You can follow a college team, wear their colors, and know everything about the school, but that will never give you a full understanding of what the school is all about.The only true way to get to know what a school has to offer is to go and visit that school for yourself.
Visiting a school is not only a great experience, but can benefit you when it comes to making the final decision on where you would like to attend.If there happens to be a school you would like to get a better feel for, you can do so one of the two ways; officially or unofficially.
An unofficial visit is just a fancy way of saying that your visit to the university, is not paid for by the school, (i.e. food, lodging, travel, campus tour etc.) and is fully endorsed by you. (Parent/guardian/or child)
Unofficial visits can take place for a few different reasons: If you have yet to be invited on an official visit by the soccer coach, are not yet old enough under NCAA regulations to go on an official visit, OR do not want to use one of your official visits to visit a particular college campus. (Youre limited to the number of official visits you can take by NCAA. As of the time of writing this article that number is 5)
Unofficial/official visits are a great way to help you get exposure to a particular school, and coach.
What I enjoyed most about going on unofficial visits was that it was my time to immerse myself fully in the soccer culture at a particular university. This is the best way to see what a day in the life was like for a student-athlete at that school.
The experience of official and unofficial visits is so valuable because you get the chance to interact with the current players and pick their brains. You get the opportunity to learn things like what a day usually consist of, how training is for the particular program, actives and things you might never learn of in the college catalog and so on. Depending on when and for how long you visit, you may even get the chance to stay overnight at the campus.
Sitting in on classes is also a part of a visit, remember STUDENT athlete. This allowed me to see what the educational workload of college was like. It also gave me a gauge of what I needed to be prepared to handle in college.Youll get a chance to eat with the players, and get to hang like youre a part of the team, and youll get to watch practice. Youll get to see how training session is run, and the philosophies of the coaching staff.
Most importantly youll get a chance to have some one on one face time to meet with coaches and personally introduce yourself. This is an excellent way to show them what kind of person you are. Remember, you want to be seen as an outstanding person that the university will benefit from accepting!Try and take unofficial visits early, we want you to be proactive and put your best foot forward. If there are schools close that you can visit, GO!!
Remember do your research before hand, you want to use your visit to impress the coaches with what you can bring to the table off the soccer field.