A major component of the search process—the search for the perfect school—is the “official visit.” Each prospective collegiate player is only afforded five (Division 1, Division 2) visits, so you have to make them count. These should be relegated to your “short list” of schools, the handful of schools that you would be happy to go to, wherever you end up. If you take the financial package being offered out of the equation, a player’s official visits should clearly uncover the best school for you. However, that clarity will only happen when a family and the prospective player have gotten beyond what I call the “wow” factors.
I think you get my drift. Work your way through the fluff or “wow” portion of the process, and you will put yourself in a position to truly uncover the essence of the program you are considering. Trust me, its hard work. Official visits are not meant to be mini-vacations. They should be investigative and uncovering in nature. You should be interviewing the program, the coach and the current players the same way they are interviewing you. Also, if you are like most prospective players, you will get to the point that your head will be spinning from the number of schools you have visited, so make sure to take clear and concise notes on each school right after you have visited, while the facts are fresh in your mind. You may even want to set up a standard list of questions you want to ask at each school. This will make it easier to compare one program from another, side by side. When approached in this manner, believe me, the four years spent playing collegiate tennis will be extremely gratifying and rewarding, with many meaningful “wows” along the way.
Clark D. Ruiz II
<p>Clark D. Ruiz II is founder of <a onclick="window.open(this.href,'AdvantageTennisStrategiesLLC','resizable=yes,location=yes,menubar=no,scrollbars=yes,status=yes,toolbar=no,fullscreen=no,dependent=no,status'); return false" href="http://www.advantagetennisstrategies.com">Advantage Tennis Strategies LLC</a>. He may be reached by phone at (917) 991-0088 or e-mail <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Re%3A%20Long%20Island...@advantagetennisstrategies.com</a>.</p>