How Parents Can Help Their Kids Get Recruited

Parents helping kids get recruitedBy Steve O’Brien – Goal: College Athlete

All parents want what is best for their kids and most will go to great lengths to help them. This is no different when parents try to help their son or daughter get recruited to play college sports  While the overall intent is positive sometimes the actions can have negative effects on both the child and the process.

While I think the high school athlete should put the majority of the effort into the their recruiting process,  I believe there is many positive actions a parent can take to support their son or daughter including:


Building a Proper List of Schools and Coaches to Target

I think parents can add a lot of value in this area for their child but they must be realistic. Parents can speak with their kids high school and/or club coaches and ask them candidly: “Do you think my kid can play college sports?” and if so “What Division do you think they can play in?” Parents have also seen other players who have received offers/scholarships or who are currently playing in college and can possibly do a level-headed comparison (sometimes kids think they are better than they really are) in helping to a build an appropriate list of schools for their child.

From an academic perspective parents can do some research on what schools would be a match based on your child’s GPA and test scores (ACT/SAT, etc.). You can start creating a list and then go to the Athletic Directories of these schools and start building out a spreadsheet with coaches, names, email addresses, phone numbers and other information that will help your
child when they start trying to contact these coaches.

Related Post: Building a List of Schools To Target To Target


Social Media Audit

While your son or daughter may not want you checking out his or her Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts, it could be beneficial to them. You could put yourself in the shoes of a college coach who is doing some research on your son or daughter, trust me – most college coaches will Google your child’s name if they are thinking about recruiting them. Maybe you see a photo or some content that your child may think is no big deal, but you know a coach might not see it that way. You could warn your child to take that content off of their social media site before a coach sees it.

Related Post: Your Facebook and Social Media Presence: Start Cleaning It Up


Help with Emailing Coaches

Many college coaches have told me that they prefer the athlete emailing them (not their parents) but it doesn’t hurt to proofread the email for grammar errors and flow. Making the email as professional looking as possible will only benefit your child.

The morning is a great time to send college coaches emails because they are more likely to be at their desk. In the afternoons they normally have practice, meetings, workouts, etc. The problem is your child is usually at school at that time. If your son or daughter got all the emails ready, you could press the SEND button for them when the time is right. May seem like a little thing but could be the difference in the coach reading the email or missing it.

Check out my “Email Advice Page” for more email tips.


Highlight Video

A highlight video is a great way to get the attention of college coaches and you can film it for them. Great because you can focus in on ONLY them during the game. After filming you can cut the video using editing tools like IMovie (Apple) or WeVideo (Google Play). These tools are pretty easy to use and will cost you a lot less than hiring a professional. You can also add music to them. Below is an example of a video a father cut for his son. This is Drew Laundry – Lacrosse player for Billerica High School in Billerica, MA. Drew’s dad filmed and edited the video:

Related Post: Utilizing YouTube – Highlight Athletic Ability and Character with Video


Positive Re-Enforcement

Unless your the child is in the top 2% of their sport and the scholarship offers are just rolling in, there probably will be some ups and downs in the recruiting process:


-Coaches not responding to email or showing interest

-Your child plays poorly when college coaches are in attendance

-Self-doubt because someone tells them they can’t play at a certain level

-Your child gets a worse offer than they thought and feels slighted (but also pressure because they don’t want to turn down the school)


As long as you think your child is realistic in the schools they are targeting you should try to give them all the confidence in the world to keep going and persist until they get the offer that is best for them. If a coach doesn’t email back, tell them to follow up again. If they played a poor game, tell them it’s history and get ready for the next. If they didn’t like the offer, counter with something better and/or go get another offer from another school. We were all in high school once, your confidence can be shaken easily when you’re that age….sometimes they just need a pick-me-up from you to get them back on track.


Don’t Be The Problem

I am trying to keep this post positive but I couldn’t leave this one out. Here is something to think about:


Many College Coaches have decided NOT to recruit or offer a player, even if that player could improve their team and benefit their program greatly, based solely on the fact they think the parents (or a parent) will be a problem for them over those 4 years.


This is one thing I hear a lot from college coaches. They do not want to deal with problem parents. They don’t want a phone call after every game because their kid didn’t play enough. They don’t want to hear how you think they should run the offense. If they criticize or are hard on your child, they don’t want to hear you have a problem with it. This is college sports and your coach expects your son and daughter to act like men and women and for you to stay out of it.

During the recruiting process they will not only try and find out about the character of the child but also the character of the parents. They will be doing the same when they meet with you face-to-face.

(Note: You should be doing the same about the character of the coach).


I hope this post has helped. I wish your son or daughter the best of luck in finding the school and program best for THEM!


Questions? Send me an email: [email protected]


-Steve O’Brien


About Steve O'Brien
Steve O'Brien is the co-creator of Goal: College Athlete (GCA). The website was built to inspire young athletes to reach their goal of playing college sports. Information includes a pro-active plan to get the attention of college coaches and also insight from college coaches on what qualities they look for in a potential recruit. Steve played College Hockey at the University of New Hampshire, graduating in 1999. Questions? Send Steve an email at [email protected]

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