College Athletic Recruitment

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by Park Pirate, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. Park Pirate

    Park Pirate Mouseketeer

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    So, current events seem to have demonstrated the measures some parents will go through to get their kids into a college of their choice. I think this is related:

    In a previous thread, I mentioned that my son's lacrosse teams have played in tournaments (unfortunately, often organized by High School graduation year) against plenty of teams that seem to have kids that are all a year or so older than traditional/average/expected ages for their school grade. For example, they have played a team full of 7th graders that had 14 year olds on it. Although somewhat annoying for a team that tries to follow the spirit of the age groups, it is unfortunately something we expect. I believe some tournaments even stipulate that a team can have a certain number of older kids. Whatever - that is not the reason for my post.

    I had heard of the practice of holding a kid back a year for athletic reasons for some elite lacrosse middle schools. There was an article about this some time ago about schools in Maryland. However, I now know a parent that is going to do this very thing. My son plays on the same rec team as his son. His kid is going to be held back to repeat his 8th grade year. The kid has no problems academically or socially and is average age for his current class - the only reason, as admitted by the parent, will be for athletic considerations. In fact, the parent has said that he will not be allowed to repeat the grade by the public schools, as he has met all requirements for advancement. Therefore, the kid will have to either go to a private school or be home schooled for a year.

    One of the parents asked the kid's father how the kid felt about it, and the father said that the kid wanted to do it because all the other kids on his travel program (my son plays on a more local travel team while this kid plays on one several hours away) are doing, or have done the same thing.

    Do other sports do this? The only thing I can think of is that the father feels it will give his kid an advantage in terms of a college scholarship. Also, for any of you familiar with college sport recruitment, wouldn't this be something the college would consider when evaluating athletes? If a kid is a year older than others in high school, then it may make a difference, but I have to think that once they get to college and can redshirt, or stop growing, or whatever, the difference is not as much.

    Not that it concerns me, but I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this. His kid is good, but not what I would consider elite. I also do not know how many full ride scholarships are given out for lacrosse. I have to think that most are partial, unless you are elite. And, if you are elite, that should be apparent to recruiters, whether you are held back a year or not. Furthermore, this family has money - this is not a story about a poor family trying to get their kid a chance for a good education. The amount of money they are spending on training and perhaps a year of private school may be better spent in a college fund. Lacrosse does not have a lucrative pro league, so it is not like they are trying to set this kid up for life. I really do not think he is good enough for that anyway. I think they are setting the kid up for failure, and giving him a real warped sense of priorities. And, no, I am not jealous - my son is a good lacrosse player, but even if he were elite, we would never consider such a thing. I wish nothing but the best for this kid, but feel a little sorry for the expectations that are being placed on him.
     
  2. soccerdad72

    soccerdad72 DIS Veteran

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    Yes, it's been widely reported for years (in many sports) that parents have 'red shirted' kids as early as Kindergarten to allow them to be older (and, theoretically larger) than other students in their same class.

    I don't have any specific examples, off-hand, however. I think it's a really stupid idea, given the rarity of athletic scholarships that exist.
     
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  4. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

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    Frankly, not at all to be snarky toward you, but I don't really care what other parents decide to do for their kids in situations like this. I have three kids who play lacrosse, and are in a similar age range to what you describe, so I have familiarity with it. I have DS14 (turns 15 very soon) who is defense, DS11 who is a goalie and DD11 who is a jack-of-all-trades. In fact, right now I'm up to my eyeballs in lacrosse. Between my 3 kids, we have 6 different teams we have to manage...each plays for 2 teams (and all those costs mean no Disney this year...or any travel vacation... :sad:). Our kids have varying levels of skill and so we deal with teams ranging from local rec to national travel. I have seen kids that appear to be older than what the rest of the kids are. We've also had that situation happen to us, but not for the reasons you describe. A year ago, DS14 didn't make the "select" team and they didn't have enough kids to make a rec U15 team. Therefore, they put him on the U13 team even though he was about to turn 14. Either way, it doesn't matter much to me. I want my kids to give 100% effort and have fun, that's the objective. Certainly I'd object if my kid is playing on a 2025 grad year team and there's a kid who is clearly 14 years old. But if it's one year, I don't really care. I would never hold my kid back for that reason, I think it's utterly silly. If the kid is talented enough, it'll show through regardless...and besides most very talented kids I've seen play up, not down. However, if that's a choice another parent makes for their kid, that's their decision.

    I'd add that I just tell all my kids, regardless of their skill level, to go out there and compete. Have a good time, try your hardest and what happens in the future will happen.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  5. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon DIS Veteran

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    Of course it happens. As @soccerdad72 said, it happens in multiple sports and can happen as early as kindergarten. But why worry about what other parents are doing with their kids. If your child is playing school sports, there's a good chance they'll play with and against kids that are 1-3 years older. Do I think it's "right"? No. But people do a lot of things that I don't think are "right". Not worth worrying about.

