Parent's Perspective: Make the Right College Decision for the Right Reasons

College campus

This week, I’m pleased to share with you another CBW Soccer Elite recruiting story told from the parents’ perspective. As is the case with many college recruitment journeys, it wasn’t easy. This family experienced its fair share of highs and lows, made lots of sacrifices, and tackled many new challenges along the way. With their daughter now happily committed to a Division 1 women’s soccer program, I asked them to reflect on their family’s journey and share some of what they experienced so others can benefit from the lessons they’ve learned. Here’s their story.

What was the most enjoyable part of the recruiting process?

The ID camps and unofficial visits — before the NCAA rule change — were great experiences. We could see our daughter’s thinking evolve as she met with coaches or toured a campus. And I’m still amazed at the time coaches spent with us on visits.

Which part(s) of the recruiting process were the most challenging? How did you navigate through the difficulties?

The hardest part was simply figuring out that there is actually a process. Perform well at a showcase, generate some interest, go to ID camps. Repeat. If a coach shows interest, call them. Learn about the program and let them get to know you. Communication is definitely a challenge, especially after the rule change. Fortunately, our daughter was comfortable handling all of that while working with the CBW program. I think there’s a tendency at the beginning to think of the recruiting process as somehow separate from the soccer, as if there are things that need to be done to generate interest beyond what happens on the field. But all of the real interest we heard from coaches came directly from what they saw at games or ID camps.

How did the recruiting process impact your family?

Between club games (for two kids), showcases, ID camps and unofficial visits, we didn’t see a lot of each other from January through July. And it wasn’t cheap.

What was the most unexpected thing you learned from your college visits?

The scale of the programs — the resources, staffing, funding — was shocking. I envisioned college soccer as an extension of club soccer. It is not that. The academic centers and support, the facilities, the nutrition programs and strength and conditioning programs were completely unexpected. It put into perspective why the recruiting process is so thorough for the schools.

What impact did CBW Soccer Elite have on your family’s recruiting process? Do you think a recruiting service is worth the investment?

Yes, it was worth it for our daughter. But I would add that it was a combination of the recruiting service and training with Chris. The work Chris and our daughter did ahead of showcases and ID camps set her up for success, especially on the mental side. It was also important that she could place so much trust in Duds [CBW Soccer Elite’s VP of Recruiting, Dan Dudley]. Our daughter made most of her own decisions, but she always sought Duds’ advice. And it was clear the coaches had a lot of faith in Duds’ opinion.

Is there anything else you’d like others to know about your recruiting experience?

I’m glad we let our daughter drive the process, and there were times that wasn’t easy. But we can feel confident now that she made the right decision for the right reasons.

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Chris Bart-Williams is the founder and owner of CBW Soccer Elite. After an extensive career in the English Premier League, Chris now uses his vast soccer knowledge to assist families throughout the college recruiting process and prepare players for the mental and physical challenges of collegiate soccer. You can reach Chris at

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