When it comes to evaluating their son or daughter, parents usually make one of two mistakes:
- They overrate them, or
- They underrate them
Let’s be honest about it. There’s usually no way we can be objective in evaluating our kid’s athletic ability.
If that’s the case, how can we know whether they can get a scholarship? Or, if they can, at what level? What’s realistic?
I know I faced each of those questions with my twin sons. I so much wanted them to make it in college as athletes. I believed they could get scholarships. I’m not sure how strongly they believed it. I led the charge and they followed … and got that fully paid education while competing in the sport they loved.
Now it’s your turn to make that call. How far can your athlete go? Is he or she athletic scholarship material?
I learned a lot in our journey, so let me pass along three things that will help give you the answer.
Ask a college coach. This is probably the best way. It’s not as hard as you think. I would start locally, just like we did. Most coaches would be glad to give you an honest opinion of your athlete’s scholarship chances. Of course, you’ll have a tough time accessing a coach at a major university, unless you have a connection. But that’s not necessary. A coach at any level can likely give you an accurate evaluation. You’ve not asking for a comprehensive report. You just want to know if your son or daughter can compete at the next level, on scholarship and at what level. Yes, it is one person’s opinion, but it gives you a good idea. Let them see a video and contact them for their opinion.
Ask an instructor. Our boys took hitting lessons for about a year. This instructor knew our kids well. He was able to give his opinion, which we trusted. He had exposure to a lot of kids and had a reference point as to where ours fit in. Our boys also took pitching lessons in high school from a top notch instructor. He outright said that they would be competing at the next level. He didn’t use the word “scholarship,” but at least we knew they were college material.
Attend a couple camps. You’ll have access to one or more coaches here. After the camp, as a couple of the coaches their honest opinion of your kid’s future. You have to be ready to listen and even hear what you don’t want to hear. But this info is like gold. They’ve seen your athlete for one or more days and alongside his or her peers. These coaches know how to spot and judge talent.
This process can be painful, because you may hear things that burst your bubble. And it can be painful for your athlete. But this is extremely important information that can give you the direction and strategy you need in your scholarship pursuit.
Doing one or more of these things can save you a lot of time and money in the recruiting process.