    If you played a "real" sport, then you get to go to Disney for tournaments/competitions. (NOTE: I'm kidding about the "real" sport crack, just trying to make a joke).
    We've been to Disney the last two years for soccer tournaments. I know they have baseball, softball, volleyball, basketball, and cheerleading.
     
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  6. soccerdad72

    soccerdad72 DIS Veteran

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    Younger son was asked to fill in at the tourney this Christmas at Disney - but they only reached out to us 2 weeks before the tournament, so it was impossible for us to rearrange family plans in time, so we had to opt out. We figure there's more opportunities to come.
     
  7. Southernmiss

    Southernmiss I am hazed everyday

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    DD plays soccer and is good. She has been to i.d. camps and has been contacted by coaches.

    We went to a soccer in college fair last year where the speakers (parents of sports kids, coaches, and recruiters) all reiterated that it's a myth that there are lots of full ride scholarships available for athletes. Very few and far between. Their advice was academics have the best opportunity for scholarships.

    That's what DD is focusing on and has decided not to pursue playing in college.
     
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  8. soccerdad72

    soccerdad72 DIS Veteran

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    Good point - in truth, only basketball and football generally is giving full rides. Most other sports will split their scholarships into partials in order to fill the roster with the most talent they can for the total amount of scholarships they have.

    My older son, who made varsity soccer as a freshman, said early on that he had no interest in playing in college. He estimated himself, at best, a Div. III player, so he figured the amount of time he'd have to put into playing soccer in college wouldn't have been worth the time away from his school work.

    One thing that the college scandal highlighted, however, was that just being on an athlete recruit list can help a student's chances of admission. I recall a conversation I had with another dad a couple years ago. When hearing that a teammate of our sons' (who, frankly, wasn't a very good player) was meeting with the soccer coach on a college trip they were doing, I somewhat laughed it off. The dad made a really good point, however, saying if that meeting with the school's soccer coach gave him even the slightest advantage over another student with similar grades and scores, it was worth the brief amount of time it took to talk to the coach.
     
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  9. lovin'fl

    lovin'fl DIS Veteran

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    My girls played travel softball and went on to play in college. They quit because they wanted to have more of a college life/experience and do other things (playing a sport in college is a time eater, even D3). I never saw or heard about folks holding their kids back or stacking a, say 12U, team with all 13 year olds. Though we weren't exactly in a big softball area (lacrosse was THE sport in our area...then soccer and volleyball). My girls, HS 2017 graduates, played with 2016 and 2018 graduates depending on what year team (10U, 12U, 14U). Sometimes there were way younger girls who 'played up'. ANd by the time they were doing showcase, like 14, they were all under 18U or showcase team or whatever. I know some folks switched HS based on who was on teams...like if they wanted their kid to be starter right away but their school had that position covered. There was a lot of cut throat business to get their girls seen and recruited. Recruiters don't even watch HS games for softball, they just go to showcases. Yet some parents pushed the HS stuff. I guess to make All county and other honorable mentions in the papers because that went on profiles that college coaches looked at. It was an interesting experience. And there were some who just had to have their girls make D1, even really crappy D1 where the academics or environment isn't all that great. And some were clueless and thought their kid would make FL Sate yet their grades and SAT scores were crap. And, honestly, there were no stand out (FL State level) players in our area. It was too cold (in MD) year round to really fine tune softball talent (and many of the athletic girls went to lacrosse anyway). In FL or CA or AZ, girls can really play all the time and fine tune.

    edited the bolded above, had 2015 when it should be 2018
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
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  10. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon DIS Veteran

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    Like any tournament there's good and bad. The facility is wonderful. But $18/day/pp admission is a little steep. Can't beat the weather for the last week of the year (although we've had some cold days).
     
  11. soccerdad72

    soccerdad72 DIS Veteran

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    As it turned out, all the non-high school age groups (son is a 2005) played at a complex in Kissimmee and wasn't even at WWOS, so that would have been disappointing (albeit cheaper ;) )
     
  12. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

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    Yeah, but playing real sports is expensive so it wouldn't matter anyway... :P

    Seriously though, what makes me sad even more is that one of the many tournaments we have to do this summer is literally 20 miles from WDW. However, we can't do a WDW trip because it would make my other kids miss their practice...and they have a tournament the following weekend so they really shouldn't miss practice. Nuts!!!! Besides, not sure what soccer costs (I'd be curious), but lacrosse is expensive. Between registration fees and travel, I'm guessing we'll spend $5000 this summer between all of our kids. That's with doing it as cheap as possible...only one parent going to each one, not staying in a team hotel (staying on credit card reward points), etc.... There goes our WDW fund.... But it's OK, I'm thrilled they get to have these experiences.
     
  13. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon DIS Veteran

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    I drove by that complex when helping my mom with some stuff. It looked fairly nice too. Was it Celebration (I think)?
     
  14. soccerdad72

    soccerdad72 DIS Veteran

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    Soccer widely varies, depending mostly on the level you're talking about.

