CheckmarkI was reading through the answers to a recent survey I took with parents and athletes.  One of the parents stated the biggest challenge in reaching the scholarship goal is “Seemingly lack of effort on my daughters part to promote herself.”

This is a statement of a bigger problem many parents face.  And that is, how to motivate their son or daughter to do what it takes to get a scholarship.  As a parent, you know the financial implications, but usually the student-athlete doesn’t have that mature of a perspective. 

One club coach made the statement, “The biggest challenge with our team is to get the parents/players involved in contacting the coaches of colleges they would like to attend.”

So there seems to be a problem with both parents and athletes.  The strongest position a family can be in is when the parents and student-athletes work together to pursue the scholarship.  I’m a firm believer that this is a team effort, and we teach our families that.  It is hard enough to keep the momentum and excitement going for years, so you need the encouragement of each other.  And there are specific roles parents and athletes play in the process.  Unique roles.

It comes down to commitment.  Is everyone committed to this goal?  That’s where it starts.  Otherwise, you’ll end up where most families end up.  Out of steam and quitting.  This is not an easy road.  There will be bumps along the way and even roadblocks.

My encouragement is to not lose heart.  Continue to do the little things right, because that makes the big things happen.

My biggest exhortation to athletes and parents is, “Take the initiative.”  My second word of advice is, “Keep taking the initiative.”  This is not a sprint.  It’s a marathon.  Don’t eliminate yourself.  Too many athletes are doing that already.  Outlast them and stay with it.

So, what’s the action point?  The beginning of solving the question I posed in the title is to set aside an hour as parent and athlete and go somewhere to talk.  Talk about goals, commitment, roles and the other things on your mind in pursuing an athletic scholarship.  You see, you have to be on the same page.  The first step is to communicate.

If you’re already in the process together, I encourage you to still get away together.  Evaluate where you are and what you can do to improve.

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