Get Started Now
Parents Start Here Athletes Start Here

How Much Does Recruiting Cost?

Every parent who wants to help their child play at the next level will be investing a lot of time and money in that goal.  99% of parents I speak with don’t have the experience or knowledge on how to allocate those scarce resources (time & money) to maximize the recruiting opportunities for their child.  They compound that inexperience or lack of knowledge by relying on information from non-experts.  Non-experts on recruiting include HS coaches, Club coaches, friends and relatives who may have had a successful recruiting experience, or hear-say.  As lawyer friend told me, “a person who represents himself in court, has a fool for a client.”  A college decision for your youngster will impact them for the next 50-60 years.  Should a parent leave that process in the hands of amateurs?  I guess it depends on how serious a parent is about finding the right academic and athletic fit for their child.

So let’s get to the point:  How much time and money needs to be spent on a child’s recruiting?  Let’s start with some assumptions based on facts.  First, unless your child is the bluest of the blue chips, they will not be discovered by college coaches.  There will be over 75,000 high school student athletes graduating this year who will be on college rosters next school year.  Less than 7,000 of them will fall into the “Blue Chip” category.  The other 68,000 student athletes will have engaged in a lot of effort to make recruiting happen for them.  The sad reality is that 1/3 to 1/2 of those students will make a wrong choice because they had to settle for what was available.  How does a parent avoid this for their child?  They MUST invest in the recruiting process.

You’ve read on these pages the 5 things you need to know and the 5 things you must do.  But no one has written about specific costs.  Regardless of the sport your child plays, they will need to participate in events outside of their high school team in order to get placed on a college coaches’ radar.  Depending on the sport, those are club, travel, elite, premier, AAU, or other teams.  These clubs spring up and die all of the time so make sure your travel team is participating in the right tournaments.  If your child is a football player, they’ll need to attend camps and combines to improve their skills.  From the time a kid is in 6th grade until they graduate, a parent can expect to pay $3,000 to $5,000 per year on club fees, travel, lessons, personal trainers, etc.  If you aren’t doing that, you’ll have a severe competitive disadvantage with families who are doing that.

The frustrating thing for parents is that all of that investment will not get a kid looks by college coaches.  A travel coach will promote her/his team by saying s/he participates in all of the right tournaments and that 100’s of college coaches will be in attendance.  While the college coaches will be in attendance, they come with a list of specific players to evaluate in person.  They do not attend with the idea of discovering players.  So, in addition to all of the funds parents have spent on the above activities, they still NEED to market their child.  Marketing costs break down this way:

Professional, Verified Website for College Coaches


Professional Highlight/Skills Video with Hosting (depends on #)


Postage Costs for mailing out packets


Guidance and Coaching


Financial Aid Guidance


Time Spent Researching Coaches, etc . . . @ $7/hour for 200+ hours


Most parents don’t have the time to devote to all of these activities.  If they separate these activities among different vendors, they run the risk of not using an expert.  For example, how many video companies use music to enhance the video?  How much are you paying for that feature?  Now, how many college coaches have the volume turned on when they’re watching the video?  ZERO.  Then what parent has the expertise to lay out a comprehensive marketing plan for their child?  What parent can transfer ownership of the process to their child?  As a parent who has been through this, the hardest thing some parents can do is to encourage their child to do the work necessary.  Where does that empowerment come from?  It comes from an expert’s knowledge.

Parents who truly want the best for their kids and want to help their kids achieve their dreams, must be willing to invest the TIME and MONEY to make that happen.  Only in the rarest of cases, will a parent hit the lottery with a gifted, hard-working student-athlete who will get discovered and recruited by her/his dream school college coach.  In all other cases, parents should not rely on “LUCK”.  As a wise man once said, luck is the residue of clearly defined goals and hard work.  If you need help defining that game plan, start here.