    My son's club, for example, has three teams in his age group. Club fees for all players is $1,600 a season.

    For the lowest level team, add $300-$600 per year for 2-4 tournaments, plus an average of $150 a night for the hotels.

    My son's team (mid-level) plays in a regional league, so add another $200 per season (fall and spring) for extra league costs and another $200 for the state cup tournament.

    Their top team is now in the national league, so add another $500 for those league fees, plus extra travel expenses - this year, the league games were in North Carolina and Las Vegas.

    I'd say we pay somewhere in the range of $3,500 for our one son to play soccer, year round.
     
  15. soccerdad72

    soccerdad72 DIS Veteran

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    I think it was in Kissimmee? Schedule just said Austin-Tindall Regional Park. I heard the 11v11 fields were in good shape, but parents with kids on a younger team said the 9v9 fields were in rough shape.
     
  16. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon DIS Veteran

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    $5k for three kids? You're getting a deal.

    DS is on three teams... HS, Club (state & regional level), and ODP (trip to Germany in 2 weeks to play). Including the $3500 for the Germany trip, we've spent over $9K for him. He's had tournaments in Charlotte (7 hours) and Disney (12 hours) with the club team, and a trip to Memphis (7 hours) with the ODP team.

    DD on the other hand is on two teams, MS & club. We've spent ~$1500 for her so far.

    As @soccerdad72 said, it depends on the level and where you go. The club DS plays for, the 2004 top team (DS is 2003) goes to Vegas to play games as part of the National League.
     
  17. Tigerlulu

    Tigerlulu DIS Veteran

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    That sort of attitude happens in every sport.

    My daughter is in competitive dance. We do it because she loves it and she comes out smiling. That’s my motivation. I don’t enjoy the dance bills, sitting with women listening to them talk about their friends behind their backs and all the travel but it makes my kid happy. For now. I can’t wait until she’s ready to move on.

    With that said. We have one mom who talks about making her daughter practice and how she cries because she doesn’t want to. She truly believes she’s raising the next Brittany Spears.

    Our studio owners daughter runs a good bit of the comp teams. She has two stepdaughters, one who is her fav. The studio was scheduled to travel to a comp three hours away in two weeks, but this comp was going to be one hour away in one week. So this lady took the fav stepdaughter only to the convention part of the comp (which is an ok thing to do) for the sole purpose for her to learn the scholarship audition dance for the following weekend. Here’s the kicker though. She sat in the room, secretly videoed the audition dance, texted it to all the team moms and told them to have their daughters learn it. I got this text, luckily my kid had just aged out of this age group, although she was still on the group team dance. So her audition dance was the same as the one for the older stepdaughter that she didn’t bother to video.
    But she came back that week and spent their team practice time TEACHING AND REHEARSING the audition dance, not the dance they were about to go compete!!!! All so 8 little girls could look like they won something really special when the studio made their Instagram post. And sure enough they all got picked. But they didn’t earn it. They cheated.
    And I would have pulled my kid from that audition had she been in there. I was and still am furious for that having happened.

    And the prize was like half off next years registration or something stupid like that. Not even worth compromising your integrity over.

    Every single sport has these parents. In fact, it’s not even sport related. I’ve seen it in music too. Omg the drama some of these band/private lesson parents can make. Grow up people.
     
  18. Tigerlulu

    Tigerlulu DIS Veteran

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    Lol felt good to get that vent out!
     
  19. mjkacmom

    mjkacmom DIS Veteran

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    We never use the kids activity trips as vacations, too many kids, too many activities. Kid plus one parent, or no parent. Ds20 did get to going on a dance trip to Scotland with his dad and sisters, but he really wanted to go there. They’ve had so many dance competitions at WDW, in July, no thanks for me! Ds’s club soccer team is going to Barcelona in July, $2000 pp, but I said no (it’s actually the B team but they need more kids so asked the A team to get their numbers).

    Parents do send their kids to private school here in middle school to hold them back, most who redshirt for kindergarten are more concerned with maturity, not athletics.
     
  20. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

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    Ack...just deleted my post by accident.....to recap, yes, I know. But believe me, it's on the cheap. These are summer only costs, and just for the club teams. Like I said, we're saving as much expenses as we can...avoiding team hotel costs, only one parent flying, etc...we could easily spend thousands more. I don't even want to think of how much we spend in a 12 month period. :faint:

    Yeah, we're falling into the same boat. We wanted to try to parlay one or more of the tournaments into a family vacation, but it just won't work. Money and schedules (someone would miss something important) just make it impossible. So our vacation this summer will be a staycation...when our last tournament is done in mid-July we are spending the next 10 days doing as little as possible.[/QUOTE]
     
  21. mjkacmom

    mjkacmom DIS Veteran

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    [/QUOTE]
    Our summer vacation will be the first week in August, after that the nes still in high school have a month of mandatory practices/tryouts. Dd18 is going tomorrow her last dance competition with her friend, they will fly down together and Uber since they are too young to rent a car.
     
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