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What is the point of in-home visits by college coaches?

Posted by | January 11, 2009 .

What is the point of in-home visits by college coaches?As always with Recruiting-101, I am happy to answer questions and comments that are suggested by readers all over.  While I am picky about what articles I will write about, if there is a good question that has not been covered, I am happy to help answer those questions in the form of an article.  So not only is the person asking the question getting information, other readers are learning more about it as well.  Here is what was posted in a comment from a reader, which I will address below:

Why do DIII coaches visit players at their homes? I mean, they can’t offer scholarships and there is no “signing” like there is for DI or DII, right? A DIII coach wants to come to our home this week and I’m curious what is the point (I’ve met the coach, my son has met him numerous times at camps, at the college, and at the high school).

There is no doubt that coaches at all levels make in-home visits.  For in-home visits, your family has the college coach/coaches in your residence.  Like with visits and telephone calls, the reason that these in-home visits are done is to continue building a relationship between the family and the coaching staff.  The more more comfortable that you are with a coach or coaches at a certain school, the tougher it will be for you to eventually turn them down.

It doesn’t matter if you live in the same town as the college and have attended every game over the last ten years, unless your dad is the head coach, college coaches want to make these in-home visits.  If a decision is nearing, it will give the college coaches one last time to make a pitch for you to go to their school.

For a Division III school, they may also use it to talk to your family about potential academic scholarships and financial aid packages.  They may also want to see what the athlete’s family life is like and learn more about how they were raised.  While few non-scholarship schools will get turned off on a kid, it could determine how much interest a school shows from there on out.

There have been a number of situations where college coaches have seen athletes disrespect their parents and the coaches decide to move on to another recruit.  This is obviously something that happens rarely but it does happen.  If they are going to disrespect their mother by talking back to her, why would they eventually not do the same with their college coach?  Again, that is more at the scholarship level.

A school can also show a recruit how interested they are in you.  Is it the head coach coming or just an assistant?  A few years back, an offensive lineman decommitted from a school late in the recruiting process so an in-state school was making a run at home.  In order to show interested they really were in him, they brought as many coaches as they legally could to the house for an in-home visit (I believe the number was five but am unsure about it).  They wanted to show this recruit that he was their #1 priority and a must get recruit (just to let those out there know who are wondering, he ended up picking another school).

From the recruiting perspective, a college coach wants to use this in-home visit to continue to sell their program and answer any questions that you may not have asked previously.  This is a great time as a family to ask anything that has been bothering you.  It could be tuition, their record, the facilities, or anything.  There is no doubt that if a coach comes into your residence for a few hours, the relationship will grow (unless of course things hit the fan, which can happen).

The coach also gets a better feel from where an athlete comes from.  Going into dinner at someone’s house gives a coach more information about how you grew up and where you came from.  Some good coaches may even use that and be able to motivate you down the road.

In my opinion, even if it is a Division III coach, there is no reason not to host an in-home visit.  The most it will take is cleaning up one night and maybe one or two extra plates for dinner.  You will get more information and all of your questions answered.  That is a good thing in my book.

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