Post #126 – 8/21/23 – College Visit Time!

Coaches Should Keep The Bigger Picture In Mind

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With College Visits, Coaches Should Be Mindful As Well As Flexible

Recruiting activity is starting to pick up for the class of 2025. There seems to be an uptick in recent commitments and the scheduling of official/unofficial visits. The next few weeks into September will certainly be busy.

The scheduling of official and unofficial visits can be not only a challenge at times, but also come with some real angst felt by players and parents, as well as coaches.

Players and parents can sometimes get caught between a rock and hard place… they know a college visit will really help make their college decision, but often it comes at a cost–time away from their team. And that may cause some missed practices or games. As such, players/parents wind up worrying about how they will be viewed by their teammates and especially their coaches, heck – even other parents. Their commitment to the team can sometimes come into question. AND IT ABSOLUTELY SHOULD NOT.

High School and Club coaches on the other hand, feel some angst because sometimes they may miss one or multiple players. And that can make managing such games/practices a challenge. Coaches are competitive people too, they want to win and have success.

The bigger picture to keep in mind is – college visits are for a really good reason! A chance to figure out which college/university best suits them!

Believe me, college coaches get it too. Scheduling these things aren’t always easy. But they are a crucial piece of the process and can be the difference between a fantastic four years or a trip to the transfer portal.

Some High School and Club Coaches are great about letting their players schedule college visits and are totally understanding about time missed. Others not so much… to the point where they take it personally or almost get offended by such a request. Then they wind up holding a bit of a grudge against the player and or parents.

Coaches, do consider this is a stressful process for your players and parents, so PLEASE don’t hold it over their heads for wanting to go on a college visit. You do want them to move on and play at the next level don’t you? This process isn’t about you. So best to be accommodating and understanding. Be flexible and supportive if one of your players may miss some time – its for a great reason. How you react is noticed by every other player and parent. Bottom line, college visits are a HUGE piece to the recruiting process for most players as they try to find that right fit. Who knows, in their absence you might just be surprised by who one of your players does in their place.

Players and parents, you should be communicative and keep your coaches in the loop as early as you can about potential visit dates. Be mindful of your coaches expectations around college visits if they have them too. Do the same with your teachers and school administrators as well. Sometimes, your college guidance counselor will be right with you every step of the way and help with communicating to your teachers, etc. But for those of you don’t really have that kind of relationship with your counselor, best to talk with your teachers on when you will be missing class, why, and ask what work needs to be made up.

Until Next Time Everyone… Be Well and Take Care,

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Grant Kimball is founder and contributing writer at Women’s College and beginning his 4th season as an Assistant Coach with the Yale University women’s hockey program. Grant has developed an experienced perspective in the world of women’s ice hockey, having coached and recruited players from across the globe during his 25+ year amateur and NCAA coaching career. He has coached at 6 NCAA DIII and DI programs in the NCHA (D3), the CHA, WCHA, Hockey East, ECAC, and the Ivy League (DI). Beyond coaching, Grant served as a site representative for the 2019 NCAA quarterfinal of the D-I NCAA Tournament. He also currently serves as an Officer with the American Hockey Coaches Association as Vice President of Membership and sits on the AHCA’s Women’s Hockey Executive Committee.

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