Q&A with a parent who used Recruiting-101 to own the recruiting process

Navigating the recruiting process for the first time is a difficult process but thousands of families have done it using Recruiting-101.com.  We caught up with a parent who shared their story about how they did it without using an overpriced recruiting service.  

Overall, how would you describe the recruiting process that you went through? 
Only one that I’ve been through, but I’d say it was about what was expected from reading your website and doing other research. It was informative, eye-opening, entertaining at times. 

What was your background with athletics/recruiting prior to when this started? 
None, other than what I saw occasionally on ESPN and all-star bowls for high school and college. 

How did you use Recruiting-101 to aid you during the process? 
Read the website every day; read past posts that were grouped by subject; reread important posts that may have had insight to what we should look for during a visit or conducting a conversation. 

When looking back, how do you feel it went? 
I thought it went great.

What was the most exciting part of the recruiting process? 
The actual visits; listening to the coaches while touring campuses and getting a feel for what it might be like my son to attend school and be a part of the athletic program.

As a parent, how much impact do you feel you had in the decision of your child? 
Some; most direct impact occurred in the 18 years prior to getting to this point. A lot of indirect impact as we were visiting, I was asking lots of questions, he was asking some. Before we set foot on any campus, I explained that as he was walking around, listening to the various coaches and academic personnel, that he needed to envision himself there at 6:00am when the alarm went off, go to training room, go get breakfast, hustle to class, deal with professors asking him questions he may not know the answer to, grab lunch, another class or lab, practice at 3:30, then to dinner, then study group, work on research paper, and then get to bed by 12:00 midnight and get ready to get up at 6:00 the next morning ready to do it again. Was he comfortable with the facilities; was he comfortable with the position coaches; their approach to practicing and games; the dorm rooms; was he going to be comfortable in the library at the mandatory study sessions, etc.. 

Did they listen to your input? 
I believe so. Again, knowing your own child, you know how much or little emphasis to put on issues to effectively communicate what the important things are and how he should be wrapping his mind around things while he’s figuring out where he wants to go and what he wants to do. 

How big of a role did academics really play in their final decision? 
Huge. Of the 3 schools that showed interest, 1 was effectively eliminated after the visit because of the academics. The other 2 that showed interest (and 1 we pursued and they were interested after he was admitted) all had excellent academics. 

Did your child know what areas interested them for a major and was research done in regards to academics offered at each school? 
My son has no idea what he wants to do; the schools we were choosing from actually like that answer. He thinks he might know about 1 area he is interested in, but it’s only a guess and he’ll find out more. We did investigate the academics at each school and know what the strengths and weaknesses of each institution are. 

Did you put a highlight video together for your children? 
No. He put together the film with the assistance of the head coach after the season was over after schools showed up indicating interest. 

Did you use a recruiting service for your children? Why or why not? 
No, no recruiting service. Quite frankly, until the season was over and coaches started showing up, he and we had no idea that we should even think about shopping him around as a player. 

Did you child attend camps to help their recruiting? If so, did it work? 
No camps. No mailers and no interest from any place. We’re in a rural area, so I think the opportunities are limited. There is a Div. 1 school here in town, and they do a summer camp, but it’s generally available for kids who want to pursue skill development, not a private invite where you pay to play. 

How truthful were the coaches during the process? 
Very. I was quite impressed with the athletic and academic presentations and what to expect and what was expected. It was refreshing. 

How many offers/options were they seriously considering? 

What were the best things that you did to help your child during the process? 
Put together a box with file folders to keep the paperwork from each school organized. Ask him daily if he received any texts and phone calls from any coaches and their staff. Discuss the questions and statements that were made by the coaches and staff. Go with him to the visits; take a very hands off approach when it came to talking to coaches and staff during those visits so they could focus on him. Then reminding him during the visits about what he should be looking at as far as placing himself on that campus on that day and being a potential student. Ultimately, reminding him that it’s his life, and that we support him whatever choice he makes (we just make sure to explain the pros and cons of any decision). 

If you could hit the reset button and do everything over again, what would you change? 
Probably be better prepared after his junior year, get the highlight film ready sooner. 

Any other tips of interest? 
Know your own child the best you can; that definitely helps ensure the best fit possible at a college and makes sure you focus on the ones that are likely candidates which will lead to a satisfying education and athletic career. As they say, it’s not just a 4 year decision, it’s a 40 year decision.

A special thanks to this parent for their help.

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