Most parent’s reaction to what I’m about to say is usually this, ”Are you serious?” Yes I am! One of the most important things you can do as a parent of a FRESHMAN student-athlete is take them on 2 “Unofficial Visits” this year. It is extremely important for you and your child to see what different levels of college athletes look like up close and personal. For example, if you think your daughter is capable of becoming a D-I basketball player that’s ok. But you need to visit a D-I school so both of you can see exactly what a D-I basketball player looks like. If your daughter is a 5’ 3” small forward and when she meets and shakes hands with a 6’3” small forward at the first D-I school you visit and she gets a neck cramp looking up at her, this will speak volumes! Then you visit a D-III school next and your daughter meets the small forward there and this girl isn’t but 4 inches taller than her. Now I grant you that your daughter will probably grow 3 inches or so over the next 3 years. But she will NOT grow 12” and will never play D-I. The sooner you find out what level of college she might be able to play at some day, the sooner you can get started focusing on those schools.
Setting up these visits is not difficult. Simply call the Athletic office of the college you want to visit and ask to speak with the secretary of the sport your child plays. Then ask who the recruiting coordinator is for the area where you live. Then, contact that coach to let them know you would like to setup an unofficial visit. Tell the coach you would like to see all the facilities and meet with the Academic Support staff for that sport. You may also request 3 free tickets to a home sporting event while you are there. Take lots of notes on the visit and ask lots of questions. Also remember to keep your eyes WIDE OPEN. Listen to your heart. It won’t lie to you. These visits will help you to become a more “Realistic” parent and ultimately help your child find the right fit.