Planning Your Daughter's Summer Athletic Improvement and Recruiting Next Steps
Summer is here. What’s the plan for your daughter’s recruiting process and her improvement as an athlete?
Since every recruiting situation is unique and different, it’s hard to put a specific plan in place for you.
However, here are some of the basic questions to ask yourself:
- Have you had conversations with your daughter about college sports?
- Has your daughter mentioned she wants to play college sports?
- Have you found a travel team for your daughter?
- Have you communicated with colleges?
- Have you visited any campuses?
Whether your answers to the above questions are yes or no, there is more to be done with the recruiting process. Depending on where you are on the journey, your next move is now. Set a plan of action and engage your daughter to drive the plan.
Summer is a good time to accomplish recruiting tasks because there is less school and more time to spend working on your plan.
Here are some tips for both athletic improvement and the recruiting process:
Summer Club and Travel Sports
If your child is on a club or travel team this summer, you've got your summer planned for sure. Flights, drives, hotels, meals, and game schedules are probably already filling your head. Lots of decisions have to be made, such as: how much work to take off, which family members will be traveling, and how you are going to fit it all in.
All good stuff. But remember to take it one day at a time. Your daughter will play some good games, and she will play some bad games. She will make thousands of mistakes this summer. You could take the approach that you are going to point out all the 1,000 mistakes she makes, but I’m pretty sure she knows and is already hard enough on herself.
The best thing to do in the summer is to support and encourage. Support her every day while she becomes more and more tired as the summer goes on. Also encourage her to play her best, have fun, and keep striving to be the best she can be, without judging the last game, last play, or last mistake.
As for the recruiting process, if you haven’t started, now is a good time. Start asking your daughter if she wants to play in college.
If you are well into the process or coming to the end, this summer is probably an important time as coaches all over the country are out watching and evaluating talent at tournaments. Supporting your daughter through this summer is a way to show her that you care about her well beyond the sport she plays.
At some collegiate levels, no communication from coaches is allowed during the month of July. Therefore, your daughter may not receive anything from colleges until August. Recruiting rules vary a lot between the different levels and divisions, so it is not worth comparing college to college.
If you are in the neighborhood of a college and you (and your daughter) have not visited colleges, this would be a good time to just drive or walk through to get a look.
No Club or Travel Sports
If your daughter plays a sport that has no summer travel activity, then I hope she chooses to continue to improve this summer, especially if she wants to continue her playing career in college. What can she do?
She can work on her fitness, improve her skill level, eat right, and work on her mental game. There are lots of opportunities to work on each of these four areas. She could put together a personal plan for fitness or skill improvement. She could also get a personal trainer for fitness and skill development.
She could decide to eat as healthy as she can this summer and to experiment with healthy food that she's never tried before. You could help her with this one. Planning meals, researching, and coming up with different healthy recipes together could be a fun experience. She may begin to experience the results in her workouts and training.
She could also work on her confidence and mental game by working with a mental health specialist who works with athletes, or she could go online and learn some of the techniques used for mental toughness, focus, and confidence.
As far as the recruiting process, if she has no summer plans, you could make unofficial visits to campuses no matter how old she is or what sport she plays. Getting a feel of the college atmosphere is a great way to get her thinking about college sports.
You can set up college tours through the admissions office on campus, and/or you can reach out directly to college coaches to see if they would meet with you and your daughter to talk about college sports and, in particular, their program. College coaches are used to doing this with student-athletes and their families.
Summer, ID and Elite Camps
Whether or not your daughter is playing summer club or travel ball, summer, ID and elite camps are other possibilities.
Many college programs hold camps and allow their student-athletes to work the camp. This is an opportunity for your daughter to meet the coaches and players, see how they interact with each other, and see how and what they teach in their sport.
There are also ID camps for sports like soccer. Soccer ID camps are hosted by colleges, soccer organizations or clubs. These camps offer another opportunity to be seen by college coaches.
It would not be necessary to visit every Elite, ID or regular camp your daughter is invited to, especially if she already has a full summer of tournaments and events planned. It's also costly and time consuming.
Having a plan will help you and your daughter stay organized and focused on her needs as it relates to the recruiting process.
These camps are a tool college coaches use to get their top players on campus. If your daughter is invited, it's a good sign. However, it is not definitive proof that she will be offered a spot on the college team or given a scholarship.
Most summers are very busy with all the events mentioned above. It is really important that your daughter, and most likely you as well, take a break from the sports world and give the body and mind a break.
Planning a family vacation that is not one where she plays and you watch from the stands is highly recommended. Think of it as a breather: just some time to relax and enjoy family and time off.
It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. It just needs to be a time to disconnect from sports and the outside world and to just be. This also takes planning and sometimes sacrifice, but it will be worth it in the long run.
Ask For Help if You Need It
If you or your daughter need help with any of these topics or would like assistance with setting up a summer plan, a recruiting plan, or a plan for improvement, contact us at email@example.com or go to our website and schedule a free session to discuss your needs.
Summer can be a fun time, but it can also get hectic. One day at a time.