How much input should parents have in a final decision during the athletic recruiting process?

How much input should parents having in the athletic recruiting process?I hate to say it but if I had to guess, I would assume at least 75% of the readers on this site are parents.  They are parents who are trying to learn about the athletic recruiting process and what it takes their son or daughter to get a scholarship offer.  I can guess that many think they are very far behind and hope to be able to make up time by reading this site (and you can!).

So if a parents is a major part of the recruiting process and is likely going to help pay for at least part of college, they should have a huge say on where their child goes, right?  That is a very tough question because there are some parents who are completely hands off and others who basically think they are going through the recruiting process.  So with that in mind, we answer how much the opinion of a parent should matter.

At this point in the year, I can assume that the athletic recruiting process is very stressful for all families.  The reason may be because dad may want his son to go to the most inexperience school, mom wants him to go to the one closest to home, and son wants to go walk-on at a $30,000 a year university.  Who is right here?  How do you decide?

First off, I don’t care if you are paying the entire tuition bill parents, you have to leave the final decision up to your son or daughter.  The reason is because if you force them down a certain path that may be closer to home or more cost effective, chances are that they are going to rebel against that.

If they want to go to Expensive Out of State University, then you need to run the numbers with them.  Yes, it won’t be easy for an 18-year old but they need to understand the cost per year, how much you as a family can pay, what scholarships they can get, and how much in student loans they will be paying (yes parents, student loans are something you probably have to look into).  If you can contribute $5,000 per year and scholarships contribute $5,000 per year, that leaves you with $80,000 in student loans.  Explain to them the dollar amount and what they will be paying for the 20-years after they get out of college in monthly payments.

The best thing that a parent can do is provide support during the entire process.  That is the reason that you are reading this site, right?  If you have a football player who has excelled, then you should know the importance of putting together a recruiting highlight video (see for more).  For basketball players, playing AAU essential.  The same can be said about club teams for volleyball.  Chances are that your teenager doesn’t know this stuff so you need to learn more in order to help them get properly evaluated.

If you do that, take them on visits, and help your relationship grow while spending all of this time together on road trips (don’t let them sleep, listen to headphones, or text the entire time), then your entire family can have input in the final college decision.  It is your role as the parent to help present them with organization and information that will aid them in making the most informed decision possible.  If you do that, then maybe they will go to the school you are pushing them towards.  You may have an opinion but keep it to yourself because it needs to be them that makes the final college call in the end to make them happy.

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