Free Advice so YOU don’t waste $$$$$ or time

In the past decade there has been a vast many who want to be your friends so they can open your wallet. Yes that advice comes for a price and can even waste your time. Now more than ever it is easier to keep up with the Jonses rather than do your own research. If you are unclear ask a graduating high school Senior or their parents about the past because they have determined their future upon graduation.
Some of the questions that you should already know but need confirmation are:
Was it worth spending money on little league tournaments and travel teams?
Answer probably “NO” as kids need to be kids and from 2nd grade to 8th grade there is no real value as opposed to say enjoying a vacation to the beach or mountains.
How many colleges did you visit?
We visited the locals because we spent a ton of money in grade school and did not save enough for what was most important like road trips or flying to colleges of interests our Sophomore or Junior years.
Did we need to hire a recruiting service?
Well that was a mistake as they mention D1 but really focus on the lower levels which we could have done on our own. So yes it was a waste of time and money we could have used our summer prior to our senior year.
Did the extra curricular activities make a difference?
Again there was monies spent on specialization and trainers we should have saved for summer trips and camps. Yes we got caught up in the hype and bought into the drama to only realize it had little value. We were exploited like many others and by the time we realized it we did not want to burn bridges and continued to pay monthly dues to save face. We now know interactions on campus or with our high school coaches were more important than the guy we paid to promote us and sell us merchandise. The plug was nice and made you feel good but looking back I wish we had that money to use on books or additional college trips.
What was the best advice for college visits?
Many coaches cited not worrying about 7on7 or one sport but to be a multiple sport athlete. We have since seen both Dabo Swinney and David Shaw come out against the football tournaments namely 7 on 7 and wish we had known prior to spending way too much time and money thinking that was a viable option to get recruited. Not only did we spend a ton to be on a team but my son did not participate in a Spring sport but he was away from his team mates in the off season. What is worse is many parents got into credit card debt thinking they would gain a scholarship that did not materialize. We all got duped but we drank the koolaide.
What would you suggest to other parents?
Honestly, hold onto your monies! Every time I turned around the advice I was getting came with a fee. So my FREE ADVICE would be enjoy time with your kids and let them enjoy time with friends rather than travel all over the country to be exhausted every Monday. Also get much needed sleep and avoid 4:30am alarms to train when it can be done at school with team mates and the coaches. Coaches that the colleges go to to seek advice and recommendations and have long standing relationships. The high school coaches are not getting paid to promote kids, instead give advice on their skills or weight room numbers as well as grades in the class room. The reality is everyone can find a place to play after high school but to be told you are D1 and then the reality sets in by April of your senior year it hurts that you sacrificed a lot to just be average. It puts a lot of mental pressure on a kid and a family. So again my advice would be just to enjoy the 4 years of high school and visit camps post sophomore and junior years and let the process take its course. We unfortunately spent a lot of money to realize it was the SAT and GPA that got the doors opened to us and eventually a commitment to attend our school of choice. Obviously an athletic scholarship was our goal but the reality is it is very competitive and no one person can guarantee you a full ride. All they can guarantee is a monthly bank account withdrawal and continue to do it to others that do not share their stories. We have shared and I know there are others that have similar feelings. All I can emphasize is spend money on college trips not the spotlight! We thought short term and not long term and it cost us financially in addition to time we can not get back. I caution all parents to rethink their sons and daughters time away from friends and teammates.

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