Athletic Recruiting Recruiting for Parents

Don’t Hurt Your Child’s Athletic Future

Don't hurt your child's athletic future

A recent article with a pretty scary title – seriously, more scary than the one I just wrote – came out a couple days ago.

In the article, “How to destroy your child’s athletic future in 3 easy steps,” parents are warned about three major areas that could turn young student-athletes off the game:

  1. Pushing your child to do something they don’t want to.
  2. Causing your child to injure themselves from overtraining.
  3. Causing your child to lose their love of the game from burn out.

These are all valid concerns, and – as we’ve written before – we know that multi-sport athletes are attractive recruits for college coaches.

But we also don’t want to lose sight of the many important ways parents can – and should – help their child through the recruiting process.

Parents of young athletes are their biggest fans.

As much as your child might say it’s uncool to see you at a game or bury their face in a cell phone, you and I both know that they love – however secretly – that you’re there to support them in their sport.

Make sure you tell them that. Encourage your child to find the fun in youth athletics.

While being competitive and working hard are important traits for a student-athlete who wants to compete in college, showing passion and a love for the game are equally important, as Coach Enquist recently shared.

It’s up to you to show your student-athlete that passion.

Parents of young athletes need to talk to their child.

As your child gets closer to becoming a college athlete – where they’ll absolutely need to be able to fend for themselves – they might push for their own independence and agenda.

So if you encourage your student-athlete to participate in basketball and baseball, but he says that he feels left behind by other players because basketball finals overlap with baseball pre-season, it’s okay to let him make his own choice.

We’re all about having conversations with your student-athlete: what they want to be when they grow up, what kind of schools are interesting them, what criteria they’re looking at to find their right fit.

A side benefit of this? Talking to your student-athlete about their goals will help them develop the language to express their dreams in concrete ways to college coaches, too.

Parents of young athletes need to tell themselves they’re doing a great job.

I recently heard some parents talking. “I’ve read all of the books on parenting I can get my hands on,” one said, “and I’m scared that I’m not doing it right.”

To which the other parents replied: “Worrying about what kind of parent you are already means you’re doing it right. But don’t let the worry take you to a bad place.”

What they mean by that is that as long as you’re encouraging your student-athlete to make good choices that keep them happy, and supporting them to excel academically, athletically and socially, we think you’re doing a pretty awesome job.

Is it sometimes stressful? Absolutely. But you’re rocking it, and helping your student-athlete on the path to an athletic scholarship.


Interested in reading more about the parent’s role in recruiting? Check out one of these links below:


There are a lot of moving parts to helping a student-athlete play their sport in college. We get it. The best way to get some help getting them there is with a recruiting profile.

About the author
Andy McKernan

Andy McKernan is the content strategist at NCSA Athletic Recruiting. A content marketer with a background in creative writing, Andy brings several years of experience to NCSA.