In the last issue of The competitive Edge Magazine I outlined some of the things that you could do as a parent to increase the chances of obtaining an athletic scholarship to a college or university. With the cost of education going higher and higher, and the arduous task of paying off student loans, obtaining a scholarship is becoming more and more of an issue to parents of athletes. When I began to entertain the notion of a sports magazine I wanted to be able to assist parents in their decisions early in their child’s career. I wanted the content to be based on philosophy and not results. I also wanted to begin to discover some success stores that were based on these philosophies. I am very proud to introduce to you two very special people in my life that have taken advantage of these techniques. Wade and Kim Fowler Jr. pretty much followed what I wrote to a “T” assisting their daughter Hillary in fulfilling a dream to play soccer in college. Not only did Hillary pay for her college through hard work and effort on the soccer field she has just recently been hired as a graduate assistant with Belhaven Women’s Soccer program.
In talking with Wade, he stated that he was amused at the subject matter of the article I wrote. Wade said, “It was very applicable to what we went through as a family with our daughter Hillary. Hillary wanted to pursue her passion of soccer after high school so we began to search for avenues of getting her on a college team. We first discovered that it was going to be tough and time consuming but when considering the “pay-off” we dedicated ourself to the task. We were not getting very much help from the local soccer coaches in laying out our possibilities. Her coach in high school had received inquires on Hillary from colleges and never mentioned them to her or us. We had to go out and shake the bushes ourselves.” This only proves my point in taking control of your own destiny. It is narrow minded to think that someone should have your child at mind to the extent that you do. Many coaches coach for one reason only…… TO GET PAID. It is a job and extra effort is not part of the job description so expecting them to go above and beyond is somewhat of a pipe dream.
The Fowler’s worked hard to get Hillary a position on a college squad. She found her spot with the Mississippi College Choctaws playing soccer. At Mississippi College Hillary played in 49 matches as a defender. In her last season, she played in 20 games recording 4 goals on a total of 7 shots. In addition to playing soccer she also received American Southwest Conference Academic Honors and was a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Kinesiology Student Association and earned her USSF E Soccer License. In addition to playing soccer for Mississippi College, Hillary served as a Career Athletes intern where she worked with students, alumni and coaches to promote the benefits of using career athletics to connect with potential employers. Her role was to provide user guidance for the athletes on campus and assist in creating a connection between them and career athletes.
Hillary has just recently entered employment with Belhaven University in Jackson, Ms. Belhaven has just recently entered the NCAA Division 1 after being in the NAIA for several years. Some of Hillary’s responsibilities other than coaching will be in the recruiting department. Belhaven wants to make a push to recruit Texas female soccer players that desire to play in college. After what she went through to get to the college level, she wants to help other girls who share that love of the game. Texarkana and the surrounding areas now have a hometown girl who will help assist these players.
Now this is what I call a true American success story. I have always looked at a coaches involvement as icing on the cake and not the cake. It is very similar to parents asking others to sponsor their children on a team. My responsibility as a parent is to sponsor MY OWN children and not to put the burden on someone else. Although I believe that a coaches responsibility is to make the effort to promote his or her athletes to college coaches, I still believe that the responsibility falls directly on the parents to make sure that they do his/her job. In high school it is your tax money that pays the coaches salaries and you should demand that they do everything they can to promote your student athlete. If they make no effort in promoting your athletes then you should demand they be replaced with someone that has a passion for the job.