Now I'm a "veteran" of two home visits and two campus visits,
and I want to thank all of you for your interest and comments. I'm still
learning about all the rules and terms. For example, last week I had a
really cool home visit from a prestigious midwestern university coach, and
she told us that her visit was classified as 'two contacts and an
evaluation'. I guess this is NCAA-speak.
When coaches come to your home they can't buy you dinner, so my dad
asked if it was okay if we took her to dinner. I think she was a bit
surprised. I don't think coaches are used to parents being very nice to
them and my dad is a sweetie. "Coach A" doesn't like spicy food
and my dad is a diabetic, so he suggested a great seafood place. My mom's
on a diet so seafood works for her, too. The food is always good at the
'Old Port Inn' which is way out on a pier in Avila Beach. It has glass
tables and you can see the water splashing around under your feet. Having
dinner with someone is a good way to get to know him or her.
The next day 'Coach A' went to see my high school counselor. I think he
was a little surprised to see a college coach in his office, especially
one that had traveled so far. The whole staff was talking about how cool
the coach's school jacket looked. That afternoon, I was feeling kind of
tired, so we did a short weight lifting workout and went out to throw. My
dad filmed me lifting and throwing this time. We have been working on a
few things and he wanted us to check it out later by reviewing the film.
After our workout, Mom sent out for pizza, we sat around visiting, and
'Coach A' departed for her flight that evening. I confirmed with her that
I would be flying out to see her and her team later in the month. I am
This last weekend, I flew to a university that has undergone a few
coaching changes recently. I had heard a lot about the prior coach since
he had recruited my dad and one of my dad's former community college
athletes. He's over 70 and I guess people have to retire sometime. I had a
lot of questions about the program, but the best way to get the answers is
by taking a campus visit. The day started off pretty rough. When we
arrived at the airport, the airline reservations had been canceled by
mistake! Fortunately, my parents travel a lot and knew what to do, and I
was soon on my way without any delays.
I met the new coach and he's really tall. I thought he'd be older
from his voice on the phone. This was his first recruiting trip with
anyone, and he really went out of his way to make sure I had a good time.
The university is in a beautiful setting. They have an enormous stadium
with a synthetic grass field. On the phone, I told dad that it would be a
great place to exercise and do my 'bear crawls'. Dad laughed and said,
"that's probably why it's there, Karen". Another good sign
of a campus that supports athletes and has a good feeling about
intercollegiate sports is to look around and see how many students are
walking around wearing letterman's jackets. I saw purple jackets
everywhere! Hint! Hint!
Why do I always remember the food when I travel? It must be a thrower
thing. I had a new food--it is Italian and called 'Calzone.' The 'Italian'
part of me (I'm mostly Swedish, but a little bit Italian) liked it a lot!
"Coach Dad" was not happy with breaking my diet and promised
that I would get extra sets of bear crawls when I got home. Oh well, it
was worth it! ). I talked to the strength coach and toured the weight
room. They had a ton of squat racks. I had the opportunity to watch a
workout, and the throwers were a very nice group of people. They all made
me feel welcome. One thrower even wrote "Track Recruit on Board"
on the windows of her car! We went out bowling Friday night, which was a
lot of fun except for one thing. I have never bowled before. Apparently,
shot putting technique doesn't transfer too well to bowling. I threw a few
gutter balls and everyone worked hard to help me learn how to bowl.
Saturday was busy from start to finish. I toured the campus by golf
cart (it's pretty big for just walking around). There are lots of
libraries--my mom would like that (she's a professor). They brought a
bunch of recruits in for the weekend, mostly football players and we
sailed around the lake next to the university in a yacht. Here's another
hint: we sailed by Bill Gates --of Microsoft fame-- new home and it was
awesome! We also saw a house that was featured in a popular movie with the
city in its name--with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan--more hints! We finished my
Saturday with a football game. It was another great football game, very
close and very exciting up through the last seconds. Every place I go,
What's next? I have three more visits I can take according to the NCAA
rules, so my next few weeks will be really busy. It's snowing right now at
the next campus on my list--guess I better find some cold weather gear! My
last two visits are in warmer places, and one is in the state where I was
born--hint, hint (and that's NOT California, y'all!!!) I'm keeping up with
school, but I have to be there tomorrow (Monday) at 7 am (!!!!) to make up
a Trig test. Yikes! I think the campus visits are REALLY important in
making a decision. You just don't know enough from talking to people on
the phone. Even if you're thinking of walking on, I'd visit as many
schools as possible. Imagine yourself as a student there, with the people
walking around as your friends and classmates.
If you have any questions or thoughts feel free to email me at