On the road to recruitment: While the recruit will make the final decision, the process has an impact on the whole family.

While most of the time, our reports deal with what the potential student-athlete is doing and thinking, but what about his parents?  eDuck.com had the opportunity to speak with a parent of a 4-star athlete who is now entered into the recruiting process. His mother asked to remain anonymous so that she does not affect her son’s recruitment. With that, here are her observations of recruiting.

Are you having fun with your son recruitment?

Overall, it is a fun process in terms of watching my son receiving offers; seeing him interact with coaches and schools, and watching him realize the possibilities that are out there for his football career and beyond. 

 

How stressful is the process?

For me, the process is not too stressful.  I just have to coordinate time and travel.  I am okay with limited time and travel that we currently have.  It is important to me that we manage the process and doing what is reasonable given the demands of school, football, and family. 

For my son, it is stressful at times.  He has a lot of contact with fans and coaches via social media and otherwise.  At times, he feels the pressure to make a decision earlier rather than later, in particular, because he does not want to lose his spot at a school.  As he gets closer to National Signing Day, I expect the stress to increase.

Do you like football?

Yes, I am a huge football fan of mostly college and high school.  My preference is watching people that I know play or teams that I have an interest in.

What has surprised you the most about this process?

Listening to what coaches say has been interesting.  Coaches that have coached in the NFL tend to talk to my son a little bit differently than those that have raised through the high school ranks.  It is not a bad difference.  The conversations are just noticeably different. 

Some coaches tend to be more open in their discussions.  When listening to those coaches, you hear things that you did not hear from other coaches.  The differences in information help you to understand the process better and to know what to look and listen for.

What’s your biggest concern(s) in regards to your child’s choice of school?

Anytime your child leaves the nest, there is always concern.  As a football recruit, my concerns are about the coaches and how they will handle situations that my son may find himself in, both on and off the field.  I want to know that he will be treated fairly and situations will be handled appropriately.  I want to know that if a situation arises that I feel that I have to come to campus to discuss with him, then he will look me in the eye and have an honest and open conversation with me. 

As a parent, I am also concerned about academics and injury.  I would like my son to attend school where there are great medical facilities, so that in the event of an injury, he can receive outstanding medical care.  Academic support also needs to be outstanding.  Where athletes can major in what they want to major and have the support of coaches and support services to do well.  The academic support needs to include a career planning and placement component so that he can be prepared for life outside of football. 

 

Lastly, I want my son to be near family or very good friends so that he has a support network off campus.  If he can go home for the holidays or wants a home cooked meal, then he has somewhere nearby that he can go. 

 

Will you go on any recruiting trips?

We have been and continue to go on unofficial visits.  When it is time, I will go with him on official visits as well as much as my schedule with permit.

Is hosting an in house visit with a coaching stuff fun or a burden?

My son is not far enough in the recruiting process to have home visits yet.  I expect that on some level, the home visits will be fun.  Of course, with my son receiving so much interest from a variety of schools, I am anticipating that scheduling may be a challenge.  I am sure that we will have to decide which coaches will be able to come by and which may not.

How much say will the family have in his decision?

At the end of the day, my son will make the decision.  His immediate and extended family has been and will continue to talk with him about different schools, coaches, the recruiting process, etc.  We will continue to provide him with guidance so that he can make the best decision possible.

What the oddest thing a coach has said or asked you?

To date, we have had one coach tell me that he had his staff google me.  We have had another coach tell us that they as coaches go to sessions at conferences to learn how to get kids to commit to their school.  You really have no response to either of those coaches other than, “OK” and then keep the conversation moving.

If you could change one thing about recruiting, what would it be?

With the recruiting process starting earlier and earlier in an athlete’s career, the recruiting process and rules need to evolve some with that.  For example, it is hard for families to set up unofficial visits if coaches are not able to call, email, or message parents and athletes back prior to Sept 1 of their junior year.  Confirming visits and getting other needed information about the visit often means going through a high school coach or another third party.  I often say that my son receives the bat signal from his high school coach to call a college coach.  As a parent with my own work and other family obligations, I don’t have time to keep calling coaches to catch up with them, especially when there is a time difference.  


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