Helicopter Daddy; you only want the best for your son but is that what you’re delivering? @minguabeefjerky @1776Bank @840WHAS

Ethan Gilberti | The Daily Reveille

College recruiters are not inclined to abide parental drama

How involved should any parent be in his son’s recruitment in football? That is a valid question with an answer often times misunderstood. College is a time for kids to mature and assume control of their own lives. College football coaches expect no less from their players. The weening process begins in recruiting.

HB Lyon, Scouting Director, KPGFootball

The practice is costing prospects offers. Every year the deciding factor in whether a school offers or doesn’t offer comes down to something over which the kid has little to no control; his mom or dad. “Helicopter Daddies” or “Helicopter Parents,” because it is the Mommies too, are meddling in the recruiting process to the decided detriment of the prospects.

The Olive Press

The Cambridge Dictionary defines the term Helicopter Parent as a parent who is closely involved with their child’s life and tries to control it too much, especially their child’s education. We have entitled this article Helicopter Daddy as a cheap marketing ploy.

One of the most read articles we have ever published is “Daddy-Ball.” We are hoping to recapture the magic with this title.

However, now you are reading this article, it is both parents to whom it is being addressed. We are hoping to talk some sense into you, whether you be Mommy or Daddy.

I am the parent of a college football player…I [too] was accused of being a Helicopter Daddy…

Friday Night Fletch

I am the parent of a college football player. When he was in high school I was accused of being a Helicopter Daddy like I am saying about many of you.

I can literally give you names and numbers of coaches who would claim my writing this is the very height of hypocrisy. However, my son is playing college football and at the program which was his first choice.

Did I hurt him with other programs? Probably. However, I knew when the program he really wanted started soliciting his services I needed to shut-up. There is a time, Mom and Dad, where you need to shut-up.

I hope this article helps you determine just when that moment may be. First, let me provide an “Uncle Fletcher” anecdote to drive home the point.

A friend of mine had a son (out of stater, not a Kentucky kid) who desperately wanted to play for a certain program. This kid was invited to on-campus visits, games, the entire nine-yards.

This kid was an all-state player at his position. Yet the school just never offered. The school flirted, looked like it was going to offer, then never pulled the trigger.

The school ended up offering another kid at the same position. The two kids were pretty similar in frame. The two kids were eerily similar in on-field production.

“What was it about [Kid A] you didn’t like as well as [Kid B]?”…”His Dad.”

Friday Night Fletch to Anonymous Ass. College Coach

If anything, the first kid had a little better production, and at a higher classification of competition, than the prospect the school did offer.

I called a friend of mine on the staff of the program in question and asked him a question. “What was it about [Kid A] you didn’t like as well as [Kid B]?”

The coaches answer was shockingly simple. “We didn’t like his dad.”

A recent study proves parents need to reduce the pressure on their children involved in sports. Shutterstock Image

You hear stories of parents of prospects demanding benefits for the services of their kids and the like every day. When our own kids round into prospects some of us believe our ship has finally come ashore.

However, the benefits you are expecting may come your way if your son is in the top five (5) players in the country at his position. Otherwise, your son is one of hundreds of kids on that school’s recruiting board and your prima donna act is going to be met with the school’s figuratively screaming, “Next!”

Let me tell you a phrase you need to incorporate into your lexicon if you really want your son to meet with recruiting success. It was one I practiced often when my own son was being recruited.

William [Long] is his own man, he handles these things himself, here is his cell phone number…”

Friday Night Fletch to coaches recruiting William Long

I would get a call and the caller would say, “Coach Long, this is Coach Smith [not real name] with such-in-such college or university and we would love for William to visit this weekend.” I would respond with, “William is his own man, he handles these things himself, here is his cell phone number. Give him a call and, if he decides he wants to visit, I will either bring or send him.”

William Long, Centre College, living his
best life & making his own choices

I let William decide the schools he would visit, the combines he would attend, and the games we would get to watch. It was his call.

The important thing is I made sure the school knew I was not the one the program needed to impress. This was William’s football career. It would be William’s football and academic decision. It was [and is] William’s life.

William made this call. He is deliriously happy. I have spent the vast majority of his football career at this school being seen but not heard.

Sometimes I may send his coaches an article. That is about all. We don’t talk. I rarely call them and can’t remember the last time I did. Whenever I have called, not a single one of them ever answered.

William’s coaches don’t ever answer a call from me and I am Friday Night Fletch. I am widely regarded as the commonwealth’s leading expert on the topic of KHSAA football and its best players.

William’s coaches may be the ONLY staff in either Kentucky, or any of Kentucky’s contiguous states, who WON’T take a call from me. Now, this is the way it has to be.

Whether I liked it or not, I had to turn off the helicopter. So do you.

You don’t want the music to stop and your son left without a chair. More importantly, you don’t want to be the one who pulled the chair out from under him.

This is Friday Night Fletch, reporting for KPGFootball, reminding you to PLAY THROUGH THE WHISTLE!

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About Fletcher Long 1420 Articles
Two-time winner of Kentucky Press Association awards for excellence in writing and reporting news stories while Managing Editor of the Jackson (KY) Times-Voice

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