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4 Big Questions Parents Should Ask Coaches During the Recruiting Process

4 Big Questions Parents Should Ask Coaches During the Recruiting Process 4 Big Questions Parents Should Ask Coaches During the Recruiting Process

As a parent, you play a vital role in your child’s recruiting process. Parents who want the best for their kids should know the ins and outs of what a coach is offering to their athlete, and asking great questions during a home visit or through digital communication also shows the entire family is invested in the recruiting process, which is a green flag for many coaches. If you have an athlete in the middle of their recruiting process, keep in mind these four questions that all parents must ask coaches before their child commits to playing sports at the next level. 

Related: Recruiting FAQ’s: What if I Don’t Get an Athletic Scholarship Offer?

Q1: What possible financial aid and scholarship package will my child be offered? 

As a parent, it is essential to gauge approximately how much scholarship money your child will receive from the college because, contrary to popular belief, most college athletes do not obtain full-ride deals. If a coach is planning to offer your child a full scholarship on a home visit, that is a lot different from talking to the coach over the phone because they extended a preferred walk-on opportunity. Your out-of-pocket cost could be virtually nothing to paying full tuition until/if your child receives a scholarship, but it is important to know the different types of scholarships your child can receive and get a comprehensive overview of how much you will be paying. Coaches may also be able to tell you what kind of need or merit-based aid the respective university provides and if your child could be eligible. 

Q2: Under what circumstances will my child’s athletic scholarship be voided or not renewed after their first year?

One of the most common misconceptions is that scholarships are binding the entire time an athlete is on the team–unfortunately, that’s not always true! As a parent, be sure to ask the coach about their process when renewing athletic scholarships, especially their policy addressing injuries. Some schools will continue to give athletes scholarships while they rehab and fix the damage, but others will decline to renew the scholarship. For example, if your child tears their ACL and will be out for a year or more, you could go from paying very little to immediately paying full tuition if their scholarship gets revoked as a result of their injury. Although nothing is guaranteed–verbal agreements regarding scholarships aren’t binding–these clarifying questions are still important to ask. 

Related: No Scholarship, No Problem. 3 Ways College Athletes Can Get By Without One

Q3: Will my child receive academic support?

Being a college athlete is exceptionally demanding. There is rarely any free time between classes, practices, and lifting, and as a result, athletes often feel overwhelmed. As a parent of an aspiring college student, it is essential to ask about the tutoring and advising resources your child will be provided to ensure they don’t fall behind academically when their sport pulls them away from the classroom. One reason your child might lose their scholarship is if they become academically ineligible, so maintaining high academic standing is just as crucial in keeping their scholarship as their performance on the field. It is vital to ensure that your child will be supported holistically as a college athlete. 

Q4: Is there anything special we should be aware of during the standard application process? 

Being a recruited athlete does not mean your child is exempt from going through the standard application process at their university of choice. Along with the recruiting calendar, parents and children must know the necessary steps and deadlines for submitting their college applications. For athletes recruited as preferred walk-ons, coaches will often recommend what supplemental essays to fill out on the application to help their chances of getting into the college, but unless your child has a scholarship, it is not a given that they will get into the school that is recruiting them. For athletes that are recruited walk-ons, meaning they do not have a guaranteed spot on the team and no scholarship, it is up to the child to get into the school, and as a parent, asking the coach for tips can be highly beneficial. 

As a parent, you balance a fine line between being involved in your child’s recruiting process and not overstepping and affecting your child’s chances of receiving a scholarship. Asking questions to the coach is a great way to show the family’s interest in the school and have a sense of tasks you, as a parent, will have to complete.

 
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* Originally published on November 17, 2022, by William Calhoun

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