Parents play a significant role in their childs’ recruiting process. Within thousands of schools to choose from, deciding the best college match can be, a lot of times, extremely stressful and frustrating. No one knows the athletes (child) better than their own parents. Since day one they were their childs’ biggest fans and everyone knows how parents can act when it comes to their childs’ future. For those reasons it wouldn’t be fair with them if they were excluded from the recruiting process.
With that being said, parents are going to be the athletes’ major source of assistance. Don’t forget that parents are not the ones out there playing and studying, they will be there during the whole process as a type of a cheerleader helping keeping the athletes feet on the ground and, again, supporting him/her. It is a long and frustrating process; waiting for coaches to answer you emails can take a couple of days, if not weeks. Also, parents help their child to control their nervousness on game days because the athlete is going to be nervous with a lot of coaches watching their matches, meets, game, etc… But remember, the parents' role in the student-athlete life does not start on his/her way to college, but earlier than that. Teaching the child how to be respectful, coachable, and a great teammate.
Parents should not participate in the process of picking the best match for their child, but they should definitely have an input in it. With that being said, the second major role for parents is being the financial planner. As you all know, colleges in the United States are extremely expensive and depending on which university the athlete wants to pick, he/she will not be offered a full athletic scholarship unless your child is the top 1% of athletes in their sport. NCAA, for example, breaks sports into two categories: head-count and equivalency sports. Head-count sports in NCAA Division 1 are: Football (D-I FBS only), Basketball (Men’s and Women’s), Women’s Tennis, Women’s Gymnastics and Women’s Volleyball. Schools that display head-count sports have the budget to offer full scholarships, otherwise the athlete will only be receiving, usually, a 25-60% scholarship, but remember, it is not because an athlete is offered a scholarship in a Division 1 school that he/she is going to be playing, so parents, have to not only be the financial planner but help their child be realistic as well.
This is why it is important to start the process early and with no rush, because there are going to be many steps that will require the assistance, support and planning of the parents. They are always going to be there for their child and finally, there is no better feeling than being able to see their child succeed.
By Tarek Merchant