Talking to fellow teammates about recruiting

Are teammates and parents in same recruiting year generally candid with each other about their recruiting process, or does everyone keep info close to the chest? I realize it is competitive, and depends on the sport/situation, but curious if anyone has thoughts/experience with this.

My D3 Men’s soccer player got friendly with several players and their families who we met through the recruiting process – crossing paths at the same ID camps etc. I’d say we kept preferences and priorities to ourselves since the guys were all competing for a roster spot at the same schools, though not necessarily competing head-to-head since they didn’t all play the same position. My kid was probably the only kid going through D3 LAC recruiting at his public urban high school, and certainly the only one looking outside our region, so most people didn’t really know the schools he was talking to or how challenging the process was. I often felt like he was six months ahead of his classmates in the whole college process – and no one else appreciated how narrow the end of the funnel got, when you identified the schools he liked as schools, the schools he liked in terms of the athletic program, the schools recruiting for his position, who were also interested in him, and were affordable. Going through that, we really appreciated talking to a few people who understood what was involved. But, we probably did not share specifics, only vague “wouldn’t it be great if they wound up on the same team” without ever saying which school etc.

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As I recall, we were pretty candid with people if they asked, and would suggest programs to teammates we thought would be a good fit. We talked to some other recruits we knew around the state and nationally too who were going through things the same time as S. There weren’t a lot of kids in our circle who understood how recruiting worked at the high academic schools, and we actually educated some people on that. I suppose if we thought someone would have been competing for the same spot we might have been a bit more guarded, but for a variety of reasons S didn’t feel like he was competing for a roster spot with any other teammates or friends around the state, only a few guys he knew from national competition. And those guys already knew everything they needed to know, so there wasn’t any benefit to holding info back from them.

The tougher part, and why we didn’t share more, is that S didn’t want to say someone was recruiting him if they didn’t come through with a commitable offer. Both from a bragging standpoint (personal issue with him and I guess me too) and also I think he would have been embarassed if he was bragging that he was being recruited by X, and then they ultimately dropped him.

Probably different details but like @Midwestmomofboys he was going through the process a bit earlier than most of his teammates. He was also looking at athletically tougher admits that realistically his teammates weren’t going to be recruited by either. If we were going through it at the same time and competing for positions maybe it would have been different, I don’t know. All of my son’s teammates and buddies were rooting for each other. There wasn’t really a sense of competition between themselves I don’t think. But again, they had a range of athletic and academic abilities, and roster postions, so they weren’t really competing head to head for a spot either.

My S (baseball) and D (golf) did not discuss any recruiting details with teammates. They didn’t actively try to hide visits and showcase/tourney attendance, but at the same time did not post pictures of the campus, or tweet anything about the visit/event.

Soccer here, and we shared almost nothing. Mostly because for much of the time many schools were in the mix and we didn’t know which ones would ultimately make offers, so didn’t want to say X school was interested only to have X school become uninterested.

Also, soccer is a subjective sport. Some parents thought their sons were better players than they are. My son was getting more interest than other players and it felt like bragging to be more forthcoming. On the other hand there were more talented players getting interest from very high level d1s, and again we and they didn’t share as the experiences were so different and didn’t apply to each other.

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My D21 (golf) and her teammates and competition didn’t really discuss it much at all. Most of the kids were D2 and 3 recruits and many were staying in our local area so I see the reticence on being candid. My D was being recruited by high academic D3s quite some distance from home but I think she just didn’t want to “jinx” anything or look foolish if it didn’t work out. Parents on the other hand, were seives!

Thank you. All aligns with what I’m experiencing. For us it’s purely because it’s all so uncertain and who knows how it will work out. I appreciate the responses!

My daughter didn’t want to play in college…until she did. That was late in junior year and by then most of her friends (who lived in a different state) had been committed for a year.

With her high school team, only a couple were interested in playing in college and their academic interests were very different.

There were a couple from her club team (most from the rival high school as the club coach was the hs coach there) and one committed - to the same school my daughter did, but one week earlier! It was fine but in the long run but at the time stung. In the spring I heard her father bragging that his daughter had a ‘full ride’ but that just wasn’t true. No one on the team had any more than a 1/3 athletic scholarship. She was a good player but not as good a student and I’m sure her merit scholarship wasn’t the top one.

That’s when hurt feelings come out, when they start comparing their financial packages, and the amounts ALWAYS come out at some point.

I’ve found the term “full-ride” used VERY loosely especially by parents, although coaches too sometimes.

Outside of headcount sports, that rarely includes anything beyond room/board/tuition. Sometimes fees, sometimes books, almost never the last few thousand dollars of “misc” expenses.

Frequently parents are talking about a full tuition scholarship, and neglect to mention all of the other costs. They may also be including need based aid or other scholarships that are not due to athletics. Could be academic, or something else too. Depending on the school, academic scholarships could start around 20 ACT, although certainly not everywhere.

