Parent Tips

Recruiting Tips for Parents

Becoming a prospective student athlete for your son or daughter is a very exciting time in their lives. As a parent, embracing the opportunities that an athletic scholarship to play volleyball offers your child is a very important role. They will look to you for guidance, support, encouragement and direction.

The amount of parental involvement in the recruiting process is unique to each individual situation. There are however some guidelines to keep in mind. Remember that the scholarship process should involve your son or daughter as much as possible, after all it is they who are earning the scholarship and not you. The variables involved with receiving a scholarship can vary from a few hundred dollars to a full ride involving tens of thousands of dollars. Neither of these amounts determine your worth as a parent or how effective you have been in terms of their development as everyone is different. You will also need to keep an open mind at all times with regards to decisions and offers. Money is not the most important factor when deciding on which scholarship to accept as there are other considerations to factor in such as the academics offered, the coach, the teammates, and much more.

Below we have compiled a list of parental Do’s and Don’ts to help guide you through some of the areas as you are getting started in the recruiting process.

DO:
  • Become active and encourage your son or daughter at an early age to start thinking about their education and athletic future.
  • Support your child’s development in pursuing as many opportunities to play volleyball as possible, such as camps, school teams, club teams, clinics, etc.
  • Help your child realize their potential and help them to pursue their dream to play volleyball, whether it is for a small college team or the national team program.
  • Help your child with their career choices and encourage them to research potential schools for academics. After all they are a “student” athlete first.
  • Communicate with your child as to the importance of grades and an athletic scholarship. We can help re-iterate the importance of this message to your son or daughter.
  • Encourage your child to keep as many options open as possible as to what school they will eventually attend. The perfect fit is not always the program across the street and come decision time your son or daughter should have as many options open to them as possible.
  • And lastly, do keep in mind that there are only so many scholarship offers in Canada and that the US is a very viable option for many athletes. Stay away from the rhetorical speeches as only you the parent know what is best for your child.
Don’t:
  • Let money or the total scholarship offer be the sole focus of your search.
  • Let money be the ultimate deciding factor of which school your son or daughter will attend.
  • Tell recruiters or coaches how great your child is, they will see the DVD or perhaps have an opportunity to see them play. Be modest and gracious at all times.
  • Let a coach tell your child that Canada is their only option for a scholarship. If they can not give you a balanced or unbiased opinion then perhaps their opinion is not warranted.
  • Assume your child has everything under control. The pressure of school work and grades may require your continued guidance.
  • Limit his or her choices to schools close to home. Step outside the box.
  • If your son or daughter plays for a club program that has direct ties to a college or university in Canada, don’t assume that they will be recruited to that program.
  • Worry about trying to make the perfect decision.
The number one mistake you can make as a parent:

Don’t let your son or daughter wait to be scouted or recruited for a volleyball scholarship. The longer you wait, the fewer options you will have and you will relinquish more control to the college coach. If your son or daughter waits until grade 12 and is expecting to be recruited by a program, it may seriously limit your child’s options for a scholarship.

The fewer options the athlete has, the greater the chance your son or daughter will not enjoy their first years experience if any is given at all.  Be proactive, be informed and be recruited!

The best thing you can do as a parent is to try to educate yourself as much as possible so you can provide guidance when needed. Even though your son or daughter may not appear to be interested in your opinion right now – if you do your homework, at some point they will want your help. Good luck!