Selecting a college is the biggest life decision your student-athlete will make up to this point. They’re going to have questions and you will often be who they turn to for answers and guidance. While the college recruiting process may feel like it’s only centered on athletics, a lot can happen over four years, and you’ll need to consider what happens if your student-athlete gets injured or decides they don’t want to compete anymore. It’s key to make sure your athlete absolutely loves the school, including their classes, living situation and campus life, regardless if they’re competing in college sports.
This is why we encourage families to think of the college search process in four different parts: athletic, academic, financial and social. Below is a guide to providing ongoing support and advice to your student-athlete as they navigate the college search and recruiting process.
Finding the right division level that matches your student-athlete’s talent can be challenging. It requires you to know what it takes to compete at each division level and understand your athlete’s talent level and potential.
To help you discover which division levels best match your athlete’s skillset, we’ve created a list of four steps to take before making this decision:
|Men’s Sports Recruiting Guidelines|
|Basketball||Lacrosse||Track and Field|
|Women’s Sports Recruiting Guidelines|
|Diving||Lacrosse||Track and Field|
|Flag Football||Soccer||Water Polo|
One common misconception parents of student-athletes make is thinking that an offer from a college coach means their student-athlete can attend the college. The reality is, getting an offer is just part of the process. The student-athlete also needs to gain acceptance to the school through the admissions department. This is why high school academics are equally as important as athletic performance.
While it’s the athlete’s responsibility to make sure they meet the NCAA Eligibility Requirements, there are a few ways that parents can help tackle this part of the recruiting process. Below is a short eligibility check list for parents.
Keep in mind that the NCAA Eligibility Center determines the academic eligibility and amateur status for all NCAA Division 1 and Division 2 athletes. The NAIA has its own eligibility center. Learn more about the NAIA Eligibility Center.
Establishing a college budget with your athlete and determining how much aid they would need to attend each of the schools on their top 25 list will give your athlete a realistic idea of what they can and can’t afford. Help your athlete research college costs and then help them take the necessary steps to secure financial funding:
Learn more about the different types of scholarships that are available to student-athletes in our guide to different scholarship offers.
The college recruiting process is about finding more than just a program for your athlete to continue competing in their sport, this is where they will spend the next four years studying and making personal growth. As you and your child start thinking about college, make a list of what your child wants in a school. Do they want to go to a big state school or a smaller liberal arts college? Do they want to spend time doing things outside of their sport? What majors are they interested in pursuing? What are you willing/able to spend on tuition? Understanding what your athlete is looking for socially will be useful as you construct a target list of five safety schools, 10 target schools and five dream schools.
As a parent, it’s easy to get wrapped up in your child’s quest for success and forget that the most important thing is that they are having fun playing, while advancing their skills. While you want to keep your athlete on track to reach their goals, we’ve listed three common mistakes parents that can negatively impact their student-athlete’s confidence and motivation.
Setting unrealistic expectations. To avoid placing unrealistic expectations on your athlete, create goals based on what your athlete can control. Focus on the process and incremental improvements that can help your athlete in their long-term athletic development. You also need to ensure that your goals as a parent align with what your athlete wants to accomplish.
Comparing your athlete to their teammates. Development occurs on a different timeline for every athlete. Don’t place undue pressure on your athlete by forcing them to measure up to other kids who may be maturing at a faster rate. Celebrating your athlete’s individual wins will help keep them confident and motivated about the process by recognizing their successes.
Punishing failure. Your athlete isn’t always going to be successful and they need to learn how to deal with failure in a productive way. If they don’t achieve a goal, avoid getting upset and showing your frustration. Instead, help your athlete determine why they didn’t meet the goal and create a new, achievable plan. Remember, your athlete’s sport is about them and it’s most important that they have fun and stay motivated.
For more on what parents should avoid doing in the college recruiting process, check out our video.
Due to federal privacy regulations, your student-athlete has to be 13 years old to create an NCSA profile.
According to information you submitted, your student-athlete is under the age of 13.
If there has been a mistake, call us at 886-495-5172. We’ll fix it right away.
While you’re here, we invite you to educate yourself on the recruiting process. Here are two of our most popular articles:
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