Red Flags that Make College Coaches Run from a Recruit
It’s your child’s junior year. Finally, after lots of email interaction, the head coach of the first-choice school your child is dying to attend shows up on the sidelines of a huge competition. Your child performs even better than you have ever seen him or her play before. They are shining! The college coach walks over to speak with the club travel coach and asks a few questions. Then the recruiter walks on to their next competition. You never hear from that college coach ever again. What on earth happened?????
I have been a college coach for 14 years and am the author of the book, Looking For A FULL RIDE?: An Insider’s Recruiting Guide, where we have interviewed 65 college coaches and athletic directors over the past 2.5 years. In all of my experience as a college coach and through the research for my book, I have witnessed and discussed this type of scene playing out many times before. Why on earth did the coach leave and lose interest in this student-athlete?
Do you want to hear the reality? There are a variety of reasons of why a coach’s interest tapered off after watching them play live. Perhaps the recruiting video was misleading and the coach discovered they weren’t the type of student-athlete the college needed for that recruiting class. Maybe, they had another player recently commit who is very similar to your child. Or they saw something that makes them question if they are the right fit overall for the program.
I pride myself with being a straight-shooter when it comes to the world of recruiting. Are you ready for this? Oftentimes, what is lacking in fit has NOTHING to do with the student-athlete. It is actually the parent’s actions at the competition that causes the college coach not to offer an opportunity for their child. WHAT? Coach Renee, are you serious?
YES. If a college coach sees a parent acting wild and crazy, yelling at officials or coaches, they tend to move on. Or when they hear a parent who criticizes the coach’s decisions about positions or playing time, the recruiter does an about face. Or when a parent points out mistakes of other athletes on the team, and then makes sure everyone knows how great their child is down the entire sideline. Or worse, they walk up and down telling every college coach that walks by how they need to watch their kid because they are simply a game changer. Simply put, college coaches only want families who will be supporting the team as a whole and not being a helicopter parent.
It does not matter the talent level of the student-athlete. College coaches simply cannot take the risk of having a parent wearing their school emblem in the future who may behave in a poor fashion. They have a lot of choices when it comes to offering athletic scholarships and simply choose to go in a different direction. Want to hear another story similar to this happening in reality of the student-athlete acting poorly when I was recruiting? Read this blog “Beyond the X’s and O’s”.
While every parent loves their child, it is important to understand how and when to allow their child to grow and stand on their own two feet. Over the past few months, we discussed where the boundaries need to be drawn when it comes to the college recruiting process in multiple blogs for parents: “How Can Parents of High School Student-Athletes Score Points with College Coaches?” and “My Student-Athlete Is Soooooo Busy….I’ll Just Contact the College Coach for Them!: 3 Reasons Parents Should Not Toe the Line”.
Janis B. Meredith is a parenting coach who wants to help parents raise champions. She provides resources to help parents give their children a positive and growing youth sports experience. A few weeks ago, she authored this article below on www.usafootball.com. It is very appropriate when it comes to the college recruiting process to make sure parents are going down the right path. More importantly, parents should make sure they are not causing college coaches to retreat and run the other way because of their behavior.
5 Signs You are a Helicopter Parent
(reprinted with permission)
The term “helicopter parent” was first used in Dr. Haim Ginott’s 1969 book Parents & Teenagers by teens who claimed their parents hovered over them like a helicopter.
But there is a fine line between being a loving, caring, involved parent and being an over-involved, hovering parent. The temptation is for parents to become so involved that they lose perspective on what their kids really need. Many parents blur those lines and don’t even realize they are hovering.
How do you know when you’ve crossed that line? If you show any of these signs, you may be hovering too much.
1. You act as if you are your child’s agent, always trying to prove that your son or daughter is smart, talented, or beautiful.
This shows up in the form of constant bragging or trying to “sell” your kid to everyone you talk to. It’s one thing to be a proud sports parent; it’s another to be constantly bragging and reminding every other parent how skilled your child is.
2. You jump in to at the first sign of conflict between your child and another child.
Before you jump in out of fear that your child can’t handle the situation, step back and see how he handles it; you might be surprised.
