There is no one more important in an athlete’s life than their parents. In some cases it can be their teacher, coach or someone else. For now, we will focus on the parents and how they can help their players with the recruiting process.
I have meet a dad one day who was doing some research on how to make a video highlights for his daughter who played soccer. He ended up creating a great video highlights which got lots of interest from the college coaches. Long story short, his daughter ended up playing in college on a partial scholarship.
The role of parents in their players’ life is extremely important. There are many ways parents can help their athletes succeed in sports. We all want to help but sometimes we do more harm than good without even knowing. It’s important to know how can parents be more effective in the recruiting journey.
The following ten steps will help parents focus on how to best guide their players in finding the ideal school fit based on their abilities.
1. Be Supportive
No matter what your athlete wants to do, as parents we need to show our support. They may want to go to a school that was not initially on your list but it’s important to consider all options. Help your players understand the financial part of college and make them realize that they need to graduate with a minimal amount of student loans.
Showing your support will release more pressure for the student-athletes and they will be able to see the bigger picture. Show them all the pros and cons of all the schools you consider or have visited together.
2. Don’t Decide For Your Players
I am not sure what school you went to and how much you would like your son or daughter to go to the same school but the decisions should be theirs. You can share your opinion but don’t decide for them. Believe it or not, they may like different things than you. They are a different generation who loves technology and they may want to study something different than your field.
As parents and coaches we can help them thru the journey but we should not decide for them. They are the ones going to school, not us. We already went and experience it for ourselves. Now it’s their turn.
3. Proofread their emails if needed before they contact the coaches
Every time your players write emails to the college coaches, make sure you proof read them. Don’t write or do the whole work for them. You can help them but be very specific as to what you are wiling to do for them. Let them put in the time to create the email based on the school they want to write to and offer to revise the email.
There are some student-athletes who believe it or not can write some amazing emails. They take their time and they are good with words especially when it comes time to express themselves. The power of your words can be very powerful so choose them wisely.
4. Encourage them to always give their best effort
It doesn’t matter if they are in the classroom, in the gym or training on the field, because they should know the value of hard work. They need to realize that they can’t control the outcome of a game but they can always control how much effort they put in.
The effort should always be there no matter what they do. Without the hard work, nothing will ever get done no matter how talented they are. The sooner they know this, the better.
5. Make sure they do well in school
Without good grades is hard to find a great college fit. We want our players to succeed off the field so they can get a chance to compete on the field.
If your student-athlete does poorly in school, try to get them tutor or help them in any way possible. You don’t want them to have bad grades, especially in high school. They SAT and GPA need to be high so they can qualify for more academic aid or scholarships.
No college coach wants a student-athlete that can’t do well in the classroom. If that’s the case, the player won’t even play much. The minimum GPA to play NCAA D1 or D2 is 2.3 but coaches like it over 3.0.
6. Let them talk to the coaches themselves
If you are a parent, please don’t talk to the college coaches for your athlete. College coaches like when the players assume responsibility and accountability. Coaches love to talk to the players directly and get a feeling of who they are. Let your players start the conversations and carry them on.
At first it can be intimidating, but trust me, it’s best if they get out of their comfort zone and do the work themselves. It’s more rewarding and it pays off in the long run. They need to face moments like this especially when their future depends on. Those are big decisions and they need to feel to what school they are more attracted to.
7. Help them create an athletic profile
If you don’t have an athletic profile, you need to help them create one. Luckily for you, you can create one here for FREE. It’s like applying for a job so if you don’t have a resume, you won’t get noticed. Create a profile and update it with your latest information regularly.
Once you have your online athletic profile, it’s time to share it with the coaches and show them you are interested in their program. The more info you got in your profile, the better.
8. Check on their progress periodically
Help your athletes set up goals for themselves. Make sure those are SMART (goals so you can easily track the progress. If your athlete wants to play in college, then s/he needs to have a strategy to achieve those goals. They need a road map and a timeline full of steps and details. For example, they need to maintain a 3.5 GPA, get 1,3o0 on their SAT, start every game and play at their best all the time.
Everyone’s goals can be different based on their ultimate objectives. I am sure you get the point. Below you can find more about the definition of SMART goals.
- Specific – target a specific area for improvement for your athlete.
- Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress. An example would be to juggle the ball 1,000 with both of your feet.
- Assignable – specify who will do it. Make sure you know who’s job is to get it done.
- Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources. If the goal is not realistic
- Time-related – what’s the time frame to achieve this goal/s by.
9. Be a respectful fan at their games
If you watch your son or daughter play, just be respectful. College coaches are evaluating the parents as well. They can easily tell how the athlete will behave like based on the parents behavior. Keep in mind that you are also getting evaluated by the coaches and I bet you want to make sure you are at your best behavior.
There are 4 roles in sports: athlete, coach, referee and fan. Choose one and do it best based on your present role. In most cases, you will be a fan so make sure you treat everyone with respect. Don’t be a helicopter parent because it can cost your athlete the opportunity of going to their dream school.
10. Always be by their side no matter what
When athletes deal with disappointments, they usually need time and space. Just offer your help and support and let them know you are always there for them. If you athlete is going thru an injury, a difficult time at school, not starting or playing much just guide them in the right direction.
Offer your advise but let them do the work. Your support means a lot when they will be in difficult times. They will regain their confidence and they will get back to normal. Don’t hand everything to them, just show them that you care and you will be by their side no matter what.