On Recruiting

The role of parents in college recruiting

The college search for athletes has grown complicated and increasingly competitive, especially during the past 10 years. There are countless components that require attention in developing and executing a successful plan of action, along with several “key players” who make-up the team that “run the offense.”

Parents can play a significant and active role in the recruiting process that in my opinion, should be supportive, enthusiastic but “indirect,” especially when it comes to communicating with college coaches.

What follows is my take on how parents can effectively participate in helping their kids confidently navigate a potentially daunting process, while avoiding red flags along the way.

Clarity
The best starting point for any dream or goal is to establish clear goals, objectives and time-lines. Begin with the end game in mind and work backwards to the starting point of your plan. Identify tangible college goals and work backwards. You will notice “checkpoints” along the way that you will eventually re-encounter as you navigate the college quest from the beginning. Whether it is the signing of the national letter of intent, the official visit, or the first phone call placed to the coach, you will begin to develop a checklist of “things to do.”

Parents have the opportunity to help their children to envision the process and take an active role in creating it. Half the battle in reaching any goal is to understand the mission and create an educational, yet fun approach. The more parents encourage their children to take an active role in controlling their destiny and executing the plan, the greater the chance they have in reaching their goals.

Team
I am a big believer in the team approach to college recruiting and developing a group of key players who offer significant strength in specific areas of the process. Not only can the team approach be effective, it will most likely be embraced by student-athletes considering this approach spreads recruiting assignments out to the area experts.

Parents who have identified and cultivated strong relationships with “typical” team members (college advisor, high school and/or club coach etc.) can begin to lay the groundwork to offer specific roles that will be played out by each team member. Moms and dads can organize occasional team meetings at the house where the group can review regular progress in the college search and offer suggestions to keep the momentum moving forward.

Encourage Independence
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Columnist

Tom Kovic

Tom Kovic is a former Division I college coach and the current director of Victory Collegiate Consulting, where he provides individual advisement for families in navigating the college recruiting process. For further information visit Victoryrecruiting.com.

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