Before we talk about how to get your child noticed, let’s talk about exactly whose job it is to make it happen. If you learn nothing else from this book, please take away this one truth: you (and your child) are the ones who are responsible for this. You can ask others for help and you may even find yourself paying others to help, but no one else will have the investment in your child’s well-being that you will.
- Too many parents wait for high school coaches or club/AAU coaches to take the lead.
- Too many parents wait for college coaches to find their kid.
- Too many parents wait too long because they just don’t know what to do.
When I interviewed the parents of the student-athletes whose stories are in this book, the majority of them commented that one of the biggest mistakes they made was assuming that high school coaches would take care of recruiting or that college coaches would fi nd their kids. You need to keep the monkey on your back. Accept that you are the ones responsible for your child’s recruiting. You may get help from coaches, counselors, and recruiting services, but no one can look after your child’s best interests like you and your child. Don’t wait for others to lead the effort, and whatever you do, don’t sit around waiting to be found by college coaches. Let’s talk about high school coaches. There are all kinds:
- Some will want to help and some won’t be interested.
- Some will have the time that’s needed to help, some won’t.
- Some will have the knowledge about what to do, while others will be on shakier ground here.
- Some will have the contacts that will help make it happen, some won’t.
- And some will think highly of your kid’s talent, but not all will.
It’s unrealistic to expect your child’s high school coach to have the desire, time, knowledge, contacts, and warm fuzzies necessary to get your child recruited. Coaching a team, working, and spending time with their family probably take up the majority of a coach’s time. You can and should get some help from your high school coach, but be realistic about what you can expect, and be grateful and gracious for anything the coach does for you. You may also find that if your child’s head coach doesn’t have the time to work with you, there may be an assistant coach in the high school program that has more time and is eager to get the experience of dealing with college coaches.
When kids take the initiative to make the contact, that tells the college coach that they’re serious about their program, or at least have done enough investigating to be considering it. Coaches at your top choice schools should be told that their school and sports program is one of your child’s top choices because coaches know that the likelihood of attending is much higher if they’re a first or second choice, and they may go to bat for your child if their admissions department is amenable. Finally, since D-III coaches don’t have the budget to be everywhere recruiting, they might not find out about your kid if you don’t initiate the contact.
"Seventy-five percent of student-athletes contacted us first. It’s not because we don’t go looking, but it’s much more trouble to see potential recruits at a tournament, track down who they are, and find their coach, only to find out they’re not interested."
Suzette Soboti, Head Coach, Women’s Soccer and Lacrosse, University of Redlands
"Unless you have college coaches watching you play when you are in ninth or tenth grade, you will most likely have to contact colleges yourself. There are a lot more unsigned seniors every year in January than there are early commitments in the fall."
Peter Cosmiano, Head Coach, Volleyball, Mississippi College
This information was provided by the book "Put Me In, Coach." If you are interested in reading more information like this please consider purchasing the book.