This is the week when high school tennis players (and all high school athletes for that matter) can first sign on the proverbial dotted line to commit to playing their sport at the collegiate level. There are press conferences, lots of picture-taking, and lots of hype surrounding the top players – TennisRecruiting devotes a ton of bandwidth to Signing Week and where the Blue Chips and 5-Stars are headed next Fall. It’s a pretty big deal!
We are still two years away from Signing Week in our house, thank goodness. And, I know to my son that seems like an eternity. But for me, I’m realizing that it’s right around the corner. Two years can pass in the blink of an eye.
I’m trying to urge him – nudge him gently – to start taking bolder steps in his college recruiting journey. I forward him the articles on TennisRecruiting that address the essential parts of the process. I casually mention tips I’ve heard from coaches and consultants that might help him. I post videos on his Facebook wall showing college teams in action in hopes of inspiring him to take action.
Ultimately, I have to let him drive the bus. This has to be his thing. I can’t do it for him, as much as I might want to. It’s tough for me to sit back and twiddle my thumbs – that’s not really my personality at all – while I wait for him to act, but I’m going to do it. I’m going to let this come from him because it has to come from him. I will guide. I will support. But I will not do.
And, in two years, when Signing Week has a direct impact on my family, I am confident that I will have some good news to report. My son has worked hard. He will continue to work hard. He will do what he needs to do to reach his goal of playing college tennis. Because that’s how we’ve raised him. And that’s the expectation he has of himself. And he wants to sign on that dotted line.