4 Tips for Parents of Recruits With College Potential

4 Tips for Parents of Recruits With College Potential 4 Tips for Parents of Recruits With College Potential

So your kid is getting recruited to play their sport in college–congrats! This will be an exciting but also quite nerve-racking process for both you and them. You must have tons and tons of questions, like most parents of kids starting college do. But your questions and concerns might be a little different than the average parent, since your kid’s schedule will look a whole lot different because of their sport. 

Luckily, for recruits and parents, there is usually a designated time for them to meet with the coach and ask questions on recruiting trips. Here’s what to know and what to ask. 

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What you need to know about recruiting

Check out our step-by-step recruiting guide for an in depth explanation on everything you need to know about the recruiting process. If your kid tells you they are being recruited to play in college, chances are they are already in contact with a coach. Most athletes in this position are offered the chance to go on a recruiting trip, where they tour the campus and hang out with the team to get a better understanding of the school they may commit to. 

The coaches communicate with the athletes themselves to plan these trips, so there's usually not much you need to do yourself except maybe set up transportation if that is not provided. Many schools also allow parents to come on these trips, usually to get a chance to tour the school on their own and meet with the coach. If you get the opportunity to go on one of these trips, and are interested in going, here are some questions you should ask.

Related: DIY College Athletic Recruiting 

Ask about visiting 

You’re probably going to want to visit your kid every day, which is understandable–it’s most likely their first time away from home for this long, and the first time you won’t actually be able to keep a close eye on them. Start planning trips to visit them early, and ask questions about visiting so you know when to go. A good time to visit would be a weekend when there is a home competition, so you can watch your athlete compete and then spend the rest of the weekend with them. So ask the coach if they have the competition schedule, and if you are able to attend the ones that they are hosting at home. Bye weeks are also good options for visits. 

You can also ask when they recommend you visit if they have an opinion on that. Many universities have something called parents' weekend where parents of all students at the school come to visit on a specific date, and several fun events are provided. Sometimes the sports teams have a separate weekend where they host something similar but just for the parents of the athletes, so try to find out if there are any events like this that you could attend. Also ask if they have recommended places to stay during your trip, so you can be even more prepared.

Ask about resources

You’re also going to want to know how your kid is going to be supported throughout their time as a college athlete since their schedule is going to be a bit more difficult than the average student, especially as a freshman trying to get acclimated to everything. To get a better idea of what type of benefits they will have access to that will help them thrive, ask about the resources commonly used by athletes on the team. Ask how they will be academically, emotionally, and physically  supported through the resources provided. Most schools will provide academic resources (tutors, early class registration,etc), mental health resources (therapists), doctors, nutritionists and more. Asking questions about resources will help you learn exactly what these are and what exactly they will do for your child.

Ask financial questions 

Money is usually one of the biggest concerns parents have when sending their kids to college, from how to afford tuition & housing to how to support your kids financially for any other necessities during their time at school. To feel more comfortable regarding these concerns, ask questions about financial situations for athletes. You can ask about scholarships, but it is important not to overstep. Asking the wrong question or being too pushy about this may affect your athletes chance of being offered money or even just a spot on the team if the coach feels disrespected. 

Before your trip, it will be helpful for you to get a better understanding of athletic scholarships and what they entail. Then if you have any further questions, ask away. Ask if your child has the opportunity to get a scholarship and what it may take to get there if not. If you know they are being offered a scholarship, ask what it covers (tuition reduction, books, etc.) and if there is a stipend/allowance. Make sure to also ask about what costs you don’t have to worry about, and which ones you do. For example, some teams may require a booster fee from the parents to provide the athletes with unique opportunities, so it is better to find out about something like that sooner than later.

Related: Three Things Every Recruit Should Know About Athletic Scholarships

Ask about any other concerns

If there's anything else you are concerned about, ask. Try not to leave any questions out, no question is ever too ridiculous (most of the time). Coaches have gone through this many, many times with parents, so there's probably only a handful of questions they haven't been asked before. Some other topics you may want to know about could include

  • Housing: ask about location, rent costs, amenities
  • Food: ask if there's a separate dining hall and/or meal plan for athletes, food quality, food for competitions
  • Training trips: some teams take training trips (most common for sports like swimming), so if you think your athlete will be in that boat ask about the trip. When, where, necessary costs if any, etc. 
  • Academics: academics are a top priority for college athletes, so  find out if the coach thinks this as well by asking questions related to academics, such as if there's a study hall, any questions about majors, or anything about schedules.

As a parent, you want to feel comfortable sending your kid to college and being fully educated on what they are about to go through will help with that. It can be easy for parents to overstep their role in the recruiting process, but you can also be a valuable asset to your athlete. Sometimes all it takes to help out is knowing which questions to ask.

Have an idea for a story or a question you need answered? Want to set up an interview with us? Email us at [email protected]

* Originally published on August 12, 2022, by Sammie Grant

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