Parents play an important role in your prospect’s college decision. The student-athletes we have surveyed tell us that for the most part, mom, dad, or another parental figure does things like help them fill out the application, discuss their opinion of a school after a visit, and even help narrow down the list of schools for the recruit.
If this is all true, doesn’t it make sense that coaches should be in communication with the parents of the prospects they recruit? I will take it a step further and say that it should not just happen, but it should happen early in the process. Here are two reasons why:
1) It will save you from recruiting student-athletes that will never be able to afford your school
If you’re a program that can’t offer your full athletic scholarships, your prospect might not know what their price range really is. And if they do but they like you, they don’t want you to stop recruiting them. You probably think they could afford a little more if you just prove to them why your school and team is awesome. That might be true, but what happens when they receive their financial aid package and it is going to cost them $15,000-$30,000 more than they can afford? You’ll have spent a lot of time and effort recruiting that prospect when they were never going to be able to pay for an education at your school.
If you communicate with the parents early, you will build trust to have open and honest conversations about finances. If your school has an accurate net-price calculator, have mom or dad fill it out. Then ask them, “if the final package was this amount, give or take a few thousand, would it be a feasible price?” If you can eliminate a prospect for financial reasons early on by just communicating honestly with the parents, it will allow you to invest more time in other more serious recruits.
2) It will help you get the prospect on campus when you want them to come
I am sure you have had those recruits that take way longer to come visit than you wanted or don’t come at all. The reality is, when a player comes for a visit, whether they live close or far, mom or dad play a huge part in planning the trip. Parents often know the prospect’s calendar better than he or she does. Parents know how to book the flights. Parents coming on the trip (we recommend they do) will be the ones booking their hotels. Getting the parents in the conversation early will help get those details to come together when it is time for the visit. This is especially true if the parent knows you and is appreciative of you involving them in the process from the start.
Dan Christensen is a former college coach, sales professional, and Regional Recruiting Coordinator for Tudor Collegiate Strategies, working with coaching staffs across the Atlantic region of the U.S. To ask questions, or contact Dan for help, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org