As most parents know the high school years can be challenging, add to that the college recruiting process. I know first hand as we went through it with our daughter. Many times it is awkward for girls at this age to feel confident in putting themselves “out there” to be judged by anyone let alone college coaches. The temptation for the parent is to take the lead and actually write the emails and make the contacts. Whatever you do ……..do not do this! It is however appropriate to encourage your daughter and help her set goals in the recruiting process. Sitting with your gymnast and making a list of schools she would be eligible to attend and coming along side her to guide her is a much better choice. College coaches can tell if letters and emails have been written by adults. I do not believe a college coach will turn away a recruit because of this issue, but it is so much more encouraging to the coach if it appears the letter is coming directly from the heart of the athlete. This many times transfers over to great things in the recruiting process. Gymnasts who communicate even if the letter has mistakes or is not eloquent shows desire and maturity of the athlete. Coaches are looking for leaders and communicators. They understand it can be hard for high school girls to write or call but they can see past that. I remember walking through this process with our daughter who was a soccer player. It was like pulling teeth to get her to write to a coach. She was a confident athlete and person. She had great grades and knew what she wanted, but when it came to emailing a coach back or calling a coach, she really struggled at times. I often thought it would be way easier if I just emailed the coach back, but in the end I knew that would not be best. It was a process that she needed to experience and skills she needed to develop. This is one of the reasons I believe Jill Hicks Consulting can benefit a lot of families. JHC can be that outside source of encouragement, probably saying the same thing the parent is trying to say to the daughter, but maybe in a new way. I can take the pressure off both the parent and gymnast. Helping set realistic goals and making a clear plan of attack. So I ask again “who does the recruiting in your house” ……….. make it a team effort with the bulk of the work being done by the daughter. In the end it is like anything else, she will feel great satisfaction in knowing she worked hard and learned lots of good things about herself along the way.