leash will be.

Your son will get time with the team. Have him ask the players about the above situations and their impression of the program. After all, he'll be in their shoes in another year.
Last edited by wayback
I know JBB Jr. makes a positive in-person impression, so that is an advantage you have going in without having to do anything at all. You'd be amazed how many kids show up with the half-shaven, cockeyed hat, boxers showing, slack-jawed look -- attitude oozing from every pore. Not a problem YOU have to worry about!

The best thing your son can do is pore over the team site and the school site and come ready to ask questions that go beyond scratching the surface. You're not trying to corner or embarrass anybody, but you do want to show that you are strongly interested, and showing that you did your homework does that.

Also, be prepared to talk money because it could well come up before you leave. What would it take to get you there? Would you accept "recruited walk on" status, or do you expect at least the 25% minimum?

The thing you as a parent can do is, get your parental input finished during the drive down. Talk over the questions he came up with. Talk over how he intends to present himself and offer your suggestions. If there are things you don't want to talk about, prepare answers to the questions you hope they won't ask, because they just might -- but don't volunteer the negative information.

Then you have to install a zipper and let Jr. do about 99% of the talking while you're there!

(If you're like me this is a major issue but something I had to train myself for! It's extremely important, though, because this allows your son to show them the kind of young man he is, which in your case is something you want them to see for sure.)

The flip side of this is, your son has to actually speak up, not just sit silently all day long. Some kids get it in their heads that speaking up is disrespectful and so they say nothing at all. We parents can teach them that being an active listener, followed by showing an active interest by asking solid questions, makes the best impression in any context. If it sounds like a job interview, well, it kind of is.

Preparing your son for this includes preparing him to be the one who talks money if it comes up.

If they don't bring it up and you get to where it looks like you're saying your last goodbyes, then it's OK for your son to ask, "When might I expect to hear from you? Do you think you have a place for me here? I would be very interested in an offer from you." Etc.

Good luck, and let us know if you have good news to report when you get back!
Last edited by Midlo Dad
Appreciate all the feedback..... gave us some great things to look at from a "research" perspective. Some we have done already, but you certainly uncovered some nuggets we can look in to.

While we certainly will be prepared to talk $$$$, I would not be surprised if that specific issue does not come up in our situation. To this point, this coach has not seen our son play personally. We have made it to this point based on an outstanding referral from a college coach who has seen son play on multiple occasions. The recruiting coord. has told us he will be driving up to watch son play this coming Wed. (4/16). I would not be surprised at all if they "hold their cards" until they see him play with their own eyes. Certainly if they don't think their is a possible fit, I guess they'll cancel the trip. We'll keep our fingers crossed.

Again......appreciate all the feedback, very helpful!!!

We'll let you know how it goes........
One specific follow up question.....we are very much in tune with "appearance standards" for JBB jr (he really does a good job with this!), but what about dad?

I am assuming when we attend Saturday night's game, blue jeans/sweatshirt are acceptable. But what about the other "stuff" (events, meetings with coaches, etc.)? While I certainly don't want to present a facade, just wondering if a "business casual" look may be more appropriate for dear old dad......

MidloDad knows I'm a detail oriented guy Big Grin
As a business person myself..........I encourage any person who is concerned about what to wear to always dress better than the minimum........if your Blazer, button down and khakis are too dressy for the occasion, you can ditch the blazer in the car and roll up your sleeves and be right in line......

You can never make a sweatshirt and jeans and tennis shoes work up..........leave that look for the kids.......

You can never go wrong with business casual.....
Just a funny note about something that happened to my son. His current college pitching coach was teasing him about being a "redneck" from Texas-my son responded that he was "not a "redneck" - he grew up in **** which is about the least redneck place you'd find." To which his coach replied that the first time he met dad, he was wearing a tank top with a beer logo on it which meant my son was a redneck because of his parent's redneck status. Son and I got a laugh out of that one-we didn't have the heart to tell poor old dad! Mind you, the time the coach was referring to was 1 and a half years earlier at a ballgame but he still remembered it obviously. Luckily dad's less than stellar impression didn't hurt my son's chances with them!
Truthfully, JB, I don't think it matters all that much. But you can't go wrong with the khakis,nice polo, casual (but not athletic) shoes look. Not too dressy for a ball game, but you don't have to worry about being shabby.

