The entire family needs to buy into the athletic recruiting process for it to be successful and end how you hope

Recently I had the opportunity to speak with a football recruit.  This player is currently a junior who has limited interest from college coaches.  From speaking with him and his dad, it appears that he has followed some of the information on this site and marketed himself to a variety of schools across the country.  What is interesting is how varied the schools are and that makes me think that they are finding schools that may be a good match for them. 

The marketing part is something I am all for.  The problem with the situation is that when talking to the athlete, he wasn’t exactly sure what schools were showing him interest.  He said that his dad is his “recruiting coordinator” and that he handles it.  It is great for a dad (or a mom for that matter) to play an active role in the recruiting process.  The problem with the situation is that it seemed like the dad was doing it all and his son had little clue what was going on.  In order for the athletic recruiting process in any sport to be a success, everyone has to buy in. 

So why shouldn’t just a parent handle the recruiting process?  That question can be answered simply.  The mom or dad doing it all is not the one that will be going to the school for four or five years.  While the goal is for the family to be on the same page, my guess is that not everyone is looking for exactly the same thing in a school.  For dad, the main concern could be price.  For mom, it may be location and being close to home.  For their son, it could end up being that the school is on the west coast. 

I have talked about early on why it is so important to have a family meeting and talk about what the entire family wants out of a school.  The mom, dad, and son should all have input in what schools they want to market the athlete to.  But when it comes down to a final decision, the input from the son (or child if this is another sport) has to be the most important.  They have to be the one pulling the final trigger and deciding where they go to college. 

In order to give the athlete the best options overall in the recruiting process, their input must be used often in the marketing process.  If a mom or dad is the one doing all of the work, then their recruiting base may be skewed on what they want, not what the athlete wants.  As I said earlier, if dad is doing all the work and price is the biggest concern, do you really think he is not going to cross off schools that may cost more than $25,000?  Dad may end up crossing off all of the Division III private schools because of sticker shock as to how much they cost.  That is a huge problem because there are academic scholarships, grants, aid, and even student loans to help pay the costs involved. 

If mom was running the showing as the recruiting coordinator and location is her biggest priority, then would the athlete get much benefit if the only schools that were marketed to were the ones that were either in-state or in the surrounding states?  If either parent had the biggest say, then the overall amount of schools available would be limited because of their own preferences.  That is why the preference of the athletes comes first.  If he is limiting schools simply because it doesn’t have the major he wants or is too close to home, that is perfectly fine.  You have to remember that he is the one going to the college so they have to be the ones buying in the most to their decision.  In the end, it affects them the most so they should have the biggest say. 

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