College is one of those places that enlivens so much in our children. It builds on their life skills and can be a turning point in their lives. But as we, as parents, try to navigate the recruiting process, it can be an incredibly anxiety-inducing period of time in our lives. The recruiting process for college is something that you may have been preparing for since your child was little. An athletic scholarship is one of those amazing ways for your children to not just get into college, but to give them a head start in life. So what does it really take to ensure that we can all help our children to get that all-important head start?
Be a Mentor and Assistant, Not Just a Cheerleader!
This is a very important distinction to make. Because if your child has displayed a multitude of skills in a sport like baseball, the temptation can be for you to go overboard and thoroughly invest in this ability. But for the sake of our children, as beneficial as it is to have a pitchers net and all the relevant equipment, we have to remember that we’ve got to go with them on their journey. As much as they are displaying a natural aptitude, we have to be malleable to the entire approach. This means that we can help our children prepare for rudimentary matters, such as initiating relationships.
This is something that we can neglect as parents because we don’t think that our young children are in dire need of speaking to authority figures with confidence because we are still treating them as children, but the fact is that when it comes to the interview for the scholarship, we can help our children just by helping them to have the right level of confidence in the interview, and this means helping to assert our children. Helping our children to sound enthusiastic and confident is just as important as the actual skills themselves. You can always learn by looking up the most frequently asked questions in these interviews and start role-playing. When we start to help our children with these types of approaches, we must remember that, as parents, we provide loving and gentle guidance and show them that we are incredibly proud of what they have achieved.
Teaching Them the Importance of Humility
If you have a young athlete who is incredibly talented, there can be a problem with them having a lack of humility. Our children may be told from a young age that they have an immense gift, but the fact is that when there are young children who receive too much support and are constantly praised, they can inevitably become arrogant. For student-athletes, we must teach our children how to be humble. Some student-athletes have clearly been pampered and praised and have an arrogance, but they also have a lack of work ethic. It’s important to note that there will be children who swan into class thinking they can sail by, but those are always the people who learn the lessons later in life.
Being an effective parent in this environment also means disciplining our children if they are showing arrogance or a lack of humility. And it doesn’t mean punishing them. Rather, it means giving them lessons in humility. Because it’s not just about praising that constantly. If they make a misstep, it’s about making them understand that they have a lot more to lose. What any child has off the field is just as important as what they have on the field. During the recruiting process, good grades are vital and become more important, because this tells the college a bigger story. And it will tell the coach plenty about how they reach their potential on the playing fields.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that if our child is incredibly gifted in sports, they can easily get to college on a scholarship and use this as a way to coast. But these days, it’s more to do with the attitudes and the work ethic. This means that if your child has consistently high grades but one C grade, this is going to stick out like a sore thumb. However, this can be the perfect opportunity for your child to learn that all-important lesson in humility. If your child wants to be really successful, they’ve got to be accountable.
Remember Your Role as a Parent
Parents are not just there to be a helping hand or motivator, but also have to remember their limitations and boundaries. Helicopter parenting is one of those things that we can all run the risk of being because we want our children to do their best. But if your child has a natural aptitude for sports, you’ve got to get the balance right. You can’t just sit back and let them achieve greatness on their own, but you also can’t hover over them.
When we become helicopter parents, we are not allowing a child to grow, but more importantly, we’re not allowing them to act for themselves. You may have harbored dreams of getting to college, and this is why you are pushing your child to do more, but you must remember to stop putting pressure on your children. Because even when your child is playing a high school sport and the team loses, you should still have as much enthusiasm for your child’s abilities as possible.
Setting the Right Goals
Preparing your child for a scholarship in college starts more than a few years before. This is why you need to have a plan in place. Having the right plan doesn’t just involve checking the most suitable colleges, but about ensuring that your child actually undergoes that journey that culminates in them getting the grades and the confidence to get into college on an athletic scholarship. You need to focus on three key areas:
- The academic plan: This would include grade point average tests, the core courses, and their progress.
- The athletic goals or physical accomplishments: This would encompass their general strength, and speed, as well as tracking their physical aspects to ensure that they are still able to perform the duties of that sport.
- Creating the child’s resume: Of course, we have to remember that it’s not just about creating the journey but also ensuring that you know how to sell your child. And this would involve making a skills or highlights video but also understanding how to build relationships with the college coaches. This goes back to the importance of teaching your children those skills that can help them to be a well-rounded person.
Read Also: Ways to Help Your Child Improve Their Grades
Of course, this is something that we don’t want to hear as parents, but we have to understand that if we want our children to get an athlete’s scholarship, we have to seek professional opinions. So this could include either your high school coach or club coach, but you can also approach the scouting organization. As important as it is to aim high, it’s unrealistic that your child would be able to get a basketball scholarship if they were only 5 feet 5 inches tall.
And as parents, we may want our children to aim high and get the best opportunities in life, but we also need to have frank conversations with our children and ourselves to determine if we are all overstepping the mark.
If you want to get your children ready for a sports scholarship, a sense of realism is important, but we also need to ensure that, as long as the circumstances are right and that we’ve set a realistic and achievable goal, there’s no reason why they cannot reach for the stars.