I’m praying that this will be a landmark year for parents and high school athletes around the world.  Are you hopeful for your son or daughter’s scholarship chances?

2016

As we start this year, I want to share a few words with parents.  I’ll give you three things you must do and three things not to do in 2016.  Follow these words of advice and you’ll make this year count.

The end result is that you’ll be miles ahead of other families on the road to an athletic scholarship.  These things are based on the results of thousands of families I’ve worked with over the years.

Three things you must do:

ONE: Encourage your athlete.   Teen-agers are emotional (obviously).   They can also be up and down athletically depending on the quality of their latest performance.  And they can get discouraged when this recruiting thing isn’t going the way they had hoped.  As a parent, you need to be their best fan and encourager.

Most of all, you need to bring perspective to the table.  Help your son or daughter see these emotional checkpoints as moments in time.  Walk with them through their pain and help them come out on the other side.   Recognize the pain and discouragement and bring them the words that will keep them going towards their athletic scholarship dream.

TWO: Work in partnership with your athlete.  You each have roles in the recruiting process.  They are to focus on being a student-athlete.  To do that well takes time, and you should applaud those efforts.  If they succeed in both of those areas, they will be prospects.

Your role in the partnership is to take care of a lot of the administrative duties necessary in the recruiting effort.  That includes getting their emails and letters to coaches written, tracking response and communication, building the introductory packet and keeping coaches updated.  These things alone can be daunting for your kid, and you can bear the load so they can continue to be student-athletes.

With that said, all communication to the coaches must still come from your athlete and not you.

THREE: Lead the way with your athlete.  I’m certain you are thinking more long-term than your son or daughter.  They are just hoping to get a scholarship.  You’re looking past the college education to their future.  Therefore, be the one who leads this whole recruiting effort.

Do the research, make sure deadlines are met, send out necessary documents and stay on top of all the communications with coaches.  Don’t get frustrated when your son or daughter doesn’t seem to put in the effort or take your advice.  That’s natural.  Use this as an opportunity to teach and lead them to maturity.

Three things NOT to do.

ONE: DO NOT give up control of your recruiting campaign.  Coaches want to hear from the families, not services or agents.  They want to know that the student-athlete is indeed interested in their program.   Therefore, do the work yourselves and don’t hire it out to a third party.

TWO: DO NOT follow the advice of other parents — unless they have succeeded in recruiting.  I’m sure you’ve had a number of discussions with other parents who are trying to do the same thing you are.  Well, unless they’ve succeeded, you should be wary of their advice.  You can’t afford to mess things up based on bad advice.  On the other hand, seek out the parents whose kids have received scholarships.  Ask for their input.  It’s like gold.

THREE:  DO NOT push your athlete too hard.  Recruiting can get intense.  As parents, we can push our kids too hard, to the point that they don’t even enjoy their sport anymore.  That’s tragic.  Make sure you keep competition fun.  Don’t live your dreams through them.  Treat your kid well in the heat of the battle.  He or she needs you on their team.

Action Point

Follow these six pieces of counsel this year and you’ll find success in your scholarship hunt.  Let me encourage you to start 2016 by taking one bold step to get your son or daughter recruited by more coaches.  If you’ve read my recent posts, I’ve been pushing you to enroll in my free Recruiting Mini-Course: Five Steps to an Athletic Scholarship.  That would be a good place to start to get sold steps of action.

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