As parents start to notice how talented their kids are at sports and how much of their heart they put into it, it’s natural to start to wonder if sports participation will lead them to their futures.

Athletic scholarships can make the world of a difference for a student-athlete who has aspirations to play professionally someday. And it also means so much for parents who don’t have to be burdened with the finances involved in sending their child to get a college education as an athletic scholarship could mean a full ride to college.

However, the reality is that getting an athletic scholarship is not easy. In fact, only about 2% of high school seniors receive sports scholarships every year at NCAA institutions with the average cost of a scholarship to be less than $11,000.

Many young boys and girls grow up fantasizing about competing in their dream colleges. Approximately 8 million students currently compete in high school athletics in the U.S. However, only 480,000 will perform at NCAA levels. And of that group, only a very small fraction of them will go on to become a pro-athlete or compete at the Olympic level.

On top of that, there are only a handful of sports where full-ride scholarships are offered. These are sports such as football, men and women’s basketball, women’s gymnastics, volleyball, and tennis.

Many parents go as far as hiring an athletic recruiter to help improve their child’s chances of being offered an athletic scholarship. What parents need to realize is that athletic recruiters, regardless of how many connections they have or colleges they are acquainted with, cannot win your kid a full ride to college – only your kid and their athletic ability can. In fact, if your child is talented enough for an athletic scholarship, chances are that the colleges will come to them and not the other way around.

College coaches don’t want to watch hours of video on your kid dating back to games from little league. They want to see two to three minutes of how your child is currently performing to see what level they are at. Furthermore, college coaches don’t want athletic recruiters getting caught up in the mix. And the truth is, they don’t want to deal with the parents either. They prefer to deal with the student-athlete directly who can personally show them their level of commitment to the sport.

Your best chance of getting your child noticed is to take video of their performance at games. Today, there’s no longer a need to send coaches physical copies of the video. Instead, post a short video on YouTube and simply send the link to the coach.

While your child may not win them a full ride to college, being an athlete will surely increase their chances of college admission because all schools, regardless of whether they offer scholarships or not, seek to have strong sports programs. So while the chances of an athletic scholarship are slim, know that the chances of college acceptance are higher because your kid is an athlete. And for your child who dreams to be a student-athlete at their choice school, that is enough.