The Recruiting Process During a Crisis
Parenting through any crisis is hard, but COVID, the Presidential Election and the social unrest in this country have amplified the tension and affected every high school student and family around the country. No one understands this better than the parents.
What are some of the emotions student athletes are experiencing as COVID and social unrest are on the rise and the election is forefront in the news? You may be witnessing an increase in sadness, fear, anxiety and worry from your child. You may be experiencing these same emotions yourself.
Find My Team recently polled several student athletes about the COVID crisis as it relates to the recruiting process, and their answers could easily apply to any other crisis. We share some of them below along with some methods to help you and your family cope with the recruiting process during these trying times.
Communication is so important during the recruiting process, but it is much more important during a crisis. Communicating your emotions and feelings, and allowing your children to do the same, keeps together and fosters the support and encouragement needed in tough times.
In polling several high school student athletes about COVID, here are some things they shared with us.
- “I’m sad and frustrated.”
- “I’m disappointed that many opportunities were either cancelled or postponed, and I’m anxious for the upcoming high school season.”
- “I’m stressed because we had to move to online schooling.”
- “I’m anxious because I don’t know what is to come regarding not only recruiting but also getting in the gym and playing a school season.”
- “I’m frustrated because I feel like the training that I am doing on my own is pointless because the future is unsure.”
- “It makes me scared not only for the virus itself, but how it will negatively impact my sports to a point that we might not even have a season this year.”
These same worries may be facing your families during this highly stressful election and the racial issues seen across all media channels daily. These topics are a great way to initiate conversations and to learn how your child is feeling. Sometimes, students won’t share feelings unless they are asked about it in a safe place. Usually that safe place is at home with parents they trust.
Just because they are not bringing up their problems does not necessarily mean they are handling everything okay. Seek to make sure.
Be There to Support
According to the student athletes polled, when asked who their biggest supporters were during the COVID crisis, the top answers were parents and family. You are the reason they are able to cope with crisis.
Here are some of their comments when asked about their biggest supporters during COVID-19:
- “My parents because they have been pushing me to keep working.”
- ”My parents because I see them working through all of this and it gives me hope.”
- “My family continues to push me to keep working harder, and that the more work you put in, the more that comes out.”
- “My dad has been able to help me stay on track and hopeful during this whole process.”
- “My parents push me to get up and workout so I can keep following my dreams.”
- “My mom because she talks me through stuff and makes it really easy.”
- “My mom has been my biggest supporter because she is always there for me to talk to and ask if I’m okay throughout all of this.”
- “My parents have helped me when it becomes too overwhelming."
Know that your are making a difference. A strong support system is key to student success.
Try to Remain Positive
Though it is a little unnerving, try not to panic about the recruiting process. Try to remain hopeful and positive. With the current uptick in cases all over the country, this may be challenging. However, if you can help your daughter take it one day at a time and be open to opportunity, she will eventually find her way.
Most importantly, your daughter is going to find a place to further her education. It may or may not look like what you had in mind when she began the recruiting process, but it will be the one she chooses with the help and support from you.
Some Ways to Bring out the Positive
- Always look on the bright side.
- Celebrate the day-to-day victories, even if it was just the fact that your daughter was able to “practice today.”
- Cherish time together.
- Let her know how proud you are of how she is handling school and sports.
Stay Focused on Grades
Grades play a huge role in college opportunities. Whether in the application process or in obtaining financial aid, academics are important.
In a recent conversation with some high school teachers, it was mentioned that some high schools are not permitted to require students to keep their video and audio on during online classes. This means that high school teachers do not know if the students, who are working from home, are listening and participating or if they are sleeping, talking to friends or visiting the refrigerator during class time.
Helping and encouraging your daughter to stay focused on school, even while working online from home, could bring big dividends later in the recruiting process when she is waiting to be accepted into college or waiting to see if she qualifies for academic aid and other scholarships.
There is a lot of uneasiness right now, and mental health issues are increasing in high school students. Taking some breaks and spending some family time is really important for a healthy teen. Even during lockdowns or restricted access to public places, there are things you can do with your child to have some fun.
Here are Some Things Families Are Doing for Fun:
- Taking drives to visit campuses
- Doing more out in nature (hiking trails, camping, boating, driving around lakes, etc.)
- Neighborhood treasure hunts (COVID safe of course)
- Socially distant block parties
- Bonfires with families, local teens or teammates
- Community service
- Dropping surprise gifts off for grandparents
- Card and board games with the family
- Building a snowman
- A picture contest on your phones
The list is endless, and, depending on where you live and the weather conditions, some make more sense than others. The point is to continue to have fun as a family, even during these uncertain times.
Remain Social and Make It Fun
Let’s face it: we are all social beings. Similar to taking breaks, remaining social is important. In talking to several families about how they are socializing, here are some of their responses.
- Driveway conversations (e.g. meeting at the end of someone’s driveway)
- Field or parking lot circle-ups (friends or family meet at a parking lot, bring food and have conversations at a safe distance)
- Skype, Facetime and Zoom calls (there are other media channels as well)
- Small backyard gatherings (practice social distance and wear masks where applicable; sometimes heaters are necessary)
- Biking, hiking and other outdoor exercise with friends and family
Being with others during times of crisis is better than being alone. Friends and families are supportive outlets that help us remain happier and calmer during tough times.
Continue the Recruiting Process
Just because there are hiccups with high school sports seasons does not mean that the recruiting process stops. College seasons are in jeopardy, too. College coaches are also in a bind and must continue searching and finding student athletes to fill rosters spots.
Your daughter can still communicate with college coaches. She can still visit college campuses, both virtually and in person. Whether she is able to meet with college coaches on a visit or not depends on the situation (COVID, Dead Period, etc.), but there is a lot to see and a lot of research to do even if college sports seasons are limited.
Communicating with college coaches is one way to find out if and when your daughter can visit campus, watch practices or attend college competitions.
For more help with the recruiting process, reach out to Find My Team and sign up for a free consultation.