How to Get Your Child Recruited for College Sports

Tennis for Kids

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If you ever wondered what it takes to get young child on the path to becoming a recruited athlete for college, read on.  I’m a parent of two college athletes. The process starts very young. By the time they are in their freshmen year, some schools will already have lists started for early recuriting.  I love watching them grow, excel and develop into the people they have become.  People have asked me over the years, “How did you do it?” It was a combination of events and circumstances that led to them becoming college athletes.  In the end, it was something that they wanted to do, and that is what matters the most.

Get an Early Start in College Recruiting: Recognize and Develop Strengths

Children as young as two have recognizable natural talents that may start emerging.  See my article on Summer Fun with Toddlers to help your budding young artist. 

I used to think it was laughable when people were getting their little ones out to hit balls on a golf course.  I don’t anymore.  I’ve learned that it is imperative to hone in on skills and talents a young child has to make the most of developing it for your child.

Approximately 10% of the population is left handed.  According to Better Health Channel, most children have a preference for handedness by 18 months and are definitely left or right handed by the age of three.  Noticing handedness can help you identify early what sports may be better suited for your child.  In an article by phys.org, “Testing the advantage of being left-handed in sports”, Sports Scientist Florian Loffing conducted a study regarding the possibility of lefties having an advantage over righties in sports.  His studied six sports in particular including table tennis and baseball.  He concluded that in baseball, lefties were 2.6 times more likely to be top players and in table tennis, the top 26% of players were lefties.

If you notice that your child excels in certain physical activities compared to other kids at the park, investigate further.  If your child has good aim when throwing an object, work with him or her on developing that.  Throw the ball around.  If she or he has an accurate kick with a ball or has great running form, encourage it.  I always recommend starting at the lowest price point possible, for example, city league sports and move up to advanced levels as your child shows more interest and progress.  This way, it will save on costs.  Your child may go through many recreational activities before finding the one that they truly enjoy and excel at.

Encourage Positivity

Positive Phycology writer, Beata Souders, writes, when children are exposed to positive reinforcement, they draw on inner strength, calling attention to their individual personality traits and interests.  This gives parents a chance to connect, communicate and empower our children.

In order to ensure that your child is pleased with her or his accomplishments, it’s important to praise the behavior and not the child.  The reward to the child should be the way they feel, not that you told them how good they are.  According to professor Carol Dewek at Stanford University, praising the effort of child not focusing on personality leads to the development of self-efficacy and supports a growth mindset. 

Make Fitness a Family Affair

From the time my first child was one, getting out and active has been a family priority.  I remember getting a bike trailer for him for his first birthday.  I was so excited.  We strapped the helmet on that was a bit heavy for him and into the trailer he went.  He cried that first trip.  We tried it again and again until he loved it.

 Over the years, I have had my children participate in many activities alone or in our family unit. We enjoy hiking, snow boarding, downhill skiing, cross country skiing, biking, running, swimming, wake boarding and more as a family.  They have tried several different sports and activities such as soccer, baseball, swimming, dance, track, water polo, wrestling, gymnastics and volleyball. 

Teach your child mindful meditation. A great place to start is by reading my blog post on Mama Meditation. Centering and learning mindful meditation can be a powerful tool for your child’s well being and self reliance. According to Healthy Children, which is associated with the American Academy of Pediatrics, “The simple act of teaching children how to stop, focus, and just breathe could be one of the greatest gifts you give them.” Read the full article here.

Make Sports Fun

Activities and sports should be fun.  It’s a healthy outlet for the energy kids have.  If the kids aren’t having fun, what is the point?  The sport should be something that your child enjoys to the fullest.  They should look forward to it and want to practice on their own without prompting. 

A big part of having fun, in my opinion has to do with the coach.  The other half of the equation is your child.  Is the activity something that was his or her idea?  Was it your idea?  How did you choose?  You will know if your child is having fun.  Talk about it and encourage ways to create excitement around the sport.

I firmly believe that if your child is interested in a sport, take him or her to see a couple of games or practices before you sign them up.  The idea and the actual doing part are two different things.  Just because their friend plays a sport doesn’t mean that it is the right one for your child.   Decide together what is the best fit.  Will it fit in with your schedule and homework obligations?  

Scholarship Offers Improve with Excellence in Academics for College Sports

From the time your child starts school, emphasize the importance of academics.  When your child is young, encourage their very best work.  Instill the strongest work ethic you can in your child.  Remind them that all good things aren’t handed to them.  The best things in life to have and keep require: time, work and attention. 

Official visits and unofficial visits will be extended throughout the high school years. Be sure to follow the recruiting rules. The better your child does in school, the more opportunities for college sports and college academic scholarships will be available to him or her.  There are usually three levels of academic merit aid given at the college level.  The aim should be for your child to do their very best to be at the top tier of the merit aid grant.  To ensure proper guidance, I highly recommend NCSA, I used their services for both of my college atheletes.  They exposed my children to schools that they may not have even considered.  This provided more options for them to choose from and make the right choice.  

Conclusion

Recruiting classes and experts in recruiting, such as those offered by NCSA teach students and parents about things such as how college coaches follow a recruiting timeline. Depending on the division, different recruitung rules apply. I offer these helpful suggestions on how to get your young child recruited for college sports because I believe in creating opportunities.   I have learned a lot over the years and love to share what I know.   I hope this helped you learn to identify strengths in your child that you can develop.  I believe that kids learn best when they are having fun and feel supported with a positive environment. 

Verbal committments usually are announced sometime during the junior year or senior year for high school athletes. Get your child prepared for this special time. When children learn from and early age that activity and a healthy lifestyle is a normal part of life, they grow up with a healthy mentality lifestyle. 

When kids understand that academics are important to their future options in life, it can be a powerful motivator.  Children will go through many phases and likes and dislikes throughout their childhood.  You’re there to help them navigate the way, give encouragement and wise counsel and above all, your love and support through the ups and downs of life.

I’d love you hear about your thoughts on preparing your child for college sports.  Do  you have any tips to share? Let me know about your experiences with NCSA or if I could answer any questions about it for you.

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