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3 Things All Parents Should Do in the Recruiting Process

Updated: Apr 23

  1. Do see the recruiting process as a part time job for your student athlete. In addition to juggling school responsibilities, and their athletics schedule, adding recruiting and college searching to the mix can quickly take up the same time as a part-time job. Expect that each athlete will be spending 2-10 hours a week in communication with coaches, between answering phone calls, texts, and emails. Additionally, there will be time researching different universities online, looking over their academic programs, and learning about their athletic program on their website, as well as through their social media. To add to this, any unofficial or official visit will take anywhere from 5-60 hours of time depending on the travel required. And remember, before a visit comes all the coordination of the visit with the family’s schedule. 

  2. Do pick 2-3 dedicated times each week to talk about and work on recruiting. In light of recruiting being a part time job, the student-athlete and family should pick 2-3 set times a week to work on recruiting communications individually (athlete) or to review what is going on together (family). For example, if practice is shorter on Tuesdays the family may choose after dinner from 7-8pm, and no practice Saturday mornings from 10-11:30am, to be set aside for any recruiting work that needs to be done. This teaches student athletes the responsibility of setting and keeping a schedule; creates a great habit of focused time that will serve them better than sporadic communication; and helps prevent burnout from the process. Parents should set boundaries that keep college decisions from dominating family life and conversation. Burnout can lead to ill-advised and quick decisions, or in the worst case, the athlete not wanting to play in college anymore all together. 

  3. Do let your student athlete take ownership. Parents and athletes seem to feel equal pressure in the recruiting process. This can be due to wanting a scholarship for financial freedom, or simply wanting the dream of playing at the next level to be realized. However, athletes should be given ownership and responsibility to work on their recruiting process. Too often parents see their athlete is busy and begin answering emails for them and taking over communication with the college coach. For example, if a student athlete does not know how to write an email, force them to write what they would say first before help is offered. Recruiting is one of a student athlete's first opportunities to learn skills that will serve them later in life, and when they search for their first job. Don’t let the opportunity pass by, because of perceived pressure. It’s important for an athlete to learn what happens when they forget to respond, just as much as it is important for them to be rewarded when they keep in consistent communication with coaches.

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