Parental bias and why it is something you will never be able to get past in order to objectively evaluate your son or daughter

Why parents cannot objectively evaluate the athletic abilities of their children and how that can factor into the recruiting processEveryone reading this may think that they are a Division I player in their sport of choice but that is obviously not the case.  And because being realistic is such a vital part of the athletic recruiting process, in my opinion, getting a better feel of what level you really can play at is important.  I have mentioned how vital it is to get an evaluation that is not bias because that should help you figure out where you really are.

The problem with this is that parents think that they can give the evaluation.  They can take the 15-18 years of parenting out of the equation and the hard work that their child has put in yet still give an honest evaluation about what level an athlete can play at.  Even if they could find a way to take out the baggage included in the equation, parents and even more high school coaches have no clue what it takes to play at certain levels athletically.  I have been doing this for over a decade now and I still don’t think that I know everything about the recruiting process and what makes an athlete Division I vs. Division II.

The reason why that an evaluation from parents can be so tough is because it throws out of whack where an athlete should be looking to continue their career at collegiately.  For example, you have a crazy dad who thinks that you can play Division I football (even as a 5-foot-8, 170 pound linebacker) because he is a college football expert and watches games every Saturday.

Even if you played varsity as a freshman, that size will come back and haunt you every year that you try to get recruited.  You follow the advice of this site and market yourself only to Division I-A (BCS) college football programs.  They show some interest because you do have a solid recruiting highlight video.  He takes that as they really want you and they are probably going to offer you a full ride.  Obviously in this scenario, the dad is living his life through you so get used to it.

Because of his high feelings about your abilities, he doesn’t want to stoop to the level of Division I-AA (FCS) and Division II programs.  He tells you not to return phone calls from them or fill out questionnaires because you are a sure fire Division I-A player (still not realizing the whole 5-foot-8 thing).  This type of effort will sabotage the entire football recruiting process for you.  Not only will it shut door, it will piss off college coaches who your dad is making it seem that you are better than.  When it is too late, they will have already moved on in the process.

I believe that I am a very objective person.  I don’t have a huge bias towards a certain college program or team and feel that regardless of the situation, I can give a clear and fair view of the situation.  The problem I have come to realize is that when you have your own kid, it is impossible to take out the years you have spent raising him or her.  I already know my son is the best at whatever he does and I really do feel that way.  Again, I normally try not to let bias cloud my view but I feel strongly about my son.

How will that factor in when he starts playing sports and if he chooses down the road, wants to get recruited?  I have no idea but it certainly would be a tough pill to swallow if his dream was to play Division I and he just wasn’t good enough.  But the fact remains that this happens all the time.  Not everyone is good enough, fast enough, tall enough, or big enough to play at that level.

So don’t let your judgment of what you believe a clear evaluation to haunt your child throughout the athletic recruiting process.  This is another great example of until a written scholarship offer comes, it is important to market yourself to schools at all levels.  You never know what will happen (an injury or something else) so keeping your options open at all levels is a great way to protect against that, regardless if you think you are down playing your child’s abilities by having them accept a Division II scholarship.  If he or she is getting school paid for, then you as a parent can live with it.

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