When should parents speak to coaches in the recruiting process? This is a popular question among parents of high school athletes looking to play at the next level. 

After a Heisman Trophy-winning season as quarterback for the University of Oklahoma in 2018, Kyler Murray had the world at his feet. He could play baseball for the Oakland A’s, with whom he’d already signed a lucrative contract, or he could enter the NFL draft and likely be the top pick. 

However, as Murray was mulling his options, questions about his dedication to football arose due to his father’s involvement in his career. While those rumors were quickly refuted by Murray’s coach at OU, and he was ultimately drafted first overall by the Arizona Cardinals, the whole incident could have been a worst-case scenario.

With that in mind, now that college coaches are looking at you, think about your parents. They’ve cheered from the stands, but now that you’re being recruited, how much contact should they have with college coaches? 

It’s only natural that your parents want to advocate on your behalf. But, it’s also well known that overzealous parents can directly affect a coach’s evaluation of you. As Kyler Murray’s example showed, even a whisper of parental over-involvement can have a huge impact on how you’re viewed. That’s why, when it comes to your parents speaking to college coaches, the key is for them to know when to speak up and when they should step back.

When Should Parents Step Back?

You are the one that a college coach is evaluating. Therefore, any introduction at the beginning of the recruiting process, whether it’s at a recruiting event or via phone, email or direct message, should be made by you, not your parents. Remember that you never get a second chance to make a good first impression, so you taking the initiative to reach out to a college coach is a great way to get your foot in the door.

Conversely, a parent reaching out to a college coach to introduce their student-athlete is just about the biggest mistake a parent can make. Ask any college coach and he or she will tell you that nothing raises more red flags than a call from a parent espousing the talents of their high school-age son or daughter. Coaches want to develop a relationship with you first. They want to see your desire and hunger, not your parents’. At this point in the process, your parents’ voices will only get in the way of coaches hearing what you have to say.

It’s perfectly fine for parents to help you work through questions and answers for a conversation with a coach. If they want to be more involved, your parents can also check over your emails and suggest things to talk about. If they have specific questions of their own, make sure you’re the one that asks them. A coach is recruiting you, not your parents. That’s why, no matter how it works out with your family, it’s important that all the primary communication with a college coach comes from the athlete.

The Answer

So to answer the question, “when should parents speak to coaches in the recruiting process?”, the answer is technically, never. 

For other great helpful recruiting resources for parents like recruiting guides and additional articles, visit https://stacksports.captainu.com/support-helpful-resources-parents/.

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