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Sports Parents’ Guide to Helping Student Athletes Succeed in Recruiting

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As a sports parent, you’ve done a lot for your child over the years. You’ve spent the last several years packing their lunches, carpooling, making appointments and paying for their extra-curricular activities. So, it might feel a little unsettling to hear that when it comes to the college recruiting process, you’ll need to hand over the reins and let your athlete take control. Of course, you’ll still be closely involved as your athlete’s biggest supporter, but you won’t be making the calls, sending emails or asking all the questions like you might be used to.  

To help you ease into this new process, we’ve created a comprehensive guide with tips for parents of athletes as they begin their college recruiting journey. In this guide, you’ll learn: 

Parents role in the recruiting process 

While your athlete is responsible for taking the lead, parents play an integral part in the college recruiting process. Your athlete will undoubtably need your help along the way as they search for the right college fit for them. But what’s the right college fit? We encourage families to identify their wants/needs in four areas: athletic, academic, financial and social. Once your athlete knows what they’re looking for in these four areas, you can help them identify schools that meet the criteria and weed out those that don’t to build a strong list of 25 target schools. Learn more about this process

Working with high school and club coaches 

You aren’t the only recruiting resource your athlete can rely on during the recruiting process. High school and club coaches are great resources to help your athlete search for college opportunities and engage with college coaches. Building a strong relationship with your athlete’s coach allows you to call on them when you need help evaluating your athlete’s athletic ability, looking for roster openings and connecting with college coaches. And if your relationship gets rocky, we have tips on how to smooth it over.  

Get tips for working with high school and club coaches

Interacting with college coaches 

Are parents supposed to interact with college coaches? The short answer is yes, but it’s a little more complicated than that. While college coaches want to get to know the entire family, it’s important to know when and how to contact college coaches without jeopardizing your athlete’s recruiting efforts. The best time for parents to interact with coaches is right after a game/competitions and while accompanying their athletes on official and unofficial visits. For tips on how to talk to college coaches, check out this section.  

Overcoming common recruiting stressors 

As exciting as the college recruiting process is, it can be equally as stressful, especially for parents going through it for the first time. You might find yourself asking questions like, how do I find the right summer camps and recruiting events? With money at stake, it can be overwhelming finding the right college camps that will help your athlete get recruited.  Find answers to common question and advice from current and past NCSA parents, here

How parents can use NCSA 

NCSA is here to help you and your athlete through the entire college recruiting process, start to finish. We’ve been doing this for over 20 years and we’re proud of the recruiting tools we’ve developed to help athletes gain exposure and discover college opportunities. Some of our athlete’s favorite tools include our free NCSA Recruiting Profile, weekly Coach Activity Report and our College Search feature. Let us share with you how we’ve helped over 250,000 student-athletes commit to their college match. 

Learn more about how NCSA helps