The college recruiting process often spans most of the athlete’s high school career. With so many schools and opportunities to choose from, the life-changing decision indefinitely impacts your child’s future. Consider all deciding factors such as athletic programs, financial aid, academics, and location when determining the best fit for your family. With the assistance of parents, LRT Sports minimizes this time-consuming and stressful process by turning it into a fun, learning experience. LRT Sports interviewed Brian Pinkney, a father of two, about guiding his daughter through the recruiting process for Division I hockey. As the parent of a recently recruited student-athlete, Pinkney kindly offers advice to high school parents.
LRT Sports: In your opinion, what should the parent’s role be when it comes to the recruiting process?
Pinkney: They should be a support system, a supervisor, a fact-finder, a verifier, an organizer, a driver, a financier, and an assistant.
LRT Sports: Should there be a limit of how involved a parent(s) should be in the recruiting process?
Pinkney: It is hard to put a limit on this, as each family dynamic is different.
LRT Sports: What advice can you give as far as what a parent should do when going through the recruiting process with their athlete?
Pinkney: Be there for your child. Try to listen to what they want and just be supportive. Parents should offer opinions and options for the athlete to consider.
LRT Sports: What should parents not do when going through the recruiting process with their athlete?
Pinkney: Always let your athlete take the lead and allow them to enjoy the school without your personal opinions. It is their life and future. They need to imagine their experience through their eyes, not yours.
LRT Sports: Do you think you should have a say in your athlete’s final decision?
Pinkney: Yes, to some extent, only intervene if the athlete is making a grave error in judgment.
LRT Sports: Do you wish you knew more about the recruiting process before your athlete went through it?
Pinkney: Yes, knowledge is power, especially with recruiting dates, signing deadlines, unofficial and official visits. Informed athletes and parents will impress coaches with their interest in the school. The parents must do their homework to be prepared, talk to friends that were recruited, and sift through the information to offer your student an educated decision.
LRT Sports: Where did you find information on the recruiting process?
Pinkney: Older players’ parents, online, coaches, players on the team recruiting my athlete, and grads.
LRT Sports: Do you think it would be beneficial to have a parent network where you could connect with other parents during the process?
Pinkney: Not sure about that as every kids’ needs are very different, and there is competition for a few choice spots. This is a competition. You want your child to stand out and one does not want to reveal all their cards to fellow competitors during the recruiting process.
LRT Sports: Did you help make this a fun process for your child?
Pinkney: I tried. It was stressful for the whole family unit to go through. I can’t imagine how hard it was for my child to go through.
LRT Sports: As a parent, what was the most stressful part of the process?
Pinkney: Trusting that the right decision was made, as it is life-changing for every athlete hoping to be recruited.
LRT Sports: In a coach’s viewpoint, what do you think is the biggest mistake parents make during the process?
Pinkney: Speaking for your child, demanding too much, and being overly involved in the recruitment of the athlete. The recruiters have a process that they follow, and parent interfering does not help in your child’s recruitment. No parent wants to be labeled a ‘problem parent’. Coaches are looking for a good fit with the family dynamic as well.
LRT Sports: What is the best piece of advice that you can offer to other parents?
Pinkney: Be educated and informed. The internet is your workplace for this. There is no such thing as too much knowledge of the prospective schools, recruitment, and staff involved. Try to have some fun with the process as well, especially with college visits. This is a magical experience that you get to start with your child. It should be special for the family too. Be patient, this is not a 2-hour new car deal, at a dealership. It is spread out over several weeks or even months. Do not make rash, off the cuff decisions, without talking it out with your athlete and looking at all of the options. Also, seek advice from trusted people that have experience in recruiting to commit with confidence.
Image courtesy of Lacrosse Goes Ballistic.
Updated on 8/3/19 by Jessica Lamb
Posted on August 28, 2017 in Recruiting 101
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.