žžIt is the time of year for many of you to be taking college visits and meeting with college coaches. This week’s Recruit PKB article will cover a parent’s role on college visits. The first on-campus meeting with a college coach can make or break their decision to continue recruiting a player. In many cases, the behavior of a parent can have a serious impact on which direction the recruiting process will go from there. Below are a few tips for parents to be aware of when they are on visits with their daughter.
  1. žAllow your junior golfer to do all the talking: I know this may be difficult when you have a junior golfer who is quiet or shy but they need to do the majority of the talking. Meeting with a college coach can be a very nerve-racking experience for many young athletes. Help them prepare ahead of time with some questions to ask the coach, as well as some questions the coach may ask in return. Have them interview with an adult who they aren’t very familiar with as a test run.
  2. žNever speak for or answer for your junior golfer: Every college coach will tell you that a red flag is a player who turns to their parents every time a question is asked. They want players who can speak for themselves and who know what they want out of their college experience. Make sure you never answer for them. I know many times it may be difficult to bite your tongue but do what you can to let them answer all of the questions the way they want to. If something is said completely out of context or incorrect then it is certainly OK to add your thoughts in once the player has finished answering. Just try to limit that as much as possible.
  3. žTry to allow some player to coach time: Especially if you know your daughter tends to be quiet when you are around, then try to find a chance to step away for a few minutes and let the coach spend time alone with your daughter. There may not be an opportunity for this to happen but if so it may help your daughter open a little more so the coach can see her personality. I know for me, once my parents weren’t around I had a tendency to be more of myself, so give the player and coach some space.
  4. žBe humble: Always be humble and appreciative of the time the coach is spending with you. Do your best not to brag or boast about your daughter too much. They know the type of player they are recruiting and what potential she has. As parents, your job is to think your daughter is amazing, but make sure you keep it humble and understated during the visit. Too much may be a turnoff to a coach who feels the parent’s expectations are too high and unrealistic.
  5. žTake a backseat: Show the coach you are willing to let your daughter handle things on her own. They do want to hear from you as parents and get to know you as well but it is all about your daughter taking control on visits. They need to see that the player can handle herself away from her parents and has the independence and maturity to play at the next level. If the coach feels the parents will have a hard time letting them coach that will signal red flags.

“I recruit players not parents. On a visit I want to hear the player speak and the parent listen and encourage their child. Too much of an overbearing parents is a huge turnoff for me when recruiting. I have stopped recruiting players because of their parents.” – Division 2 Men’s and Women’s Coach