The impact of crazy helicopter parents during the athletic recruiting process

When a college coach starts recruiting an athlete, they realize that they are getting you as an entire package.  This includes your abilities on the court/field, your skills in the class room, and unfortunately for some coaches, that also means dealing with your parents for the next four or five years.  Let me stress that the majority of parents that I have dealt with over the years have been outstanding.  They may feel that their son or daughter is better than they really are but they are far from crazy during the athletic recruiting process.

However, there are some parents who take that crazy title to a completely different level.  I will go into a few interesting stories that I have dealt with and/or heard in the past few years.  But while the stories are funny, there is no doubt in my mind that this type of parent will scare away college coaches at a drop of a hat.  Coaches at the next level have enough to worry about and would prefer not to have to listen to a parent calling them weekly as to why their son or daughter isn’t play.  So keep that in mind before screaming at a college coach because they didn’t think your child was good enough to get a scholarship.

The first story is in regards to a football player.  His mother was a single mom and this was her baby.  Because of that, she couldn’t actually see the entire situation clearly.  After one game, her son only received a few passes thrown his way during the game.  In the end, the team dominated and earned a big win.  This was however not what the mom was thinking about.  She confronted an assistant coach and screamed about how her son wasn’t getting enough touches.  This was all done in front of a college coach who was there watching the game.  As soon as the college coach saw this, he told the head coach of the high school team that he was no longer interested in recruiting this athlete.

The second story happened early this decade and regarded a basketball player.  This athlete put up some big numbers throughout his high school career but just didn’t seem to have the size to get a scholarship at the Division I level.  Throughout the entire process, the family thought they they knew everything and could not figure out why their son was not getting an offer for hoops.  Instead of trying to take the bias out of the situation (which is hard as a parent), these crazy parents thought that they were basically get black balled by the college coaches because their son was white.  These same parents also threatened a lawsuit against the local newspaper if they planned to print a quote that had been said by their son.  The family thought it was something that would hurt his recruiting, even though he said it.

Try to consider both situations from the eyes of a college coach.  First off, would you really want to offer either of these athletes a scholarship simply knowing that you will have to be dealing with the player (and their parents) over the next few seasons?  What is even stranger about the entire situation is that both athletes were great kid.  It was their parents who had the issues.

Like when trying to market yourself, there is a fine line as a parent between informing college coaches about your son and letting them evaluate them versus getting mad that they are not offering your child a scholarship.  I know enough college coaches at all levels don’t want to deal with a parent who is high maintenance.

The college coaches want parents who trust their judgment and leave the coaching up to those at the college level.  Yes, it is never great when your child has to sit the bench.  But if there is a reason as to why they are, have your child speak with the coach and ask them what they can do to help themselves earn playing time.  This type of attitude is something that the coaches love to see first hand and it shows that an athlete wants to get on the floor.  Getting that same question from a parent is a different situation and one that should likely be avoided during the athletic recruiting process.






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