Point being, take all of the bragging with a grain of salt. The reality is frequently not exactly what is being portrayed. Sometimes the bragging comes from other people too. I have corrected many people when I hear them say my son is on an athletic scholarship to his Ivy school. He is not, nor is any other Ivy athlete. But the fact that he got a slot, which is far more precious and hard to come by than a regular scholarship, is lost on some people. Especially my father in law. I’ve corrected him many times, and who knows how many people he has told S has a full athletic scholarship to his Ivy when I’m not around.

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My sport is Track and Field so it might be different than others. What I see most often is that athletes in the discussion stage will share with teammates who they’re talking to, and then where they’ve decided to take visits. Usually not much in terms of preferences or where they’re leaning until they’ve actually committed though.

That’s in the context of a typical HS team though, where maybe only one or a few athletes in each grade are being recruited at a high level. I volunteer frequently at national caliber races (nxn, brooks, and the like) and I’ve found a lot more sharing in that context, with athletes being pretty open with each other about their thinking. A big part of the decision is about who you’ll be training with every day, so what others in your class are thinking is important. Also, athletes and parents at that level understand the full picture, so a simple statement like “I talked to mike smith at nau” isn’t going to get misinterpreted and twisted into “mike smith offered me a full ride”. That kind of confusion can happen a lot in other contexts, as has been mentioned.

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@MWRowMom22
My child’s sport is crew - might be the same for you based on your name. If not, this all may be gibberish ! The experience here is that at the large national regattas, coaches talk to kids and everyone sees it (ie: Head of the Charles, Youth Nationals) and the chatter is high and noncompetitive at this state - more like “I can’t believe Coach XYZ talked to me”.

As the season progressed (and then came to a covid end) it changed and by the summer kids were keeping things more to themselves or within tight friend group. Also, they were not seeing each other due to Covid or very limited and spaced out. Also, several programs cut their teams (Stanford and Dartmouth) so that added to concerns and kids talked about what it meant for their sport vs specifics for themselves. I spoke to parents with kids already in college and recruited and they were incredibly helpful.

By late summer, most kids knew where they stood, had test scores and didn’t seem like a lot were competing for the same schools or if it was the same school - there was a good chance the school would take 2+ from the club. With this sport going off ERG numbers - it is not hard to for the athletes to classify each other and figure out match programs. Are they competitive yes - but more with kids from competing boathouses :slight_smile:

Not a clear answer to your question - but crew is mostly a team sport unless you row a single and the kids seem to rally for their teammates too ! Just a lot less face time for parents and kids this year to exchanges tips with no regattas.

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Like @cinnamon1212 my son is also a soccer player. He doesn’t share the complete list of schools he’s talking to. Sometimes teammates already committed to a school he’s having discussions with bring it up because their future coach obviously mentioned my son to them. When parents ask me I tell them it’s too early to get into specifics, but some schools just wouldn’t be fits for one reason or another. Honestly, until he has test scores we can’t narrow things down very much.

Went through this several times for different sports. My personal view is that athletic recruiting is a lot like the overall college application process in that it involves a lot of fairly personal information: grades, test scores, financial information and of course athletic ability and coach communications. I never felt that I should brag or diminish for any category, so we kept things quiet. I suspect that most non-athletes do the same until acceptances are in hand.

There is of course nothing wrong with seeking solace from close friends, as the process is a fairly bumpy road. I for one refrained from sharing plans or progress with others.

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We kept recruiting info close to the vest as did most of D’s teammates. There was so much uncertainty and stress during the process that people were justifiably reticent to share too much.

Once a teammate had committed though, parents were very forthcoming and willing to assist others in securing a spot. D received some interest thanks to her teammates and other parents putting in a good word on her behalf.

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S and his teammates have been pretty open about the whole process, so I know what schools everyone is talking to and considering. When a parent asks me, I’ve been pretty honest as well… “he’s talking with lots of coaches and is in a variety of different stages of the recruiting process. Some are more interested in him then he is in them, and vice versa.”

D was softball and S baseball. We were very open with their high school and travel ball teammates. For the most part, those teammates were not going for high academic schools but were pursuing D1 or Juco opportunities. There were many times we tried to help underclass parents through the process, especially ones with higher academic achieving kids and who were working class parents where FA was likely to exceed any partial scholarship and not be subject to staying on the team.

Both kids met a bunch of other kids through the showcase/camp process, and since we were focused on academic schools, they were often competing for the same slots. While we did not volunteer information, we were open with families who wanted to share and compare notes. At the end of the day, there were many, many other kids competing for these spots so we did not see any point in not sharing information. D continued in her sport at the next level and still kept in touch with the other recruits she made friends with who ended up going to competing NESCAC schools. That was always fun to watch, especially some of the pitchers she had to face.

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For D1 since it’s a dead period still and college recruit trips got canceled, it seems to be need to know. Normally on the recruit trip to visit the college you’d see all the athletes and know who they are looking at. My daughter is getting Snapchat’s from people she is friendly with asking her questions to see if she has gotten recruited now that the rosters are being finalized.