I’m an optimist by nature…a “glass-is-half-full” kind of guy.
So when I was asked recently by a coach we are working with for my opinion on having a top recruit visit their campus during the Summer, my inclination was to put a positive spin on the possibilities. At least the coach is getting the prospect on campus, right? At least the family is going to get a look at the buildings…walk around the quad…see the dorms. All that’s better than nothing, right?
The stark reality is that on-campus visits during the Summer, when there are less students and less energy on your campus, are not factoring significantly in a decision by the prospect, according to our research. It’s not going to turn out as badly as it did for the Griswold family during their Summer vacation, but it could get close when it comes to the end recruiting results.
That should be significant to you if you’re a coach who looks at Summer as a convenient “down time” to take time and have a recruit visit campus. Here’s why:
A summer visit is missing a key ingredient to their final decision: Your athletes! Also known as their future teammates…their friends…the big reason they determine whether or not a particular school feels right to them. Yep, all of it is missing. That’s a big piece of the puzzle, and it’s difficult to duplicate during the Summer.
A summer visit is missing the normal energy of your campus during the school year. You know the great random moments that end up being the really memorable moments during your recruit’s visit? Those are probably going to be missing during a summer vacation visit. Even if you have some of your team working out and actually staying on campus, it can’t duplicate the normal school year feel that you can show your prospects.
However, in addition to being an optimist, I’m also a realist. Sometimes, the best time for a family to schedule a visit is during the Summer. They drop by while they’re at a tournament nearby, or they schedule you as one of four other colleges they’re going to visit on a family trip…sometimes, a visit by a prospect to your campus over the Summer is unavoidable.
Don’t misunderstand me: I think it’s wise to have them on campus during the normal school year. However, if it’s unavoidable, here’s how to make lemonade out of Summer recruiting visit lemons:
Again, I don’t recommend Summer visits when it’s avoidable. Your chances of signing a recruit that visits over the Summer is significantly less than a visit during the normal school year.
However, if it’s the only way to get a chance to visit with a prospect you really want, it’s better than nothing. And, you can increase your odds of having it turn out favorable by following a few simple rules built on our research from campuses around the country.
Summer recruiting visits are advisable, but becoming a client of Tudor Collegiate Strategies should be a definite “to do” on your schedule. It’s the perfect time to put a proven, systematic approach to work for your next recruiting class. Want to see how it would work for you? Email Dan Tudor directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.