by Dan Christensen, Tudor Collegiate Strategies
It is going to be a weird year. There is no questioning that.
Campus visits will not be an exception to all this change. They are going to look different.
It will probably be hard to get a lot of out of region athletes on campus. And so, you’ll probably need to get really good at virtual visits. Hopefully, you’ve already been having some of those. But are you focusing on the right things?
When you are having prospects on campus, there are going to be some restrictions. Whether it is shortened visits or limitations on where visiting families can go on campus in order to maintain a healthy environment, it is going to be different.
So, with all these changes, how can you still have successful visits? However you are conducting your visits, make sure you prioritize these two things:
1) Your Athletes
For most recruits, this is the main reason they want to visit campus. They want to know if they are going to fit in with the guys or girls on the team. Are you giving them the opportunity to figure that out?
Involve your athletes whenever a recruit is taking a visit, virtually or in person. Giving the recruit some time alone with your current athletes will go a long way. Ideally, around half the visit should be just that!
If you are on time constraints with your visits, do not skip on this opportunity. There are a lot of things that recruits do on campus visits that they find boring or could easily learn about on your website. Even campus tours are now very accessible online. What can’t happen on your website? Your recruits getting to know your current athletes!
Coach, recruits want to spend time with you!
Up to this point you’ve probably been emailing them, texting them, hopefully sending them letters, and getting on the phone a few times. All that is good.
But they want to confirm that you are the real deal. And a big part of that is face to face conversations. Is doing this in person ideal? Yes. Can you still accomplish this over Zoom or FaceTime? Absolutely!
Recruits want to see how you talk about your school and your athletes. Seeing your passion and genuine personality will go a long way to confirm who you are and help build trust which is huge for the process going forward. It will also help give a face and voice to your future texts and emails. So, when recruits read them, they’ll have that image of your in mind.
Visits will look a little different this year, Coach. You’re going to have to cut things out and adjust the way you usually approach these super important opportunities. Would it be great for your recruit to have a good campus tour, a chance to sit in on a class, or meet a professor? Sure. But recruits say those are not as critical to making their decision as the time spent with you and your current athletes. Make sure that time is not sacrificed in your re-focused campus visits!
Tudor Collegiate Strategies can help programs and coaches adjust their campus visit strategies for better results using our proprietary focus group process with your current student-athletes. Whether it’s on your campus or done remotely, we can help you like we’ve helped hundreds of other college coaching staffs. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.