College Recruiting Process | Tips for Parents

Parents can be a strong support system for their childs recruiting process. They can help navigate their child through the ups and downs of their recruiting journey. Most importantly, a parent’s role should be to guide and support their child in a positive way.

LRT Sports sat down with Brian Pinkney, a father of two, who guided his daughter through the Division I hockey recruiting process. Brian just went  through the process and wanted to give advice to parents who are beginning the recruiting process.  

LRT Sports: In your opinion, what should the parent’s role be when it comes to the recruiting process?

They should be there for support, be 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?

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 child?

Be there for your child. Try to listen to what they want and just be supportive. Parents should offer opinions and options for the child to ponder.

LRT Sports: What should parents not do when going through the recruiting process with their child?

Let the child do the talking as much as possible, also let the child take in the view of the school visit without comment. It is the child’s life/future, and they need to see it through their eyes.

LRT Sports: Do you think you should have a say in your child’s final decision?

Yes, to some extent, only intervene if the child is making a grave error in judgment.

LRT Sports: Do you wish you knew more about the recruiting process before your child went through it? 

Yes, but knowledge is power. To be informed is necessary. The information is out there, but the parent has to do their homework to find it, talk to people in the know, and sift through the info given.

LRT Sports: Where did you find information on the recruiting process?

Older players’ parents, online, coaches, players already in the system that the child is being recruited to, 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?

Not sure on that as every kids’ needs are very different, and there is competition for a few choice spots. This is a competition, 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?

I tried, it was stressful for the whole family unit to go through. I can’t imagine how hard it was for the child to go through.

LRT Sports: As a parent, what was the most stressful part of the process?

Hoping that the right decision was made, as it is life-changing for the child concerned.

LRT Sports: In a coach’s viewpoint, what do you think is the biggest mistake parents make during the process?

Speaking for the child. Demanding. Just getting too involved in the recruitment of child. The recruiters have a process that they follow, and parent interfering does not help in the child’s recruitment. The parent does not want to be labeled a ‘problem parent.’

LRT Sports: What is the best piece of advice that you can offer to other parents?

Be educated and informed. The internet is your workplace for this. There is no such thing as too much knowledge on the prospective schools, recruitment, and staff involved. Try to have some fun with the process as well, as this is a magical experience that you get to have 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, but is spread out over several weeks. Do not make rash, off the cuff decisions, without talking it out with child and looking at options. Also seek advice from trusted people in the know, in confidence.

Image courtesy of: Lacrosse goes Ballistic

* Originally published on August 28, 2017, by Kaila Pinkney

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