We put together a list of five things that parents of recruited student athletes should know before and while their kid is in the college recruiting process.
When it comes to the college recruiting game, parents of recruited student athletes must know that it is a total and complete family effort. Although your kid is the one who ultimately makes the decision of where they want to go to school, you will play a vital role throughout their entire decision making process.
And, with that vital role comes great responsibility. Whether you know it or not, you will have a direct influence on where your child decides to go to school. In order to make sure that you and your child navigate the oceans with much more ease, we’ve provided a list of recruiting tips that you can follow to help keep your child focused throughout the process. There’s also some tips in here on how to avoid tarnishing the relationships that your child is working hard to build with college coaches as well.
Now that you know your importance and ability to influence your child, there’s 5 things that parents of recruited student-athletes must keep in mind during the recruiting process.
1. The Coaches Are Watching You
Keep in mind that college coaches are ALWAYS WATCHING, and they’re especially watching you. College coaches don’t just evaluate prospective players character when it comes to the recruiting process – they evaluate that player’s parents as well. They’re evaluating your character by keeping a close eye on how you carry yourself, how you speak to others, and how you react when your child faces some adversity.
For example, college coaches are watching to see if you yell at referees or complain to your kids coaches about their playing time. A coach can learn a lot about a prospect simply by watching their parents. A prospect’s parents behavior gives a coach some insight into how that prospect is going to carry themselves throughout that four year commitment.
So, in order to get off on the right foot, parents of recruited student athletes should know to keep everything positive. Carry yourself around with a calm demeanor as much as you can and always be professional and classy when you’re around coaches. You don’t want to be the deciding factor when a coach decides to award a $150,000 scholarship to another player over your child.
2. You Can’t Procrastinate or Waste Time
Assumption is the mother of all mess ups. Don’t assume that your child is going to start marketing themselves on their own to college coaches. You need to know that the longer you take to encourage your child to start speaking with schools, the harder it’s going to be for them to receive a scholarship offer.
Instead, encourage them early and often to start thinking about what schools interest them. Educate yourself properly and determine what camps are going to give them the most exposure, start helping them prepare for the SAT & ACT, and start filming their abilities so that they can make a highlight video.
You don’t have to be an expert when it comes to college recruiting. What parents of recruited student athletes need to know is that when it comes to college scholarships, the early bird gets the worm. Start early.
3. Listen and Work As A Team
Although your little prospective student athlete may be the one making the final decision on where they go, your support is what is going to help them get through the entire recruiting process. So, make sure that you listen and you put yourself last. Be there for them and listen to them when they want to talk about how they’re feeling about certain schools or situations.
It’s important that you’re on the same page with your child because it’s probably the most impactful decision that they will be making in their lives. You should try to understand what they want from a school and help provide them some perspective when they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place.
The most important thing that parents of recruited student athletes can do is act as a pillar of support for their child. They’re making a tough decision and whether you’re aware of it or not, they’re looking to you for some guidance.
4. You Have to Enjoy the Process
One of the most important things that parents of recruited students athletes should know is that being recruited is a very exciting time in a student athlete’s life. It’s also one of the most stressful times too. Don’t add to your child’s stress by being stressed out yourself. You’ll put unnecessary pressure on your child and will start to deteriorate at the enjoyment of the entire process.
Instead, take the position that the entire recruiting process as an exciting time for them and that you’re thankful for the the opportunities that they have in front of them. Your son or daughter is going to be looking at you to see how you handle yourself and they’re going feed off of your energy. If you’re stressed, they’ll be stressed. If you’re excited, they’ll be excited.
5. You Have to Keep All of Your Options Open
One of the most important things that parents are repeated student athletes should know is to always keep your options open. You never know what doors are going to open throughout the entire recruiting process. And, you especially don’t know which ones could potentially close in the blink of an eye.
Be aware that throughout the entire recruiting process, any door that’s open for your child can be closed by that school opening it. You need to be aware that coaches aren’t going to wait around forever for you to decide, especially when it comes to heavily recruited athletes. Coaches can’t put all of their chips into one basket. They all have contingency plans for each position and strategize what they’re going to do if they don’t commit the players that they initially wanted.
You can’t get upset about those process, you just need to understand that they have a job to do. So, you need to keep all of your options open with every coach you speak with because you never know how or when the doors of opportunity are going to close for your child.
As you and your child create a list of schools and start speaking with them, you need to understand that your child may not end up at that #1 school that they’ve been dreaming of. One of the most important things that parents of recruited athletes should know that when your child gets tunnel vision, you need to reel them back into reality and encourage them to keep their options open. Get them excited about other schools on their list as well in case their top choice doesn’t work out.