Smart college coaches don’t just recruit based on athletic ability. They look at everything, from academics to character to coachability to fit to attitude to family situations. You name it, they look at it. And with that in mind, parents need to start understanding how regularly they hurt their own children in the recruiting process.
Tomorrow, and moving forward, we’ll cover some specific types of words and behavior that turn college coaches off. However, for the first post on this topic, we need to establish the framework of this discussion first.
If your child is a high school All-American with extraordinary productivity and athletic gifts who dominates against high-level competition, you as a parent can be a lunatic-fringe axe murderer and your child will still attract plenty of recruiting attention. However, for 99.9% of all high school athletes who aspire to play in college, parents can make a big difference in the recruiting process (positively or negatively).
Here’s a good rule of thumb that college coaches live by: a kid’s talent has to be bigger than his or her problems. And you had better believe that many parents get discussed in recruiting meetings under the sub-heading “problems.” So, if your child is obviously better than anyone else on a given school’s recruiting board, that school will likely be willing to put up with you, even if you’re perceived as being difficult. However, if the talent gap between your child and the other children on that school’s recruiting board is narrow, or if there is no gap, some other well behaved parent’s child will be the one signing the scholarship.
We can not think of a parent who would deliberately hurt their own child, and yet parents ruin their children’s recruiting options all the time. So, moving forward, if you’re a parent, please keep a low profile and stay on your best behavior (especially when college coaches are present). Remember the old recruiting-decision adage: when the talent is a tie, the scholarship goes to the problem-free kid. We would like to amend that adage to say: when the talent is a tie, the scholarship goes to the kid with non-difficult parents.
Thank you very much for reading. We hope these comments are helpful.