The college recruiting process for a student-athlete often involves the whole family. As a parent, it is natural to want to help your child in any way possible during the college recruiting process, in order to ensure they make the best decisions possible. Here are 6 ways that you can support your son or daughter during the college search, selection and recruiting process.
1. Be your child’s communication coach
First off, your child needs to communicate with college coaches – not you. This can be a valuable time to help your child learn how to effectively communicate with adults. It is great to help them practice phone, email, and face-to-face conversations, but then you need encourage them to handle all communications with college coaches themselves! Coaches want to know that potential players are mature and can handle themselves.
2. Be realistic
Not everyone is a Division I player, but everyone thinks that they are. So how do you know what level your child can play at? Honest feedback. Find a high school or club coach that is familiar with the college game and have them “give it to you straight” about what level your son or daughter can play at, and don’t let them sugar-coat it! Getting honest feedback will allow you to find the best fit school for your child, which is what the college search process is all about.
3. Stay on top of your child’s academics
The better your child’s academics, the more athletic opportunities he or she will have. It’s as simple as that. Balancing academics and athletics can be tough, but making academics a priority is crucial. Academics scholarships are more prevalent than athletic scholarships. Just a small increase in GPA, SAT, or ACT will save your family thousands of dollars in the long run.
4. Find the Right Fit
College is more than just athletics. College size, location, and major are all extremely important. Ask your child: would you feel comfortable at this school even if you couldn’t play here? If the answer is ‘no’, then the school is probably not the best fit.
5. Don’t Be A Helicopter Parent
We’ve all been guilty of this at some point or another, but it’s important to fight the urge to micromanage your son or daughter during this process. College will be a time where your son and/or daughter will grow and mature significantly, but not if you do not give them room to do so. So support and encourage, but don’t hover!
6. Have A Written Plan
There is a great deal of research that shows the importance of a written plans in achieving goals. The same is true for the goal of playing college sports. Put a simple/brief plan down in writing and follow it. Setting clear expectations and making sure that you and your child are on the same page will pay dividends in the long run!
For more college recruiting information visit the ACA College Recruiting Blog.