Recruiting Tip: Your parent’s role in college recruiting

Over the next few weeks our recruiting tips will cover the roles of parents, coaches, and the athletes themselves in the college recruiting process. This week let’s talk about the parent’s roles in college recruiting.

Whether you like it or not, your parents should be involved in your recruiting journey. When it comes to their kids, we all know how parents can act. Sure, they ask too many questions, they think their athlete is the best player on the planet, and typically they are more critical than the coach. That said, they are motivated to help, they have the best handle on the family college budget, and many times they will come up with questions that you never would have thought to ask. For those reasons parents need to be involved and here are the ways I feel they can be most helpful.

Counselor

The first role for parents is one as a recruiting counselor. At times, the recruiting process can be discouraging and frustrating. Waiting for a coach to respond to you or hoping someone comes to watch you play is difficult. Your parents are your biggest fans and for that reason can offer some perspective and keep you on track.

Your parents also can keep you focused on the real goal and help you remember that the most important reason to go to college is to get a quality education. They can make sure you don’t get caught up in the excitement of college recruiting and overlook that simple fact.

Finally, a parent’s role as counselor should be to support, to be a positive role model, and to encourage. If you are an athlete who is coachable, respectful, a great teammate, mentally tough, resilient, and who always tries his or her best; then your parents have probably been a big part of your athletic career so far.

Administrative assistant

The second role a parent can fill is one as a administrative assistant. This is probably the easiest role for parents to step into and I bet you can use the help. That being said, parents need to understand that you will be the one on the team, not them. Their role is primarily behind the scenes. Here is a short list of administrative tasks parents can do to help their student-athlete with the college recruiting process:

Help organize the process
Provide input on college budget
Develop a college recruiting timeline
Proofread emails and correspondence (not to edit, just to make suggestions)
Help you understand the college recruiting rules
Keep you focused on realistic colleges
Having a personal administrative assistant will make your recruiting process a lot easier. I would sign your parents up for that role right now.

Financial Planner

The projected average “all-in” cost of college for the 2016–2017 academic term exceeds $21,000 for state residents at public colleges, $36,000 for out-of-state residents attending public universities, and can be over $46,000 for private universities. Given these numbers, if you aren’t offered a full scholarship, your family budget can be an extremely important factor in college recruiting and therefore you probably need to do some financial planning.

The NCAA breaks sports into two categories—head count sports and equivalency sports. Students who are offered a scholarship to play a head count sports are being offered a full scholarship, while students who play equivalency sports most likely will receive only a partial scholarship. Typically partial scholarships range from 25% to 60%. The head count sports are all at the Division I level and include Football (D-I FBS only), Basketball (Men’s and Women’s), Women’s Tennis, Women’s Gymnastics and Women’s Volleyball. All other Division I sports are equivalency sports. Division II, NAIA and Junior Colleges also offer equivalency scholarships.

The point is that if you are seeking a scholarship in an equivalency sport then you need to know the family college budget and your parents are the ones to ask. You and your parents will have to do some financial planning on the “all in” costs before you decide which schools to consider.

Here’s the deal

Win, lose, or draw your parents are always there for you and they would like nothing more than to offer their help and advice. In fact, you probably will get it even if you don’t ask. Take them up on the help and listen to the advice. Your parents might be smarter than you think.

How to Clean Up Your Social Media Before College

We are in the age of social media. The world is more connected and less private than ever before thanks to the countless social media platforms out there. Millennials have been warned about keeping their social media accounts “clean” for years now. How does one keep a “clean” profile, though? Here are some tips on how to complete this challenge:

1) Watch your language
It’s definitely a no-brainer to watch your language on your accounts. If you aren’t on private then you never know who could be scrolling through your pages, so stray away from any foul or offensive language. Profanity––from racism, to sexism, to homophobia, to explicit language––that you may think is a joke can cause viewers to build a negative image of you that isn’t true.

This kind of language can harm your reputation even if you are a great individual. You can be an honor student with a golden heart, but for those who don’t know you personally, all they are gathering as an impression for you is what they see on your pages. By using profanity, you can appear immature, unpolished and unprofessional.

2) Don’t post anything about drug or alcohol use
Don’t. Ever. Do. It. Posting about alcohol or drug use is absolutely never a good idea. There is obviously a lot of temptation that comes with the rowdy college lifestyle; however, no matter how tempting it may be to post something cool, fun, and wild for all your friends to see, the consequences will be much more hefty later.

In this digital era, you are your own marketing. When you share your alcohol and drug usage online, you are harming your image and your brand. By posting photos of you plastered, you are creating a negative image of yourself and the damage is much worse if you are underage. You will most likely regret posting it down the road.

Many high schoolers may not think their online image is something to be too worried about, but they should think again. Although they may not see it as a big deal, employers and colleges do. Posting such content can prevent you from getting into your dream college and/or your dream job.

3) Clean up your friends and followers lists
In high school, it was super cool to have a huge friends/followers list on your social media accounts. However, this will not help you much in the post-high school world. It will actually become an annoyance to you if anything.

Social media is a powerful tool when it comes to both school and work, so you should monitor who you are connecting with at all times. By maintaining relationships and connections, you may be able to open doors and create amazing opportunities for yourself and others. However, when you have too many friends, your network may get oversaturated and make creating networks more difficult.

4) Make sure that your photos are creating a positive image
We know how tempting it can be to post anything and everything on social media. When you’re in an argument with a friend and want to post an embarrassing photo of them or you want to make you ex jealous with a scandalous photo, it can be hard to hold back. However, a piece of advice to always keep in mind is to make sure every image you post represents something good about you!

Millennials should really try to shy away from posting anything that has to do with partying, drinking, drug usage, nudity, profanity, and excess negativity. Posting any content of that nature can create a negative reflection of you and can harm you chances of getting into certain colleges, internships and jobs.

A good rule to live by is that if you have to contemplate posting it, you probably shouldn’t. While we have all done and taken pictures of some questionable things in life, posting such things on your Facebook or Instagram is potentially harmful to your future.

Just remember the two P’s: professionalism and positivity. Employers and colleges are very particular about who they recruit and associate with them. At the end of the day, it is simply not worth tainting your image on social media.

We are the digital generation, so our knowledge and use of social media is ever-changing. However, there are definitely steps to shape your online profiles in a way that will benefit you. Before college, clean up those pages––it is never too early to plan for your future!