Athletes need to drive the recruiting bus

Parents’ best way to help is to take a step back and let the athlete grab the wheel

July 12, 2018

By Jason Lauren

A parent’s instinct is to do what they can to help their son/daughter in any way they can. When it comes to college recruiting, it often is best to take a step back from that instinct.

Athletes need to be in charge of their recruiting process and need to be driving their recruiting bus. Mom and dad also should not be in the front seat of the recruiting bus telling the athlete, “Turn here, turn there, slow down, go faster, let’s go here.” Mom and dad are on the bus for support, but they should not be driving the bus or in the front seat.

Parents, remember this: Colleges are recruiting your son/daughter, not you. They want to get to know your son/daughter and know he/she is the one that’s interested in playing in college at their school, and it’s not just mom or dad pushing it. 

Athletes should be writing personal messages to college coaches and replying to emails. If a coach gets a sense that this is mom or dad that they are emailing back and forth with, that could end that college’s interest. When a coach calls, the athlete should be doing the talking, even if your son/daughter is shy. When on campus visits, it should be the athlete doing most of the talking.

I have had many conversations about this with college coaches. One time I was talking to a college coach about one of my prospects, and I told that coach that my prospect was definitely driving the recruiting bus and then explained what I meant by that. The coach replied with, “Jason, there’s not a better compliment you can give to an athlete than that.”

Why is it such a great compliment? It shows the athlete is dedicated and has a high desire to play in college, is mature, is organized and it shows the ability to do things on his/her own, which is what is required when in college.

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