Dear Coach Taylor – My parents don’t want me to leave to go to school. What can I do?
This is a tough one. Family plays a very important role in an athlete’s life – I know I still count on the support of mine! At the same time, you don’t want to miss out on your dreams.
Sometimes this can be as simple as explaining to your family the huge difference that college athletics can make in your life. It’s an opportunity to get a great education, and to save them a lot of money! Some athletes get scholarships worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, but even smaller scholarships can make a big difference, especially in these tough economic times. And, maybe most important, it’s a chance for you to follow your dreams and play the sport you love in college.
But hear out your folks’ concerns, too. There may well be more to those concerns than them not wanting an empty nest! If they don’t want you moving halfway across the country to a place you may not be comfortable, maybe they have a good point. If you’re a lifelong New Yorker, will you really be a happy in a little Midwestern town? Or, the other way around: if you’re a farm boy like me, how will you feel about moving to the big city? It’s important, when you’re picking a school, not to think only about where can you get in and where can you play, but also: where will you be happy, and what schools have what you want?
So don’t sweat it too much – it’s not uncommon for athletes and their parents to disagree. At worst, you might have a couple awkward evenings around the dinner table. At best, you’ll both realize that the other one has a good point and when you finally commit to the perfect school, you’ll be glad you talked about it.