ChristmasFirst of all, Merry Christmas!  I hope your family will experience the joy of Jesus’ birth, God’s gift to a needy world.

I want to discuss three common roadblocks to an athletic scholarship and how to overcome them.  Then maybe your son or daughter will be a future success story.

Roadblock #1:  Lack of focus.   It’s amazing how much money parents will spend to try to get their kids an athletic scholarship.  It may start with less than a hundred dollars for a camp, but somewhere along the way it has escalated to thousands of dollars for multiple camps, tournament exposure, showcases, travel, consultants and services.

You can’t have a shotgun approach, thinking that the more you do the greater the chance for a scholarship.  It comes down to be strategically focused.  You’ll save your family time and money by mapping out your strategy and sticking with it.  Stay focused.  Beware of the voices of other parents and so-called experts who distract you and pull you in different directions.

Roadblock #2:  Laziness.  There, I said it.  In this day and age, people expect things to come easy.  Even as athletes and parents of athletes, we can get caught up in this trap.  As a result, we get lazy about giving our best.  That translates into our efforts to get our kids an athletic scholarship.

But, it’s not just the parent’s deal.  The student-athlete needs to put out.  If the parent is working like crazy at this, but the athlete is not, the team falls apart.  Yes, team.  The parent and the athlete are a team in this and both must avoid laziness at all costs.  This venture is too important for laziness, so have the “hard work” discussion early and often.

Parents, be the coach in the recruiting process.  Do what you can to motivate your son our daughter.  Be positive.  Teach life lessons.  Reward them when they’re giving it their best (I don’t mean on the field).  Make this a positive experience, even to the point where you are the buffer for disappointment.  If you’re discouraged or hit a rough road in this, don’t pass that along to your child.  Have a coach mindset.

Roadblock #3:  Quitting before the breakthrough.  The recruiting process is a marathon, and there will be a point when you hit the wall.  It may be earlier for your son or daughter than it is for you.  It happened to me and it happens to most.

A series of “We’re not interested” letters or calls from coaches can cause you to hit the wall.  A period of silence can do that, too.  Exhaustion from this whole doggone process can convince you to quit.  There are a number of reason you can feel like giving up along the way.

The tragedy will be to quit before the breakthrough.  For our family, our breakthrough was when a coach discovered our sons and pursued them — after a handful of coaches had stopped communicating and had lost interest.  Was it discouraging when there was silence?  Yes, but the breakthrough came shortly afterwards.

Don’t quit too soon.  Your breakthrough could be around the corner.  Even at the last minute.  Continue pursuing possibilities and opportunities.  The coach on the other end of the equation is looking for a breakthrough, too.

Give me your thoughts on roadblocks. Are you facing one now?  Have you come through one and you’ve experienced a breakthrough?

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