Over the past few weeks, we have shared interviews with parents who have gone through the recruiting process with their child. This week, we talked to a parent of a female swimmer. This parent talked about what they looked for in their daughter’s potential school, how important their relationship with a potential coach was, and how they wish they knew more about the recruiting process.
What sport does your child play, and when did you start looking at schools and contacting coaches?
My daughter swims and we started looking her junior year after she had been contacted by some coaches after her spring club season the year before.
How many official visits did your daughter go on?
She went on three. She chose what schools she liked the best and then went to experience what the swimming was like. We wanted it to be both good for her academically and athletically.
How involved were you?
I was involved in the sense that I made it all logistically possible. I got her to where she needed to be, I helped her figure out scholarships and academic opportunities and looked over the season schedules with her. I let her do the contacting and the choosing, but I wanted to give her all the pieces for her to put together.
What were you looking for in the college?
I was looking for a top tier school that would allow her to be both a success in swimming and academics. I wanted a program that traveled a lot to meets because I feel that is important for her to experience and to learn to balance work and swim. I wanted a school that I could drive to in a day so that I could watch home meets, and to be honest I didn’t care the type of place it was in (city, rural, town), I left that more to her since she would be the one living there. She was offered good money at all three schools so I was more flexible with the tuition which was great.
How important was your relationship with the coach of a school/program your child was interested in?
Not too much. That is a relationship for her, not me. I want to know they are a good person but other than that, she is twenty and is allowed to form these relationships alone.
Do you wish you personally knew more about the recruiting process?
Yes! I felt a little lost and found myself really getting caught up in the stress of reaching out to coaches and I didn’t want to budge into that, that was for her to handle. I also wished someone would have told me not to worry too much about schools she didn’t hear back from, it isn’t the end of the world. What is meant to happen, happens.
What role should parents play in their child’s recruiting process?
Definitely be a guide, not a decision-maker because it frustrates them. This is not easy for them either so be there as a helping hand and make sure they are knowledgeable and aware of their choices, but remember it is their choice.
Photo taken from USASwimming.org
When doing research in the recruiting process for my daughter I came across the LRT Sports website. I was immediately intrigued as this was another dimension of the recruiting process that many people don't even consider. My daughter and I could "short list" schools based on the education she was looking for, as well as the opportunity to play her sport. LRT Sports not only gave us pertinent information into the recruiting process with different interviews of coaches and players, it also gave us insight into current and/or former players' opinions on the coach of that school in her sport. We could use this information to re-prioritize my daughters list of schools based on this feedback. I have many friends that are, or will be, going through this process shortly and I highly recommend using LRT Sports as part of anyone's recruiting process.
The college process presents a myriad of challenges. Factor in athletics and it becomes even more daunting. Now, add the fact that you have zero experience with sports. What is a the mother of a college bound student-athlete to do? LRT Sports has truly lived up to its promise. It has kept "the college recruiting process honest and easy by providing first hand information about coaches, schools and the recruiting process." Their interviews with current students, coaches, and professional athletes have provided realistic guidance. I am much more informed because of LRT Sports! The coach ratings are the most helpful. LRT Sports interviews allow us to hear from students as to how the adults are impacting not only their athletic experience but also how they are helping to shape their adult self.
The C.A.L.C. was thrilled to have Keirsten Sires come and speak to us on multiple topics relevant to high school athletics today, including recruiting. Keirsten reached all of our students and left them with great strategies that will not only help on the fields, courts, and mats, but also in the game of recruiting. She was a true professional and delivered a wonderful message.
Now that the recruiting process and the related stress is over, I wanted to thank you for your guidance. You did so much more than we had expected. Once you started the process by matching the best academic schools first, not the best sport programs, I knew you were the one. The way you laid out a timeline of contacting coaches, visits, and camps completely took any guesswork out of the plan for us. All of the student athletes that you put us in touch with gave us a look from the inside, and made us more comfortable knowing what was coming. Finally, using your website as a resource for knowing what to expect from different coaches based on former recruit reviews gave my son confidence before our meetings. There is no way we could have figured this out on our own, you really put us in a great position when decision time came.
I think hearing from other athletes is very beneficial. To be able to learn from people’s mistakes, and to be able to have access to those voices is really helpful; especially voices that have been there and done that. It’s very important for people to have access to information that could benefit them, and in this case there are many voices that can help the next wave of athletes.
If you have something that’s going to spell [the recruiting process] out for you… it’s so valuable. I think what everyone at LRT Sports is doing to spread the word and help advocate and educate athletes on the recruitment process is incredible.
Without question would have used LRT Sports. It would have probably been one of the most valuable tools that I could have had. If you want to know what these coaches are really like then I think this is the best tool out there. I’m really glad you are allowing recruits to have a resource like this moving forward.