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4 Recruiting Tips for Parents

By Next College Student Athlete, 10/09/19, 1:15PM CDT


Do you know when’s a good time to introduce your student-athlete to a college coach? How about ways to stay on track academically and athletically?

We’ve got you covered with four ways to manage the recruiting process.

Although parents are encouraged to be supportive during the recruiting process, this goes to a certain extent. College coaches want to interact directly with the student-athlete. It is understandable that parents want to be completely involved, but sometimes it’s best to take a backseat. Parents should have practice conversations with their child to get them prepared to be evaluated by college coaches but once it’s time, let them shine.

Parents don’t always know when they’re being evaluated by college coaches. And they don’t always understand how to make a positive impact on their child’s recruiting process without getting in the way. To help you embrace your supporting role and assist your child on their quest to play college sports, here are four recruiting tips for parents.

Pick the right time to introduce yourself to coaches

When it comes to college recruiting, timing is everything. Approaching a college coach when you see them evaluating another student-athlete may not be the best time to get your son’s information to the college basketball scout. Yes, coaches want to get to know the parents of their prospects, but they’re also focused on their job.

Recruits should understand that there are evaluation periods, and this allows coaches to watch recruits, but they aren’t allowed to communicate with them or their parents. Evaluation periods vary from sport to sport, so stay up to date on the periods for your sport, so you know when it’s a good time to connect with a college coach.

So, when’s a good time to approach a college coach for a quick chat? Try right after the game. Once your athlete’s team heads to the locker room and the coach finishes jotting down recruiting notes, there’s typically a few minutes of down time until the players come back out.

Conversations should involve questions regarding general information about coaching style, finding out how your recruit would fit in with the team, as well as if tutoring is available for student-athletes. You want to get a feel of what your student-athlete’s experience would be like academically and athletically. After all, they will spend at least four years here.

If the coach is interested in your student, they’ll most likely inquire about your recruiting process. And when your child joins the conversation, remember to let them control the conversation.

Keep your athlete on track athletically and academically

To maximize your child’s scholarship opportunities at the Division I level, they need to be in the top ten percent of their graduating class, earn a cumulative GPA of 3.5 out of 4.0 and achieve an SAT score of 1200 or an ACT sum score of 105.

Recruits that take honors and AP courses have a higher chance of boosting their GPA and this also helps them prepare for college level courses. There are a lot of deadlines to meet in the recruiting process and the ACT/SAT is one of those. Research test dates to make sure your student-athletes has enough time to study and prepare for the exams.

In addition, educate yourself as much as possible on NCAA recruiting rules to keep track of when and how coaches are allowed to communicate with your child.

Prep for official and unofficial campus visits

Your child should be going on plenty of unofficial campus visits to help determine what the right fit might look like. Unofficial campus visits are a great way to practice getting comfortable speaking with college coaches, getting a feel for the college environment and learning more about being a collegiate student-athlete.

In addition, calculate your estimated family contribution (EFC) for when the conversation turns to financial aid. Schools use your EFC to gauge your federal student aid eligibility and financial aid award. Determining how much your family can afford to spend on your child’s postsecondary education will help you identify which colleges are viable and which are outside your price range. Having a grasp on what schools fit financially will help reduce unnecessary official and unofficial campus visits.

Set a good example

Did you know that college coaches are observing parents, as well as athletes? Coaches want to know what type of family they may potentially have on their team. Parents’ behavior at games may be evaluated by a college coach so it’s important to keep your composure even during intense games. On the flip side, supportive and encouraging behavior can reflect positively on your student-athlete and increase their chances of getting a scholarship offer.


NCSA is the world's largest and most successful collegiate athletic recruiting network. A wholly owned subsidiary of Reigning Champs LLC, NCSA's 700 teammates leverage exclusive data, proprietary matching algorithms and personal relationships built over nearly two decades as the industry leader to connect tens of thousands of college-bound student-athletes to more than 35,000 college coaches nationwide across 34 sports every year.

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