If you REALLY want to make an impression, stop into the gift store and sport a team hat the whole game!

(Just kidding, not necessary!)
Last edited by Midlo Dad
IMO, unless you have already committed, I wouldn't wear the team gear, you look too anxious, the coach might come in on a low offer. Although husband and I wore the purple/orange, son did not. HJe has not committed to anyone yet.
Polo or nice t-shirt without the slogans, khaki shorts or long pants, neat haircut, no facial hair, clean sneakers or athletic shoes work. Same goes for Dad. Sweatshirt and nice jeans is fine.

Look like a kid, look like the Dad of the kid.
Last edited by TPM

Figured I'd revive this thread since we are coming up on a busy season of visits.

Anybody have some recent visit tips or advice to share? Seems like most of these tips from 10+ years ago are still relevant.

So far the format of the visits my son is going on seem the same; go to classes on Friday with your host, watch practice, attend scrimmage in the dugout, hang out with the team after the game.

Are there usually events planned for Sunday or would we be free to book an early flight home?

Things may have changed since son's official visit, but the visit could be no more than 24 hours.  Player and parents were invited (extra kids at own expense), hotel and three meals were on the schools expense.  Son spent the night with a player.

The spring before, son went up for an unofficial visit and he stayed with a player, went to practice, hung around, asked if he wanted to to go a party (bait?  he didn't go), spent the night and we picked him up after practice the next day.  Food was at son's expense, but I think the coach gave the host player some money to take son out to dinner?

The official visit included all committed incoming players and their parents and started with a Mexican food catered tailgate before a football game, the football game, dinner at a nice enough restaurant, (drinks at own expense), nice enough hotel, and breakfast the next morning.  Only 24 hours.

Last edited by keewart


Lots of info and experiences below.   To clarify, only D1 & D2  programs can offer an Official Visit (OV), and pay for parts of the visit.   D3s can provide and coordinate Unofficial Visits (UnOV) where the recruit is paying his way to campus.  I hope this helps some.




@fenwaysouth do you recommend khakis and polos for going to the classes and while sitting in the dugout during the scrimmage?

I'd ask the Coach what to wear.   If I didn't get an answer, I'd wear something comfortable like khakis and polo.  Others may feel comfortable with  a nice pair of shorts if it is warm out or still  summer in the South.   My son never sat in the dugout for any OV or unOV that I recall.   He sat in the stands with the other recruits.

Last edited by fenwaysouth

Kid had a list of things to ask during his OV. It was homecoming so the small New England campus was packed. Wife and arrived early and found a good campus parking spot but we wandered aimlessly for hours as typical NYers we did not want to lose a good spot. When we finally met up with kid, he asked if he could sleep over as there was a party and he forgot to ask any of the questions...the look between the wife and I after the knucklehead said that, proved the existence of ESP. Kid was wise not ask us for an answer, I immediately started looking up the enrollment process at our local city college.

@SpeedDemon posted:

Genuine question - why?

Seems like every player showed up in their HS or TB hat/shirt and later swapped them out for the hat/shirt provided by the college.

I guess I'd just wonder why a kid hanging out with potential college teammates would want to be wearing HS gear.  Polo shirt and a decent pair of jeans or shorts make a good first impression on everyone, coaches and future teammates

In NCAA-speak, an "official visit" means that it's D1 (or D2?), that expenses are being paid, and there are limits about how many a player can take.

In D3 coach-speak, an "official" visit probably means that coach has invited the player, set up a schedule that might include an overnight with players, meetings with coaches, etc.  No travel is paid (maybe some meals?), and there are no NCAA rules about how many visits you can take.  But I would guess the "official" is contrasted with an "unofficial" visit where the player shows up to tour the school without an invitation, schedule, etc.

In NCAA-speak, an "official visit" means that it's D1 (or D2?), that expenses are being paid, and there are limits about how many a player can take.

In D3 coach-speak, an "official" visit probably means that coach has invited the player, set up a schedule that might include an overnight with players, meetings with coaches, etc.  No travel is paid (maybe some meals?), and there are no NCAA rules about how many visits you can take.  But I would guess the "official" is contrasted with an "unofficial" visit where the player shows up to tour the school without an invitation, schedule, etc.

This is spot on.

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