Parents of students hoping to play their respective sport at a highly selective institution often call in and ask us if we help student-athletes. Of course we do! We work with all kinds of students — from science researchers to lacrosse players to oboists to poets and everybody in between. Of course we work with student-athletes. We’ve been helping student-athletes earn admission to America’s top colleges for decades. Yes indeed we help them navigate the recruiting process. Duh.
“Your kid can get in on his own. He doesn’t need my help.” Interpret this line as the kiss of death from a college athletic coach.
After these parents of student-athletes inquire if we help student-athletes, we often hear one line from these parents that gives us pause. The line goes something like this: “The lacrosse coach at College X said that Mallory might be able to get in on her own, that her grades and scores are so strong that she can likely get in on her own merits.” May that line be a major red flag for parents of student-athletes hoping their children will get recruited because the translation for this line is as follows: “I will not be flagging Mallory as one of my recruits. I’m hoping that with Mallory’s grades and scores that she can get in on her own, without my help, and if she doesn’t, she doesn’t. No biggie. I’m willing to take the risk because Mallory is a good lacrosse player, maybe she can play on our team, but she’s not a top target of mine.”
Too often parents get excited when college coaches utter a line such as this and then we have to break the news to them that this is not good news at all, that the coach isn’t actually all that interested in their student-athlete. Do scrutinize what a college coach says. Do realize that what they tell parents and students and what they do behind closed doors can be very different things. We’ve heard too many horror stories of college coaches over-promising and under-delivering.
While you’re here, check out this post on college recruits and attrition.