Most parents feel pride in their children, no matter what their talents. But there’s a special brand of parental pride when your child is a college athlete — the kind that you often share with hundreds or even thousands of fans. Parents of student athletes are spirited, enthusiastic, and want to support their child in the game they love as much as possible. In fact, it’s fun to do so. But if this is a new experience for you, you may find yourself wondering how to navigate that world. Here are a few tips for parents of student athletes potentially being recruited by colleges to consider.

Coaches Watch Parents As Well As Athletes

Are you excited for your kid to be recruited by their dream college? A big game is coming up: you know scouts will be there, and you just want everything to go well. IT’s an understandable feeling, but keep in mind that scouts won’t just be watching your child. They’ll also be watching you. If you’re constantly shouting at the refs, booing, or heckling, it can make a bad impression and it could be your child who suffers the consequences. Be on your best behavior — don’t be afraid to cheer for your kid, but keep good sportsmanship in mind.

Work With Them on Applications

One trap that promising student athletes often fall into is waiting too long to apply or not thoroughly looking into the recruitment process. This is the part where parents can be most helpful. Start talking to your student about where they’d like to go to school and start looking into athletic scholarships. Not everyone can get an athletic scholarship, so parents should start looking into the cost of tuition and how to make it workable in the meantime. Schedule visits with the college campus and get your student into researching the recruitment process. What divisions do their dream schools compete in and what are the opportunities within that division? What do recruiters look for? What kind of behavior is expected from your student during that process? Do the homework with them and encourage them to look into it themselves.

Let Your Student Take the Lead

The parental nature is to be protective. It can be hard to let go of the reins and tell your child to take the lead. But keep in mind it’s your child the school is trying to recruit, not their parents. Blurring the lines between parent and agent can reflect badly on the student and give off the impression that the parent wants this more than the child. Instead, talk to your child about taking initiative and having confidence when talking to recruiters. You can even go over a practice interview at home to prep them. Just make sure their words are their own.

Planning to visit University of Michigan with your student athlete to learn if it’s the right school for you? University Inn of Ann Arbor offers a 10% discount to parents and students visiting the university. We also offer discounts to parents of college athletes. Contact us today for more information or to book your stay.

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