Where to Find Help When High School Coaches Are Not Available
Many families deal with high school coaches who are not able or willing to help with the recruiting process. It's not always their fault. The recruiting process is confusing for everyone involved. There are many reasons high school coaches shy away from involvement.
High School Coaches Not Helping
They Choose Not to Help
Some coaches are just not willing to help with the recruiting process. The recruiting process takes up a lot of time and energy, especially if the high school coach really invests in the student athlete and her family. Coaches have lives, too. They have families, many with children of their own in school and possibly in sports. They have the other members of the team to think about. They have other jobs besides coaching. High school coaches simply may decide not to make it a priority.
Some high school coaches actually tell college coaches outright that they are “hands-off” with the recruiting process. Many just don’t want to deal with the chaos, calls, follow-up and the time it takes to really get involved in the journey with the student athlete and family.
They Don’t Know How to Help
Information about the recruiting process is hard to learn, understand and keep on top of. Many high school coaches do not have the resources to help the student athlete and, therefore, try to stay out of the way. Much of the recruiting process information is not readily available to them. They feel they can’t offer enough knowledge to help.
I have been told by many high school coaches that: it is hard to keep up with all the rules, there is no place to find helpful and genuine information and the process itself changes all the time.
They Leave It up to the Travel Coaches
Gradually, the travel and club sports programs have gained a lot of time and access to the student athlete. Travel programs are available in almost every sport, and they have slowly encroached into much of the recruiting process for student athletes. Much of this is because college coaches have come to rely on them for information about club tournaments and summer schedules. Some high school coaches have stepped aside as a result, sometimes in frustration.
They Feel the Team is Not Good Enough
Many high school coaches feel like their team is not good enough to attract college interest. They don’t offer help because they don’t see a need or are not confident in how good their athletes are. If they don’t see a need, chances are they won’t become involved.
They Don’t Know They Are Wanted
Some high school coaches have no idea their athletes are interested in being recruited by college coaches, so they don’t offer up any initiative to help. If they aren’t asked, many won’t proceed. What's more, as mentioned earlier, with the increasing popularity of the travel and club programs, many high school coaches may think they are not wanted.
What to Do When Coaches Don't Help
There are many ways to attempt to include the high school coaches in your daughter’s recruiting process. However, if they don't want to help, you may not be able to change that.
If They Choose Not to Help
If the coaches choose not to help, your daughter could ask why so at least she knows the coach's reasons for being out of the picture. Just by asking, though, the coach could have a change of heart. If the coaches still do not want to be involved, then other resources can take his or her place in the process. There is no need to judge or throw blame at the coach. Just move to other options.
If They Don’t Know How to Help
If the high school coach is not confident in knowing how to help, let him or her know that you are in this together and that you’ll help locate the resources necessary to help your daughter find the right college. Let the high school coach know that much of his or her help will be spent on: communicating with college coaches, helping evaluate your daughter’s true ability and level of play, being a sounding board and helping to narrow and research when the time comes.
Let them know it’s ok not to have all the answers.
If They Want to Leave It up to the Travel Coaches
If you do rely on the travel coaches for a lot of your information, it is still very valuable to include the high school coaches in the process. You never know when the college coaches will call the high school coaches. You want all of your daughter’s coaches to be on the same page when it comes to her recruiting process.
If the travel and high school coaches are not on the same page, confusing messages could get to the college coaches which could, in turn, affect the decisions they make regarding your daughter’s future.
If They Feel the Team is Not Good Enough
High school coaches must understand that the team’s win-loss record does not diminish your daughter’s opportunity to play college sports. Though college coaches prefer to watch your daughter play against the best talent possible, they know it’s not always practical. College coaches will do their research to find opportunities to see your daughter play with and without the high school team, so let the coach know you still want them to get involved.
If They Don’t Know They Are Wanted
This one is simple. Tell them. Have a meeting with the coaches and let your daughter tell them she wants to play sports in college and she would like the coaches’ help. Let her talk about what she is looking for in a college and what her needs are and ask the coaches to invest right alongside her.
For example, if she wants to know what level of college she can play at, ask the coaches to help her find out. If she would like help in finding scholarship and financial aid opportunities, ask the coaches for help. If she really wants to find out about a certain college coach, ask the coaches for help. Chances are they will be excited your daughter has included them in the process.
Let the coaches know you want them to help.
When You Still Can’t Find Help
If you have had conversations with the high school coaches and they are still unwilling or unable to help, then you have some other options. You can still find what you need.
You and Your Daughter Have Other Allies
Your daughter has resources that can be utilized in place of the high school coach. Here is a brief list:
- Other coaches at the high school
- Teachers at the high school who may have children who have been recruited
- The principal or athletic director at the high school
- Teammates and parents from your daughter’s team or other sports teams at the high school
- Friends from church
- Opposing coaches from high schools your daughter plays against
Utilizing these options may bring about individuals who have either had children go through the recruiting process or know someone who has gone through it.
Here are some examples of former student athletes who used other resources besides the high school coach to find their path to college.
A volleyball coach helped a basketball athlete line up her resources and plan for the recruiting process. She came from a small high school and did not get much recognition. This particular athlete played at a Division I college without the help of her high school coach.
Friend of a Friend
A parent of a student athlete was introduced, by another parent, to friends who had a son go through the process. The families became friends, and the daughter and son bounced things off of each other which, consequently, helped the daughter join a club program. This helped her get exposure in soccer even though it was very late in the process.
Guidance Counselor From Another High School
A parent met a guidance counselor from a different high school. It was in passing that she even brought up the fact that her daughter was interested in playing college sports. The high school counselor started talking about the Eligibility Center, which sparked the interest of the parent. She then went back to her daughter and they got registered and became aware of what was included in the recruiting process.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Many families are not sure that asking for help is the right approach when it comes to the recruiting process. This could not be further from the truth. If you need help, begin to ask around. Someone somewhere knows something that will help you get your questions about your daughter’s process answered.
Jump Into Whatever Role Is Needed for Your Daughter
After asking questions and finding answers, jump into whatever role your daughter needs for success. With you taking on some of the burden, it will feel a little less overwhelming. Here are some things you may need to help with:
- Recording and making game and highlight videos
- Helping her set up emails
- Helping her research to find email and campus addresses, phone numbers and other information about each school
- Encouraging her to attend some exposure events or college camps
- Helping her understand the verbiage for applying to colleges
- Helping her understand the eligibility requirements
- Being available to her for recruiting decision-making when she feels overwhelmed
- Taking her on campus visits
Refer to Find My Team
When you need more help, or when you can't seem to find the answers you are looking for, Find My Team is readily available to help. We are a knowledge resource, and our content answers questions we receive daily from our membership. If there is something you are having difficulty with, let us know. Go to our homepage and sign up for a free consultation about what you or your daughter’s needs are and how we can help, or simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s never too late to start the recruiting process or to find the help you need to assist your daughter in the day-to-day decisions that need to be made during the search for the right college for her.