A Sporting Chance

  • Monday, April 14, 2014

Hoffman

Whose job is it to get my child recruited?

This is a great question, and the answer may even surprise some of you.

Spending the majority of my career in sports as a player, coach and recruiter, I should not be surprised to hear from parents, “My son or daughter’s coach is doing nothing to help them get recruited.” I am not surprised at the statement itself, rather how many parents believe it is true.

In most instances, the parents that are most upset that their child is not being recruited are the ones that have a student athlete who is a senior. At this point they are realizing that it is late in the recruiting game and they are not hearing from many colleges or any at all. The misguided anger at the coaches is for the most part wrongly directed.

So whose job is it you ask?

To help you avoid this all too common thought and pitfall, I will share the answer.

You, the parent. It is ultimately your responsibility. Yup, it’s true. The fact is no one person will care more than you about your child having an opportunity to play college athletics, rightfully so.

Early in my career, I spent several years coaching high school sports. There was nothing in my contract indicating that I had to help any of the athletes I coached with college recruiting. However, to me, I felt it was my responsibility to assist and did so.

Your son or daughter’s high school or club team coach is just that, their coach. A majority of high school/club coaches have other jobs and responsibilities outside of coaching. Many have families just like you that they would like to get home to at the end of the day. In addition, most coaches, although they have contacts, in the grand scheme of things their reach is somewhat limited.

Where to start

Research: The good news is that you are not alone and there are plenty of resources. The library or book store will have plenty of books and references about college athletic recruiting. A quick search of the internet will reveal tons of information and recruiting services, the best place to begin is at www.ncaa.org.

Recruiting services: Some families will enlist a recruiting service, which is not a completely bad idea. However, you need to understand what their job really is: To market your child to college coaches and raise your child’s stock.

Recruiting services come in all sizes; there are big ones, small ones, free ones and expensive ones. If you are looking to work with a service, understand what you will get from them. Also be aware that by utilizing a service, you have not redirected your responsibilities in the recruitment process. It is still your responsibility to be an active part in the process. No service will ever guarantee you a scholarship, and if they do, then they are lying.

Also, do your homework about the services, some are very impersonal and others meet you face to face. If you choose to use a free website, you typically get what you pay for and it will not be proactive for you. Some of the expensive services may not be better than a less expensive service. The point is, services are a tool to help with the process and not to be confused for the solution.

Once your child is hearing from college coaches, now is the time to enlist your high school/club coaches for help. Many coaches will assist, but it is helpful to provide a list of schools that are actively recruiting your child to the coach. It has been my experience that coaches will call college coaches and assist in the process if they know the college has a sincere interest.

No matter what you choose, the bottom line is that you need to stay on top of it. You need to be proactive in the process. Develop a plan with realistic expectations and execute it.

Jeff Hoffman is a columnist for the Moultrie News. For 33 years, Hoffman has been involved in various avenues of athletics, including scouting and recruiting. He is the founder of Athletic Resource based in Charleston, S.C. Reach Hoffman at 843-628-2888.

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