Friday, December 6, 2013

Making Your Child's Dream Come True...The Recruiting Journey

    This journey actually began when my daughter, Lauren, came charging into the kitchen carrying a slip of paper she brought home from kindergarten.  It was an HGSA (Hilliard Girls Softball Association) information sheet about sign ups.  She handed me the paper and said, "This is what I want to do." I glanced at the sheet and shot a look to my husband.  I said, "This is all you because I don't know a single thing about softball."  He smiled and Lauren smiled and I knew then this was just the beginning.  The beginning of developing a strong passion of the game for my daughter, the beginning of hopes and dreams to play in college, the beginning of a journey. 

     The second part or path of the journey involves Lauren playing travel softball.  Well, that was also the beginning of new challenges, questions and yes, expenses.  Who are the best hitting instructors?... Where should she go for speed and agility classes?...What is the best travel team to be on?...Does she have the right mindset to work hard and earn her spot on the field?...How far will we travel?  We figured out the answers along the way and we knew a new path needed to be explored.  My husband and I just didn't know how to navigate the new route. 

     Luckily, we landed on great travel teams that have provided great learning opportunities, many memories, and some great friendships.  We have traveled as far as Oklahoma City, Tennessee,  Myrtle Beach, Indiana, and Atlanta to play competitively.  Playing on these teams have helped tremendously to shape and push Lauren to be the player she is today. Even though she is a solid player she continues to work and improve to become an elite athlete that college coaches need on their team.   Lauren does have a handful of interests from college coaches in Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania, but as of now no offers have been verbalized.   

    Right now, as a junior at Hilliard Darby High School Lauren has a 4.3 GPA and she really could attend any college she chooses.  However, it is her hope and desire to play softball in college.  Little did I know how competitive, stressful and overwhelming this process could be. My husband and I thought if she played on the right travel team and attended college softball camps that would be enough but it is not! Dave Burgess, author of Teach Like A Pirate, says, "Promote, market and sell are the business practices that belong in the classroom."  Well, promote, market, and sell are the musts of athletes who want to play in college. 

     This is where the third part of journey takes place!  The questions are still rolling in... Where do we go next?... Who do we talk to?... How do we create a website to attach to emails for college coaches to showcase Lauren?  

     Even though we are facing many challenges, I truly believe in Lauren and I know that if we put forth more effort, and with the right support we can make her dream come true!  My husband who is very connected to the softball world has found the answer I think we are looking for.  We hooked up with NCSA Athletic Recruiting.  They have the means to market Lauren and the networks in place to answer our questions and address any concerns.  Lauren's website is well on its way.  As a parent you want more than anything to help your child as much as possible to make her dreams come true.  I know that we are on the right path and big things are going to happen!   Soon, my daughter's dream to play softball at the college level is going to become a reality!

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