7 Ways to Become a Winning Parent

Posted On: 03/28/17 5:23 PM

Your son knows what he wants. He wants to be a college basketball player. You’ve seen the numbers and know that the odds are against him. Being the parent of a student-athlete can be difficult, but you shouldn’t have to feel helpless.

Ultimately, whether or not your son makes it as a college basketball player is not up to you, but there are some things you can do as a parent to improve his chances and help his achieve his dreams.

Seize the day
The odds are already stacked against him. You can’t afford to miss out opportunities pertaining to your son improving his game or his chances to get visibility and exposure. Show up early. Stay late. Don’t miss practice. Find an AAU team where he fits. (Tips on that, here) Go to camps. Prep Hoops has tournaments and showcases specifically geared at getting kids in front of college coaches for exposure. All Prep Hoops events are covered by our staff of writers, with player analysis and evaluations posted to PrepHoops.com to our nearly 400 college-coach subscribers.

Encourage classroom discipline
Regardless of how talented your son is, if he can’t make it on the classroom, he’s not going to make it on the court. Starting when he’s young, encourage good study habits and stress the importance of taking school seriously. Not only will a concerted effort in the classroom give him more options when selecting a school, but it will instill in your athlete the discipline & perseverance that will benefit him on the court.

Make the first move
Is there a particular school your son is interested in? Reach out!Almost all collegiate programs post an email address and/or have a recruiting form on their website. Fill it out. Send and email and a follow up email. Send them film or your RecruitMe profile. Have your high school coach reach out. Go on a visit! Colleges, especially smaller schools who don’t have significant recruiting resources and budgets, will oftentimes make a player a priority if he shows interest. Be intentional about that and don’t be afraid to make the first move.

Know your role – Biggest fan, first and foremost
A big part of your role as parent is encourager. The road to college basketball is certainly a long one and can be difficult.  Don’t let losses, an injury, an uncomfortable role or a rejection letter get your son down. You are his biggest fan, but you’re not his coach. Cheer him on and help him get through the tough times.

The web is where it’s at
Use your resources online. In step 3, we talked about contacting coaches via email, but there are a ton of ways to set your son up for success using the web. Build your Recruiting Resume to send to coaches on PrepHoops.com/RecruitMe. Get ahold of your film (entire game is preferable to individual highlights). Do your online research to find out which schools and which AAU programs are the right fit for your son. Go online to research camps, clinics and showcases to maximize his opportunities (see step 1).

Reflecting is winning
In addition to his biggest fan, you’re able to speak wisdom into the process as well. Check in with your son. Ask him where he’s at with things. Preach patience, perseverance and rationality. Above all, preserve the parent-child relationship.

Find a balance
Seizing every basketball-related opportunity is important (step 1), but so is having a balance. Encourage your student to get involved elsewhere at school. Volunteer. A well-rounded student is much more likely to score highly on college entrance exams and much more attractive on college applications. Encourage an investment in relationships outside of basketball. Juggling basketball with school will be a challenge in college. Practice by getting involved in high school and finding a balance.


Looking for more tips on maximizing your student-athlete’s potential? Check out PrepHoops.com/Education