Is your student getting the exposure they need to snag sports scholarship?
Parents often wonder if their child is getting the right opportunities and exposure at their high school to play on the collegiate level and be in the running for sought-after athletic scholarships. One thing should be clear: Parents must team up with coaches to ultimately decide what will be most beneficial for the child.
The athletic director of Prattville Christian Academy, Sam Peak, has coached every high school sport and has dealt with athletic scholarships many times.
“As a coach, I want every kid to play at the next level, but parents have to understand that they must trust their coach to promote,” Peak said. “Depending on what sport you’re talking about, hiring professionals to circulate your kid is an investment in their future.”
Head football coach Jeff Foshee of Stanhope Elmore High School has been a respected name in the state of Alabama for many years. His insight into developing and conditioning young athletes to perform has been dubbed remarkable by many. His most successful player, Demarcus Milliner, now plays for the New York Jets as a cornerback. Foshee has many fantastic pointers for parents on how to handle their child’s quest for an athletic scholarship. He also echoed Peak.“I knew Dee would make it to the NFL if he didn’t get hurt, and as a coach, you don’t see players like that often,” Foshee said. “If you want your kid to succeed, then enroll him in the biggest school around to enhance his or her competition. Parents need to focus on their kid and that’s it. Trust the coaches to better prepare and develop your child for success.”
Coach Roger Lambert was inducted into the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2011 and has devoted his life to helping kids achieve sport scholarships. His tips for parents were similar to both Peak’s and Foshee’s. “From a parents’ perspective, you must have confidence in your coach that he will promote his players on every stage possible,” Lambert said. “Good coaches know when they see talent and will jump to help their players garner scholarship opportunities.”
Lambert warned parents to be cautious when dealing with professional “highlight makers.” “That person makes money by producing highlight footage of your child, and they will tell you anything to sell their product.” Lambert said. “I don’t discourage parents about using them, but they need to be careful about what they’re hearing back.”
At the end of the day, though, having the right coach makes the most difference. Trust that your coach knows how good your child is and knows the steps needed to take them even further. Good coaches feel just as proud of their players when they make it to the top as parents do.
A Dad’s Perspective
Ronald Simmons’ son Austin Simmons recently received a football scholarship at Alabama A&M, and he shared these tips.
• Make sure you your student-athlete is making good grades!
• When your child is in the 9th grade, have them take the ACT/SAT. Take these tests as many times as possible.
• Register for the NCAA Eligibility Center. This is a REQUIREMENT for NCAA athletics. www.ncaaeligibilitycenter.org.
• Meet deadlines. Once your student-athlete is registered, you will receive email notifications regarding assignments and deadlines.
• Go to camps early. Visibility is critical in the recruiting process.
• Get good quality film and stats on your child.
• Help your student-athlete create an athletic resume and cover letter.
• Not all student-athletes will go to NCAA BCS (Div. 1A) schools. Do not miss out on a scholarship opportunity because you fail to consider Div. 1-AA, Div. II or Div. III schools, as well as NAIA schools.