Being the parent of a student-athlete is no easy feat.
Parents of student-athletes separate themselves from the pack from their virtuoso scheduling alone: work, travel, weeknights, weekends, the activities and needs of other children, time for your husband or wife, etc.
Not to mention the type of physical and emotion support parents of student-athletes give on a daily basis, often multiple times per day. Providing nourishment through groceries and meals, encouragement when the going gets tough or the chips fall out of favor. A student-athlete’s academic life requires these attentions, let alone the balancing act of school, sport, recruiting and a social life.
While we spend much of our days at NCSA Athletic Recruiting educating student-athletes and cheering them on in their recruiting process, it’s important to stop for a minute and show the parents and guardians of our student-athletes some love and appreciation. Our awe for the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and anyone else who makes the life of a student-athlete possible and ensures their well-being cannot go unspoken.
In the same spirit, we took some time to speak with some real parents of student-athletes we get to work with every day (some of you real-life superheroes), to find out just how you do it day-in and day-out. To find out some tricks of the trade, for not only our own knowledge, but in hopes of possibly helping other parents out there working to do it all.
So: Happy Thanksgiving, to the parents and guardians of student-athletes across the country. Thank you for all you do. You have our sincerest appreciation and admiration.
Parents of student athletes use a family calendar to harness the chaos.
“I have two sons in high school playing baseball and basketball, and a daughter in grade school enrolled in dance, volleyball, and Girl Scouts. My husband and I both work, and as the kids have gotten older, the school year has started to feel like utter and complete chaos at times. My husband, sons, and I were constantly texting and talking about schedules, plans, changes in the calendar, etc. It felt like there had to be an easier way, and my sister-in-law suggested creating a family Google calendar. Each of us can add to the calendar, and we each get a notification when something has been added or altered.
“I oversee the calendar just to confirm it’s accurate from week-to-week, but other than that, we all take ownership in the schedule and can stay on the same page. It’s not a cure-all for the hectic life of a family with kids and student-athletes, but it’s been a super easy and really great adjustment for us.”
–Becky, the mother of Austin, Trey, and Gia
Parents of student athletes still schedule one-on-one time for all of their children.
Try and make some one-on-one time for your other kids…and your student-athlete(s).
“The past few years I’ve tried really hard to make room in the week to have a special dinner or outing with my non-athlete daughter, as my other student-athlete son and daughter tend to get so much of my time simply due to the demands of their sports combined with school. The past season, however, my student-athlete kids started to ask if they could get in on the one-on-one dinner action. I never realized that with their busy schedules, they were missing the attention, too.
“While it can be tough to fit in every week for each kid, my husband and I now try and plan easy, fun, and special little dinners or outings with each of our kids – including our student-athletes. We know we won’t have them at home forever, so it’s been fun taking advantage of time together now, (especially on the days they’re speaking to us!)”
–Aimee, the mother of Nico, Jillian, and Gabby
Parents of student athletes know they’re not going to get it right all the time.
“I’m a self-proclaimed perfectionist. I like to have things in order, and if you’re going to do something, why not do it right. Having a son who plays multiple sports, and daughter who plays volleyball really put the whole perfectionist obsession to the test. And let me tell you, I don’t think that way of life is ever coming back. While my ex-wife and I try and do everything we can to coordinate, communicate, and stay on top of life with two teens involved in more commitments then I can count, there are going to be times where something falls through the cracks. It can be as little as a late pick-up at practice, or as big as hitting 10 p.m. and realizing your daughter has a book report due the next day.
“Whatever the situation, just know that it’s okay. It happens to so many parents and student-athletes learning the ropes. You can work hard to fix the error, and to make sure it doesn’t happen again, but I assure you, it’s impossible to get it right all the time. We’re all in the same boat, and we’re all trying to stay afloat – go easy on yourself!”
–Jeff, father of Alex and Celia
Your best is enough.
“Kids are loving, surprising, and endearing little people. They are also very, very demanding. As a parent, especially one trying to raise decent and successful human-beings, it’s hard to escape wanting to give them the world. It’s also impossible to hit it out of the park every day of the week when you have the schedules and schoolwork of student-athletes to keep up with. Your best is enough. It’s more than enough. Give it your all, do it with love, and it will all work out in the end.”
–Aimee, mother of Sarah, Ethan, and Elle
Our scouts are here to talk to you about how you’re helping your student-athletes, and try to help you feel a little less stress about the complicated world of recruiting. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.