RT Staff Note: The following is an excerpt from the book Athletes Wanted...By Chris Krause, CEO of The National Collegiate Scouting Association in Chicago.
FOR PARENTS, the recruiting process can be one of the greatest
challenges—a test of patience, endurance, and discipline all wrapped
into one exhilarating yet anxiety-plagued package. In some ways,
parents have been preparing for this time since rst enrolling their child
in AYSO soccer, Little League baseball, or Pop Warner football. Th ey
have invested time, money, and sweat for a decade. It can feel as if Mom
and Dad have almost as much at stake as the athlete does.
A parent’s primary challenge is to walk the the line between
guiding the athlete through the process and becoming overbearing.
Parents might be tempted to take full control, especially when they see
how overwhelming the experience can be. A parent’s goal is to fi nd the
middle ground between a “hands on ” parent and one who micromanages
every move the student makes.
These parents o ffer a certain threat to their children. By taking complete control of the process, these parents jeopardize their children’s ability to learn and grow from the experience. As well, they can annoy the living daylights out of college
Bob Chmiel, NCSA Education Speaker and former football coach at Notre Dame, said he stayed a mile away from children of “we dads.”
“You always know who the ‘we dads’ are because they start every sentence with the word we. ‘We are applying to Georgetown. We had a great season.’”
Chmiel goes on to explain that college coaches do not want to be
distracted by overbearing, meddlesome parents, so a parent who seems
too controlling might actually hurt an otherwise-quali ed student’s
ability to be recruited.
Perhaps Chris Ducar, North Carolina’s assistant women’s soccer
coach put it best. Ducar once told me that in his twelve years as a coach,
he has never once recruited a mom or dad to play for him.
“It isn’t unusual to drop a prospect from the recruiting
board because the parents are a problem,” said Randy
Taylor, former recruiting coordinator for UCLA .
Some parents, on the other hand, take a completely hands-o ff
approach, even though the athlete is still a teenager and can lose focus.
A gentle guiding hand is the perfect touch, though not always easy for a
parent to produce.