I caught a few minutes during my parents visit from Oregon to interview my mom about my recruiting experience from her perspective.

You can catch the full thing here.

The interview got me thinking….. “What should the parents’ role be in the recruiting process?”

I am very fortunate to have insanely supportive parents- this was especially true during my soccer development. They also, good/bad/or otherwise, were pretty hands off and let me drive my path. If I needed something they would back me up 100%, but I had to ask! They didn’t write my emails for me, but they would edit them when I needed another set of eyes. They didn’t tell me what I should do next, but they would have an open discussion with me if I needed guidance. And, they definitely didn’t tell me where they thought I should go to school, but would offer up ideas any time I looked to them. I think we had a pretty good balance!

During our chat, I asked my mom what she would have changed in the process and her answer was: start earlier. It was a great answer and I completely agree. We just didn’t even think about it!

As I reflected on our conversation I wondered to myself….

“What would I have changed with my recruiting experience?”

My answer: I would have looked at all levels of schools. I was dead set on playing at a NCAA Division 1 school. I was more than thrilled to have the eye of a top 25 team and it made it hard to think about anything different. Ultimately, I didn’t play at that school and where I ended up was a fantastic fit but I do wonder if what my experience could have been at maybe a Division 2 or 3 school. My advice to anyone starting their search for the right college/soccer fit is don’t close yourself off from options based on division. Who knows, you could be a D2 National Champion!!!

The top 5 things a parent can do to support their athlete through the recruiting process:

  1. Have the conversation early. Do you think you want to keep playing while in college?
  2. Align on goals: academically, athletically, and financially. What is important to the athlete and what is important to you? Be open and honest with each other. Alignment is key.
  3. Support exploration (within reason). Take your child on college visits and if possible sign them up for college camps. Those are the best ways to really see what a school is all about.
  4. Ask “how can I help” (rather than “have you…” “why won’t you….” “have you heard from…”).
  5. Buckle up and be along for the ride! Recruiting can be a roller coaster and the most important thing you can do is be there to support your child through all the ups and downs.



Mandy Raff comes to us from Modesto, CA. She grew up playing club soccer in Oregon and played in college for the University of Idaho. She is extremely passionate about helping others achieve their college soccer dreams!