The biggest role for a parent during their child’s recruiting process is to find an equilibrium between supporter and bystander.
Your child is making a huge decision, but you are not there to make it for them you are only there as a resource. It is completely understandable to want to be there for your child while they are going through this momentous process, but the athlete should be able to handle important tasks, such as talking with a coach. A coach does not want to see a parent taking the initiative in conversations. A coach is looking to understand the mentality and capabilities of this athlete, and by doing everything for them, you are hindering the coach’s perspective.
Additionally, it is very important for a parent to maintain realistic expectations. The parent, as well as the athlete, should have reasonable prospects of where they are capable of playing based on their talent level and their academics. Although it is important to dream, you do not want to be setting your child up for disaster by having him or her looking at a top Division I program when they are better suited for a Division II program. Also, their academic standing is important to keep in mind. Just as with their talent capabilities, you want to remain realistic about where they will be accepted.
As a parent, you should maintain an honest and open dialogue with your child about colleges: what your family can afford, their playing potential at different universities, the level of academics, and what may benefit them more in the long run. Although this is such a huge decision, their four years at the school will eventually end, and you want your child to have had the best academic as well as athletic experience possible. Therefore, by having this honest dialogue with them, they can factor those elements—finances, playing time, academics—into their decision.
These are the big things to keep in mind when helping your child through the recruiting process; however, there are smaller details that should not be overlooked. Being organized throughout the recruiting process helps tremendously. You want your son or daughter to be able to keep track of emails, test scores, academic documents, or letters in an efficient manner. Both of you should work together to find the best possible method for remaining organized. A big suggestion would be to create a new email used solely for recruiting.
As a parent, you are there to support your child, to assist when they have problems or questions, and, ultimately, to guide them appropriately through the recruiting process.
* Originally published on June 28, 2016, by Bryan Sosoo