Coaches first starting reaching out to me after my junior cross country season. At first it was very exciting, you get a bunch of recruitment letters from colleges all over the U.S.! After that it's not so fun because you have to fill out all the recruiting questionnaires.
Yes I had 2 official visits. I made my official visits when I was highly considering the college and have been in contact with the coach for a while. The official visit is like the last step in the recruiting process. They were really fun and I actually wish I had more! You really get a good feel of what is it like to be a college athlete.
I was looking for a strong running program and a close knit group of girls. I was looking for a team and coaches I could connect with and feel cared for. I always wanted running to lead me to new opportunities so to go out of state was really exciting!! I wanted a college where I could excel as a runner, a student and really have that college experience. To sum it up, I was looking for a place I could be happy.
My decision was the hardest decision of my life. It ultimately came down to the opportunity. I felt like the chance to go all the way to New York, run with super talented girls, and compete in the ACC, was an opportunity I could not pass by. However, it was not easy and with every decision you are sacrificing something.
Yes, I do have a few tips. Lots of people think you will have that college you absolutely fall in love with the second you step on campus. However, that's not always the case and it's very possible you can fall in love with more than one college or not any at all. It is perfectly normal. You have to remember not any college will be perfect and you have to accept its weak points. College is a huge commitment you just have to feel like you fit in. Sometimes you will have to pick between 2 great colleges and just remember you could be happy at both, choose the one that feels right. The recruiting process is stressful and you don't have to be good at it! It's a learning process, take your time, consider all options, and enjoy it!
Best of luck to the recruiting class of 2017! Enjoy your last years of high school it goes by quick, and...RUN FAST!!!