Why Visit Colleges With Us?
I firmly believe a key part of deciding which college to attend is finding a good fit that works both ways. The college coach needs to know you are a good fit for his program and you need to be able to see yourself there being coached by him and performing in his program. A great way, and the only real way I know, is to visit these colleges in person.
I have put together some FAQ's that I have received over the year and hopefully this helps to get more comfortable with the idea of visiting a college.
Why wouldn’t we just visit the college by ourselves? First off - I think it's great that you would consider visiting a college in the first place but by doing the trips with our group it accomplishes several things including …
With a group such as ours you can receive preferential treatment
Yes, we all think we are special on our own but when a group of 15-20 students, parents and coaches arrive on campus – you just get treated differently!
Takes pressure off the student and parents
It’s no longer 1 on 1 with you and the coach (although eventually you want that – it’s not always a great thing at this stage)
You benefit from questions asked by others that you may not have thought to ask or just forgot to ask.
Jeff as a guide – I have been on hundreds of college campuses and been through just as many tours and visits -
I can help to eliminate what you really don’t need to see
I can point of things you might need to see, that the college coach or tour guide misses or keeps you from seeing
If important questions don’t get asked, I can bring them up
If you are afraid or embarrassed to ask a question … I can and will
No wasted time
By being in a group it helps to save money
You don’t make any wrong turns or spend time seeing what you really don’t need to see.
Why shouldn’t I wait until these specific colleges are recruiting me?
First and foremost - this process is not about the college or the college coach it is about you
College coaches don’t really care where you end up but you sure do so it’s important for YOU to be proactive, make good decisions and find out what the college you are going to choose looks like – you can’t do that from your bedroom.
What if they start recruiting you next year?
Wouldn’t be better if you had an idea of whether or not you liked the college and you are already a year ahead in the game
If you ask most people in college right now, most will say that they wish they started the process earlier and visited more colleges.
What if I’m only interested in 1 or 2 of the colleges on the trip?
By seeing more than one or two colleges you can begin to get a feeling of what other campuses feel like and what you like and don’t like
For example, I had a player who was being recruited at Oregon State University but after visiting the campus and spending time with the coaches he realized that this type of university was not a great fit for him – he ended up choosing Harvard! He (and his parents) swear to me that without the northwest college campus visit, not only would he have not opened up to Harvard but probably would have made the wrong decision the first time around.
Another example is a player who loved one of the smaller campuses on this trip but would have preferred it be in a larger city … from this information I was able to find the same type of campus, with the same type of coach at a college near Boston. That student just graduated from that college this past year (in four years and yes he played baseball all four years!)
I use these trips to gather information …. I am able to connect with each student and find out what makes them tick and what they are truly interested in. In the event that the northwest is not the right area or the colleges in the area aren’t right, I can use this and help find the right college in the right area.
You can fly in just for those days we are visiting the college of your choice.
If we can’t work out for the coach, why go?
This is a question that always comes up …
The coach can and will see you play so you don’t need to do this on the trip.
You will see things that will not change during your four year college experience while on this trip. Coaches may change – the campus and the climate won’t.
I will address more of this question at the end … keep reading!
Do the coaches really like when you visit
Yes, you have shown them that you are very interested in their campus and more importantly your future!
The people who don’t visit or won’t invest in their future by taking the time to find the right fit are the ones college coaches wonder about … it makes you appear to be a risk (or flighty)
A campus visit is your opportunity to get a firsthand view of a college. A college catalog, brochure or website can only show you so much. To really get a feel for the college, you need to walk around the quad, visit the dorms, see the baseball facilities, stand on the mound, walk on the field, see how they get their off season work in, etc ...
A visit also gives you the chance to talk to other players, coaches, financial aid and admission officers. You can get answers to important questions, including:
What is the average class size and the student-to-faculty ratio? Are most classes taught by professors or by teaching assistants?
What is the campus meal plan like? How is the food? What are the options?
What is the makeup of the current freshman class? Is the campus fairly diverse?
What's the social scene like? What kinds of activities are available?
Where do players go when they are not on the field?
What are the off-season workouts like and where are they done?
Family members (parents) are encouraged to participate in the visit and all coach’s sessions. They will help you think through your decision about which colleges to apply to, and ultimately, which college to attend. Ultimately, it's your decision. Listen to your gut. Do you feel comfortable walking around campus? Do you feel at home? Do you click with the players and coaches? Is this what you imagined college to be like?
Spending time on a campus helps you determine whether a college is a good fit - if you don't you never know. If you only visit 1-2 colleges that is your only reference point - not a very good one and not very good advice if anyone ever says it is.
There is so much to the recruiting process – some things that really matter and others that just do not. I work every day to discover the things that are beneficial and the things that are just a waste of time and money and I can tell you with 100% certainty that attending one or several of our college campus visits is a must in the process.
On the other side of the coin, I see parents spending hundreds of dollars to get their son in front of colleges coaches at showcases and do it without even blinking an eye … why? Because “Big Name University” is going to be there and they will see their son play … again that falls into the mentality that this is all about the college and not the student. What if I told you that you just spent $500 plus hotel, food and travel expenses so that a volunteer assistant that has no authority to make a decision on you – just evaluated you. Now what? You will get invited to their camp so that they can evaluate you more and invite you to spend more of your money! That is fine if you want to keep that coach coaching because yes, college baseball coaches really don’t get paid much and I’m all for helping them out but in this case … that is what you literally just spent your money on … that is it.
With a college campus visit students come home with more of an idea, they gain valuable experiences and connections and quite possible found their college but worse case they have a better idea of what it is they want .... and you know what, now that college coach can come watch you play because he coaches at the right fit college for you!