In the age of social media, the images that we see can often portray perfection all around us. Not many (including myself) post or share the hardships or imperfections of their lives. When perusing through Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat we see the highlight reel for other people. It can be easy to be jealous or become discontent with the status of our own life because our every day experience could never compare to the highlight reel of someone else. Women can especially battle the comparison game because of media and the idealistic expectations of image, body type, and beauty. The good news is that there is a great deal of peace and content that comes with the understanding of a quote I love, “comparison is the thief of joy.” I have chosen to focus on what I can control in my own life as well as the joy and gratitude I have while celebrating the joys and successes of others.

The challenge for young girls and their recruitment is no different than the challenge that many people face on a daily basis when browsing through social media. I recently had a mom call and express her concern that her young daughter was paying too much attention to other girls’ recruitment. Girls are now snapchatting the college letters they receive, posting Instagram pics of their unofficial visits, and telling everyone they know about how they committed. I recently read an article of a Stanford football commit that was in 6th grade. Yes, 6th! The pressure to be fully engaged in recruiting before she enters high school is like a full-court press and your daughter or you are likely feeling the pressure.

There, indeed, are a few girls basketball phenoms that are committing at an absurdly young age of middle school but let me assure you that this is not the norm. The truth is mom and dad, she doesn’t need to worry about recruiting until she’s in high school. A reminder that NCAA coaches can’t contact prospective student athletes until September 1st of her Junior year. She may know all of this but yet the readily accessible social media portrays a different story.

The question therein lies, HOW DO I HELP HER NOT COMPARE?:

1. Focus on her own recruitment- This includes everyone in the family. As a parent you set the example and have the power to lead discussions. It’s important to discuss why your family is going to focus on her and no one else.

2. Celebrate other’s successes- When the time comes to discuss other teammates/friends successes, always give praise and congratulations. I love the quote, “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” Teaching her to lift up others instead of tear down is a valuable lesson that will last a lifetime.

3. Reassure her to trust the process- If she keeps working hard and follows my advisement in the process, the rest will follow. It generally doesn’t happen over night. It is a marathon, not a sprint. Marathon’s require grit, toughness, and a will to succeed.

4. Help develop confidence- Acknowledge her individual strengths and what she adds to the team. Also, be sure to encourage her in ways that are outside of sport. She needs to know that she is valued and loved beyond her abilities just on the basketball court.

As a parent, you are likely doing all of the above exceptionally well so take this as just a reminder. An important point that I stress in the recruiting process is that parents know their daughter best. Parents know when she is ready to attack the recruiting process. Note- I did not say parents attack the recruiting process. She needs to be the driver and force in the recruiting process. Following her lead will bring ultimate success and fulfillment.

If you want advice like this plus much more, consider partnering with me through the recruiting process. Call me now for a free consultation!

-Mandy Close Kavanaugh