Be Careful, and remember that the coach is more of a salesperson than a coach during the recruiting process. Parents think they understand what is happening: When we speak with parents about recruiting and ask them if they know about the process, they almost always reply yes.

USC Volleyball coach Pat Powers said, “Recruiting is like someone who buys a new car once in a lifetime from someone who sells cars 50 weeks a year and has been doing it for 15 years. One doesn’t know anything; the other knows everything. Who is going to get the best of the deal?” That is something you need to think about as you enter into this crazy process.

Rather than acting knowledgeable, parents must become knowledgeable, by asking questions, evaluating answers, seeking information, and asking more questions. Your daughter is the asset, not the other way around. Schools want your child because of their athletic ability, work ethic, and or academic success, or all above the above.

One question to consider asking your athlete is, “if softball was over, for whatever reason, would you stay in school here”? If the answer is no, maybe it should come off your list, if yes, then it stays. Keep in mind everyone at the school is going to make the recruit feel like it is a “special” place. Maybe it is, but the athlete and parents need to make that decision for themselves.

In the end, make sure that the school has your academic program, the coach is a person you think you can learn from, and the atmosphere fits your personality.