Preparing a child to qualify for a division I scholarship can be a complicated process. Parents and guardians must figure out what events, programs and teams are best for their child. The Future of D1 is a resource that helps parents and students understand the college recruiting process.
The organization was created by Askia Taylor, who had a son who earned a Division I scholarship. Her and a fellow parent of a student athlete researched the NCAA eligibility requirements. They realized they were not informed about college recruiting.
“We didn’t know that we should have been making sure that our athletes [from] day one were gonna be an NCAA athlete, nobody tells you that,” Taylor said. “We found that out through our own independent research.”
The website consists of classes, a blog, and a podcast that gives advice to coaches as well as parents and youth. During the podcasts, Taylor speaks with coaches and trainers about the importance for student-athletes to have a strong work ethic, the benefits of a football player competing in track and field, and the pros and cons of parents being coaches to their kids.
One of her top pieces of advice is that student athletes need a support system and parents must be mindful of predators and misinformation.
“Be mindful that division I is a business,” Taylor said. “Your baby’s talent is going to be monetized, they’re gonna earn their degree at no cost.”
A major factor that helped her son, Dallas, earn a football scholarship was competing in track and field. He wanted to play football, but she felt he was too small.
“I said “here’s the condition, I’ll put you in football if you run track first because I’ll feel safer,”” Taylor said. “Track put him on football recruiter radar, he had track’s interest before he had football’s interest.”
Creating the brand came with challenges. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Taylor looked for ways to conduct her podcast interviews. She had plans of finding another person to host her podcast, but the quarantine forced her to use her own voice.
“I just couldn’t find anybody that spoke to it authentically that was willing to be flat out honest that know it the way I know it,” Taylor said. “I was like “I got to try.” I don’t know anything about broadcasting, I know nothing about podcasting, I learned it all during the COVID-19 period.”
Taylor encourages mothers to be informed and involved in the sport their child plays. She refused to let societal stigmas keep her from gaining knowledge about the NCAA and standing up for her child.
“People don’t want to hear from a woman, I’m trying to break that,” she said. “Trying to break the mold a little bit, the idea that a woman knows a little bit more about the recruitment process is challenging.”
Talking about her journey to get her son into a division I program was the inception of the classes. Conversations she had with her son Dallas reminded her of the predatorial practices they witnessed along the way. She recalled how some scouts would contact him via social media without her permission.
“We took a deep trip down memory lane and that’s where all the course titles came from,” Taylor said. “Parents don’t even know there are coaches DM’ing you child on Twitter during a school day when they’re 16 and 17 years old.”
To learn more information about the Future of D1, visit their website at https://www.thefutureofd1.com/