Mom & Dad, the Backseat Drivers

I’m 29 and I still consider my mom & dad “helicopter parents”. Pictured above is me with my parents 8 years ago, my Junior year at Richmond after winning A10 Championship. Would not have gotten recruited to Richmond without them though, that’s for sure!

I wrote a letter to all mom and dads out there who are guiding (or over stepping) their daughters recruiting process:

Dear Mom & Dad, for perhaps the first time, we are going to ask you take a backseat driver role. This will help your daughter to not only become an independent young lady, ready to take-on college, but it will also leave a great impression with the coach. In addition, it will help your daughter pick a school and program that is a better fit for her. Not what you think is the better fit for her. 

Here are just some examples of what NOT to do, and what TO do, in the recruitment process:

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What NOT to do: Send emails to college coaches or college advisors.

The right way: Suggest to your daughter that she sends the email. You can edit the email before it is sent yet she will write it and it will come from her email address.

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What NOT to do: When meeting with a prospecting college coach, you answer and ask most of the questions and do a lot of talking.

The right way: Prior to meeting a coach, suggest your daughter writes up a list of questions for the coach. Also, have her write out a list of questions the coach could ask her, and help her practice answering those questions (like an interview). Remind your daughter to bring the notepad with questions and a pen when meeting with the coach (don’t remind your daughter in front of the coach). If a coach asks a question, you should not answer (unless it is specifically directed to you). If you have something important to add, you can chime in at the end. It is fine for you to ask the coach a question, but make sure your daughter asks all of hers first and that you do not do most of the talking. 

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What NOT to do: Do majority of the college recruitment research and work.

The right way: Make sure she is researching the schools, taking initiative and writing pro/con lists. Make sure she is involved in the video editing and resume creating process. Make sure she is seeing the schools and asking the right questions and networking.

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What NOT to do: Tell your daughter the geographical location of the school she should attend. Tell her what major she should pursue. Tell her what type of field hockey program she should aim to get recruited by. Tell her the size of school she should attend.

The right way: Visit schools all over, all different locations, majors, hockey programs, sizes, rural, city – you get the idea. College is a decision that should come from your daughter’s heart. If she is excited by something, do not squash it.

Remember, college is all about her opportunities, growth and your daughter becoming an adult. This is the first step!

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