I am anxious and stressed about the college process…and I have been helping kids for over 20 years.
I know the anxiety and stress of the college selection process. I have four children. My oldest is a junior in college. Now we are helping our son, who is a high school senior, navigate college deadlines.
For over 20 years I have helped other families and kids with the process. There are two major issues we have confronted and I know other parents do as well:
- First, the process is downright confusing.
- Second, how do you to motivate a teenager? This is the more challenging of the two issues.
My son, like many of yours, has done quite well in high school. His grades and test scores are fantastic. He is personable. He has a strong desire to go to college and be successful both in college and in life.
As a family we are all striving for the same goal: find a great college for him to attend.
And yet there is this divide between how his mother and I see the process of getting into college and how he views it. Here are some of the things we wrestle with. I am sure you will resonate with them.
- I believe he should have turned in his applications, essays, references, etc. yesterday. He believes tomorrow will work.
My son is going to be attending a scholar’s day at a couple universities. These are special invitation events colleges host for students with good grades. To attend these events, students often have to write an extra essay and prepare for interviews with staff.
As parents we tend to take this more seriously than an 18 year old. When I told my son I wanted everything turned in a week before the deadline he respectfully told me that was an “arbitrary” deadline. The day of the deadline he still didn’t have everything complete and turned in. This is real life!
- Parents panic that deadlines are going to be missed. He believes everything will work out fine.
This is very similar to the question of when we believe things should be submitted. This, however, hits at the very core of the issue. Eighteen year olds, especially boys, have a different risk tolerance than their parents. This is the reason their car insurance costs so much more.
As parents, we understand the ramifications of failure to meet deadlines. We have felt it in our own lives. I guess it comes from the experience of living longer and knowing everything doesn’t always work out.
I want nothing but success for my son. But I can’t succeed for him. He may have to learn to love his third or fourth choice school.
- I believe he should pick up the phone and speak with the admissions counselor. He believes the admission counselor will email or text him if they need something. (Our son is not an athlete, but the same principle applies with the coach.)
We ask, beg, and plead with our kids to pick up the phone. Please take initiative. Call the counselor or coach.
The reality is most admissions counselors will continue to reach out and baby our babies through the process. The school has a vested financial interest in doing whatever it takes to get our child to attend their school.
Not so with the coach. Coaches have an incredibly large pool of players to choose from. If your child is not reaching out to the coach, responding to the coach, setting themselves apart by their ability to interact with the coach, guess who will lose interest? The Coach. Over my years of coaching, I have seen more kids lose opportunities for this one reason than any other.
The brutally honest conversation that you need to have with your student-athlete is that there are consequences of inaction: primarily lost opportunities. The loss is hard to measure, because they are not going to know which opportunities they missed. But be assured, the less they do to get in front of coaches, the more roster spots and scholarships will pass them by.
If you need help knowing what to have your child do to be recruited, I would recommend purchasing How to Get Recruited today. I have created it for families just like yours. It will walk you through, step-by-step, to create opportunities for roster spots and scholarships.
You won’t have to guess at what to do next. You can use the steps to create “arbitrary” deadlines that will help your athlete achieve their goals. I will guide you so your kids can call and email coaches with confidence. I know you want to give your kids every opportunity for success. I can’t motivate them for you, but How to Get Recruited can help make the process clear.
Whether you need How to Get Recruited or not, sit down and talk with your child today and help them begin moving forward.
If you are ready for Recruiting to be made easy, you are ready for
How to Get Recruited: Got Talent. Get a Plan. Get Recruited.
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