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    Recruiting Trips

    By Katie Peterson
    Ithaca, NY

    During the past couple of weeks, I have been on a few basketball recruiting trips to various colleges, including the University of Rochester, Amherst College, Dartmouth College and Ithaca College.

    Normally, I have stayed one or two nights in a dorm with a basketball player who is an underclassman. I have been on tours of each campus either with an admissions person or the coaching staff. I have also tried to visit classes at each school to get a sense of the rigor and style that a college professor might offer. Often when I go on a visit, there are other recruits on campus as well. It is fun to hear about their experiences and to see who a perspective teammate may be. We go to classes, eat meals and hang out together with our hosts.

    However, at each school I visit, there are always some activities that are different. At the University of Rochester, I went to a concert and a movie. At Dartmouth College, there was a huge bonfire for their Homecoming. At Amherst College, we all went to a football game. The many traditions that are part of each school have helped me to know more about each place as I make a decision. The activities that become part of a visit certainly show me what student life is like on each different campus.

    There are a few other things that I look for when going on a visit. I want to make sure that the players get along with each other, and that they all like the coaches. I also want to make sure that I like the coaches. I want the campus to be unique, and I hope that the food isn't so bad either (although that's not a deal breaker). Overall, I need to know that I will completely enjoy my four years of time at the school I choose. Because I will be playing basketball for four years, I am very interested in watching the team practice. In fact, I chose to go on visits later in the fall, after practices officially began (in most schools -- after October 15), so that I could see the coaches in action. I've noticed that most college coaches put time up on the clock for each drill, they have a practice plan for every minute of practice and the girls all work hard for the entire practice.

    When I go on an official visit, there are a few things I bring along. First, a pillow and sleeping bag, because there are times when I simply sleep on the floor. My mom and I often argue about what I should wear on a visit (I think that nice jeans are fine, whereas she wants me to dress up more) and she usually wins... Making a good impression is important, so when I go on visits, I try to have a list of questions ready for coaches and players. Some of them are: Do you like the dorms? What is a typical offense and defense? Do you enjoy traveling? What is the practice schedule? Is there a required study hall or academic assistance for athletes?

    At any school I visit, I really want to enjoy myself and see myself fitting in. It is important to impress the coaches and players, and to get the full experience, but I think it is just as important to be yourself so they can get to know you too. Just remember, whichever school you choose, the most important thing is that you are completely happy with your decision.

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