There are so many subjects in recruiting that aren’t discussed. WHY? Because most only think it’s about the bottom line, which is the scholarship, without understanding the journey it takes to get to the finish line. It is time to change that. Big companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on studies to improve their odds of becoming more successful at a faster pace. Who is doing this in recruiting? Very few. So we, being the champions of The Underground, would like to start with what stages do you as a sports parent go thru so that you can recognize and deal with the steps along the way.
STAGE 1: HUSTLERS AND DREAMERS (START UP)
Adventure is in the air! The excitement of high school football is new, and the possibilities are endless. Every athlete is going DI. The dance of getting a coach to know your athlete’s name is starting now. The investment of what seems like limitless amounts of Gatorade, cleats, deodorant and protein powder is added to the must do lists right along with the hamburger helper. What are you doing as a sports parent? You are gearing up for the unknown. You are at the START UP!
STAGE 2: WOLF OF WALL STREET (BARGAINING)
By now the routine of high school sports has networked its way into your family life, connecting its veins to ever schedule you will ever prepare until they graduate. Team practice, position practice, film study, lifting, 7 on 7, the list goes on. Balancing academics and test scores with being on time to that 6am warm up takes front stage. So where are you as a sports parent? You are BARGAINING. You are bargaining for more playing time. Bargaining for looks from coaches. Bargaining. Bargaining. Bargaining.
STAGE 3: REALITY OF PANIC
At this point either your athlete is getting varsity playing time or is being promised “later.” The summer camp circuit has become a reality and conflicting stories on where your athlete’s talent falls may be reading in your mind like stereo instructions. Offers may or may not be knocking on the door. If you have 1 offer you don’t know why there isn’t 5. If you have 5 you don’t know why there isn’t 10. You’re hearing rumors about other teammates getting a laundry list of things that should be there for yours (never thinking that those things may just be rumors or partial truths.) If you have none then you’re ready to curse out every coach that walks past you, pull out your phone and play film. Where are you as a sports parent? You are in PANIC!
STAGE 4: MOMENT OF SILENCE
The after effects of a very long journey is setting in. The high school years are ending. Whatever impact your athlete had the chance to make with his team is happening. Suggestions you may have received and were horrified that someone even mentioned them to you now don’t seem so farfetched. Dreams may be modified. Opportunities have change. Where are you as a sports parent? In a moment of silence.
STAGE 5: DENIAL OR ACCEPTANCE
This phase can take you to one of two places, denial or acceptance. National Signing Day kicks off the ACTUAL National Signing Period and offers or extra interest are starting to come in for those that have not seen early coach contact. Either feelings of “what kind of offer is this” pops into the brain or “I can work with this” settles the knots in your stomach. For those that have early offers making a decision without making enemies is tough. The courtship of recruiting expects results and if a coach has “game” then you will be there for the taking. You may flirt with the idea of a hold out (it works with pro athletes all the time right) looking for the next best thing to come along. What level are you at as a sports parent? Either in denial and hold out mode or acceptance and ready to share the college experience with your athlete.
No matter the phase (and do know you will float in and out of some of these a few times) just know that you as a sports parent are not alone in this process. What you are feeling is real and you are not the first nor the last. Remember that you are a passenger in this journey and you will be the rock for the driver, your athlete. Enjoy as much as you can and see you at the finish line! HAPPY RECRUITING! Mo Tha Sports Chick