3. As your child gets older, you plan out every day and fill it with activities so they will not be bored.
You think that filling his time with scheduled events that are educational or that pushing him athletically or musically will make him a well-rounded individual. The honest truth is that it’s good for kids to be bored now and then; it forces them to use their brains to come up with ways to entertain themselves.
4. You want your child to get good grades, so you become his personal homework assistant.
Let your kid do his own projects! How many times have you seen science projects that looked suspiciously like they were done by parents? How does that benefit your child? He is not learning much if Mom or Dad is doing most of the work.
5. You fight your child’s battles in youth sports and in the classroom.
When your child isn’t getting the playing time or can’t play the position he wants, you confront the coach. Your child can talk; let him handle it. When your child isn’t getting the grades you want, you confront the teacher as if it’s his or her fault. Your child can talk; why not let him talk to his teacher or perhaps you two talk about it and go to the teacher together?
The goal is to be involved without hovering. Engaged parents know how give their kids love, acceptance, self-confidence, guidance, and opportunities to grow without always being in control.
“The problem is that, once parenting becomes governed by fear and decisions based on what might happen, it is hard to keep in mind all the things kids learn when we are not right next to them or guiding each step,” Dr. Gilboa, Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School, explains. “Failure and challenges teach kids new skills, and, most important, teach kids that they can handle failure and challenges.”
The college recruiting process will not always be easy. However, we are here to help! We want to educate you and show you the way to finding the right fit for your family.
Confused and overwhelmed? Join some our 8 FB groups. Get our FREE Special Report: Strategies to Emailing A College Coach by entering your information in the form to the right of this blog.
Want more help? Contact Veteran College Coach Renee to do a 1 on 1 consulting session at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want some help for your entire organization? Coach Renee is currently booking seminars and webinars for this fall and a few summer dates available. For more info, contact email@example.com.
Want some help with the recruiting process? Join some of our 9 Facebook Groups:
- Parents of High School Student Athletes Walking Through The Process (All Sports)
- Beyond Xs & Os 4 HS Athletes: Health, Recruiting, Team Building, Mental Training (All Sports)
- Athletic Recruiting Education for Principals, AD's, and Counselors (All Sports)
- Club/HS Coaches Learning College Recruiting Process (All Sports)
- Play College Soccer (Soccer Specifically)
- College Recruiting for GK's (Soccer Specifically)
- Positive Team Building for Pro, College, HS, and Youth Coaches (All Sports)
- Mindset & Leadership Lessons for Athletes, Coaches/Teachers, & Business Leaders (All Sports & Business Leaders)
- Christian Competitors (Coaches & Athletes Serving Christ @Field/Court/Gym) (Sports Ministry for All)
Would you like her to do individual consulting with your family to get an insider’s perspective?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Did you know Coach Renee Lopez can come to your school or sports organization?
Email email@example.com for more details.
Coach Renee Lopez
As a 17 year coaching veteran, Coach Renee Lopez is a recruiting expert for high school student-athletes. She uses her NCAA Division I, II, and NAIA Head Coaching experience to help families navigate the recruiting process to be identified by college coaches and help them find the right “fit” for playing at the next level. She has produced 3 All-Americans, over 30 All-Conference athletes and Her teams have been honored with awards for team academic accomplishments, sportsmanship, and sports ministry. In addition, Coach Renee Lopez has been named Coach of the Year by her peers.
She presents recruiting seminars across the country, has recently been featured in USA Weekly, with the National Alliance for Youth Sports, on SiriusXM Radio and ESPN Radio. She is the author of the book, Looking For A FULL RIDE?: An Insider’s Recruiting Guide where she has interviewed over 65 college recruiters across all sports and college levels. In addition, she runs 9 Facebook groups to help facilitate conversations on college recruiting education, coaching education, leadership development, and sports ministry. She is also a certified speaker, trainer and coach for the John Maxwell Team, Jon Gordon Company, 3Dimensional Coaching, and the Positive Coaching Alliance.
She also does private consulting for student-athletes and their families to help in understanding the often daunting process of recruiting. (See one family’s testimonial.) If you are looking for help in the college recruiting process, please email Coach Renee Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org.