September 1st (the date coaches can contact your son directly) has come and gone. By now, if you are a mom of an upperclassmen you have grown familiar with the the evening convos with the front runners of recruiting. These are the schools that call once or twice a week to talk to YOU mom. Yeah, YOU. I know. Crazy. I remember the time I talked to Lovie Smith on the phone. Good gracious I was nervous. He didn’t laugh at any of my jokes.
But my point is: if they are asking to talk to you multiple times a week, know that your son is inundated. Coaches will call and text throughout the school day and all hours of the evening. I would tell my son “Don’t respond, it’s a test”. “They want to see what kind of student you are, to see if you will answer during class.” The truth (in my experience), they don’t care. They want to take up as much of the athletes time as they can. They are like a used car salesman trying desperately to close a deal. You are negotiating the trade of your son, your greatest gift, for a full ride scholarship. This is why you need your “Spidey sense”(mother’s intuition) because if you’re getting the “used car salesman” vibe, trust your gut. The best recruiter will make you feel like they genuinely care. It will be up to you to help him navigate through what is genuine and what is not. Also you may receive game invites and questionnaires to fill out from schools. Although this is used a a recruiting tool , if a school is interested they will be contacting your son or his coach and extending an offer. In some cases schools extend blanket offers and offer more kids than they have scholarships for. This is because they know every offer they extend is not a “Commit-able offer“. Meaning they WOULDN’T accepted his verbal commitment if he gave it. Also if they offer game tickets this doesn’t necessarily guarantee a meeting with a position coach or head coach.
*To better understand this remember to think like a recruiter- keep as many recruits on the line in case the one you want falls through. Hence, the non-commit-able, blanket offers.
Relationships and Networking
The coaches will use every angle they have. If that looks like forging a relationship with your son because they know he doesn’t have a male to look up to at home. Or flirting with you, mom because they think they will draw you in. Even the married coaches with families (in some cases families that you’ve met). All while looking you in your eye in front of your son and saying (with a straight face) “We are not only in the business of developing athletes, we want to develop great young men, fathers, and husbands.” (If I heard it once, I heard it 10 times). Which is exactly what you want to hear, right? But can you trust this coach? Because the minute recruiting is done and your son doesn’t pick their school, you will never hear from them again. Or worse when they get their recruiting class full at your sons position, he will NEVER hear from them again. In some cases they didn’t even have the decency to let him know they were full at his position. They just stopped answering calls and texts. I took things very personally and wanted to defend and protect my son (Angry Momma Bear). Breathe… This is how you learn and grow through the process. At the end of the day college football is a BUSINESS and your son will be treated as a commodity; remember that.
*Keep in mind the connections made throughout recruiting will come full circle at some point. The coaching carousel is always turning and if your son plans to make a career out of football they will definitely run into these coaches again. Never burn bridges.
Coaches Coming to school
Coaches will stop in at your son’s school and pull him out of class to chat, check on his grades and in some cases meet with his teachers and school staff to see what they have to say about him. This is a sneak attack so make sure your son is at school every day and has a good reputation from the lunch ladies all the way up to the principal. They will ask any school employee if they know him?, if he’s a good kid?, how are his grades?, etc. Of course all of the feedback will be positive because you raised a good one. Now because I worked at my son’s high school I was able to see just how much class time this actually takes up. It’s quite a bit depending on how heavily he’s being recruited. So he has to make sure he is on top of his assignments because he will be missing a lot of class time. Be patient with his teachers and thank them as they will have to be flexible as well.
Just to recap, they are pulling him from classes during the day and tying up his evenings with phone calls. This doesn’t leave much time for anything else. Make sure you are setting boundaries with the coaches and help your son to set a boundary. In most cases your son has never had to set a boundary with an adult male (this looks like telling a coach “No”). *Remember although he has put time into building this “relationship” with this coach, he is NOT anyone’s friend. College football is a BUSINESS.
You may need to help draft text messages, or be in the background of phone calls helping
him find the words to be respectful yet assertive with a coach. After once or twice he will have the script down and be able to handle them on his own. This looks like telling them a good time to contact you or asking them not to call during class, dinner, homework time, etc. Speaking of drafting text messages, you may also have to help draft answers to questions from interviewers. They will probably contact your son through twitter. They usually want a recap of a visit or a camp he’s attended. It doesn’t have to be a long thought provoking answer to the questions but it does need to make sense and be grammatically correct. He should be humble, acknowledge his team and coaches before himself (in that order) when asked about his performance. Remember not to give away too much detail (especially if he is withholding his commitment until signing day).
As always bring on the questions. For my moms of seniors, the journey is almost over so enjoy every second. Moms of juniors, buckle up it’s about to get crazy. Make sure to comment and share with your mom tribe.
We’re all we got.
Check out the VIDEO link below.
Vocabulary to know:
Verbal Commitment– Giving your word verbally that you are committed to that college.
Blanket offer– Offering more athletes than they have scholarships for that position.
Commit-able offer– A scholarship offer that you can commit to immediately.
Non commit-able offer– A coach will not accept the athletes commitment.