All NCAA programs will host visitors at some point this fall. The ones that aren't hosting and don't have prospects on campus aren't sleeping in, enjoying stress free weekends at the spa. As you'll find out, even when prospects aren't on campus a level of anxiety exits. It's how coaches deal with the non-visit weekends that we're looking at with this exercise.
We've asked two different college coaches to provide insights into their visitation process. Questions range from the anxiety of a weekend visit to the scheduling for the trip.
Here's an insider's view of the recruiting process through the eyes of the participants.
#1 What is your anxiety level during the visit and how much do you think about the player and his recruitment while he's on someone else's campus? How many times does the player actually check in with you while on someone else's campus if any?
Coach 1 "Anxiety is High. Every second a kid we want is on another campus, there is always the thought he will commit. I think contacting the kid while on campus is a no-no, unless he is interacting with you first. I have seen that backfire as much as possible; upsets the kid's camp as well."
Coach 2 "I do not have a high anxiety level when a kid is visiting another school. The reason: I have no control over what happens on that visit. Where the sense of urgency comes in is in gathering information. We do not call the kid while he's on another campus. But we'll call everyone else in the kid's camp to find out the latest on the recruiting situation. We pride ourselves on a relentless pursuit of information. If the kid calls us on his visit to another school, we know we're in terrific shape."
#2 When the player returns from his official visit to another school, what is the typical plan of action? When would you likely contact him and what are some keys you hit on to "deprogram" the recruit?
Coach 1 "What we do is let the kid know as much as possible what tricks will be played and how they are going to pressure him, and get that kid to understand the game. Everyone has a good time on an official."
Coach 2 "Usually a kid gets back from his visit by Sunday afternoon. We may try to call on Sunday night, although kids are typically tired from a long weekend. Either way, we definitely try to be in contact with a kid and his family within 36 hours of his return. For a kid that's a major priority, we'll try to get someone from our staff to his school as soon as possible after the kid's visit, thereby ensuring that we're taking up at least some of his mindspace."
One thing we try not to do is grill kids about visits to other schools. We'd rather gather that information by other means. With the recruit himself, we try to subtly remind him of why our situation is best for him."
#3 How important is the positioning of the visit? Do you prefer first, middle or last visit and what goes into the decision making process of scheduling a visit?
Coach 1 "Our visit alignment is key. Take the first visit if you want to pressure or he's close to committing. If the kid has a process, go last. But more importantly, after the first one because the chances of a kid taking all, two, three or four visits is slim. Usually if a kid is reaching out you're in good shape."
Coach 2 "Positioning of the visit depends completely on a kid's timetable. If we think we can get it done, we'd love to have the first visit. If the recruit is truly committed to taking all his visits, we'd rather go last. If it's unclear, we'll go first. As a rule, we try to get our most critical guys on campus as early as we can."