August 22, 2016

Olympic Thoughts - Parte Dois

And my last thoughts about the Rio Olympics....

  • I think that the swimming competition is still going on!
  • Speaking of swimming; lessoned to be learned from Ryan Lochte for all high school and college athlete (especially college athletes) - Tell the truth the 1st time asked, no matter how dumb/stupid/embarrassed/expensive/consequences/repercussions may be.  College age kids do stupid stuff but when they lie about it, try to cover it, it only makes things much much worse because, and tell this to your daughter/son...the coach always finds out.
  • Usain Bolt is one fast human...3rd Olympics and still no other runner is within leaning distance of him at the finish.
  • Speaking of Track - Strange to see the stands with so many open seats; the track venue used to packed for every event at the Olympics. As I wrote in my 1st Olympic Post, me thinks the combination of ticket prices and the Brazilian economy has kept the locals away.
  • And now volleyball..
    • A bit of a down year for the US Volleyball continent overall.
    • Men's Beach made the Quarterfinals but did not seem a credible threat for a medal.
    • Women's Beach got the Bronze, but could well be seen as a let down down after the Gold Medal expectations of Jennings and Ross.  The other USA team did not win a match in their Rio trip.
    • Tough loss for the Women's Indoor team - 13-15 in the 5th, and after being up late in the game.  
    • Can't miss serves late in the 5th game; beyond the free point for the other team, a missed serve late can just jilt the momentum of the team pushing to finish.
    • Honestly, and please don't hate on your favorite volleyball website for writing this, Serbia as a nation will appreciate their win more than the USA would have.  
    • Serbia has 7 million people and volleyball is a primary sport of their country; their populace will remember a Gold/Silver for generations and cherish this team as heroic.  A USA Gold would have been forgotten the opening weekend of the college football season.
    • Speaking of population (I obviously like using "Speaking of" in this post) - China should be the Olympic Gold Medalist and World Champion each competition.
    • Congrats to the USA Men's team for rallying; better to lose early than lose late!  
  • There have been some individual acts of violence against athletes (robberies, assaults) but nothing massive or comprehensive has occurred in the Rio games.  Good for everyone involved and good for the country of Brazil.
  • Men's basketball is on a different planet of support - I saw a brief spot about the Men's team on a NBC piece and they have taken over the Flamingo Sports Club gym (famous sports club in Rio with very good volleyball program and I have been in the gym they are using).  Not only are they using the gym, they put up massive banners, sign boards, huge wall banners and floor signs all saying USA Basketball and Good Luck.  It looked like a USA Basketball practice facility in the states; I could barely see anything that said Flamingo.  
  • I don't know what is more motivating to get in better physical condition - Seeing the world's best athletes going full tilt (unleash your inner Olympian) or watching all the pharmaceutical commercials with their listing of side effects.
  • Great Britain is top 3 in the medal count - Hanging with the massive populations of USA, China and Russia!
  • There should be a Big Spash competition in the High Dive; I would definitely watch that.

August 18, 2016

College Volleyball Recruiting - Setter or Libero?

My daughter who is going into her sophomore year has been setting since 6th grade she runs 6-1’s very well and is equally comfortable playing in a 6-2.  She has likely reached her max height of 5’ 6”.  In the offseason she conditions well - runs, works vertical drills, does summer leagues  and has about a 36” vertical.  She’s extremely fast, easy to work with, understands the court well and at several camps DII and DI coaches have told me she is one of their favorites to work with. 

This summer at a big 10 camp one of the coaches brought in from another college even offered to help my daughter when she starts looking for a college to play at.  She is always positive and always 100%.  She understands that her height will most likely not allow her to play D1 as a setter.  

She has approached her high school coach (who is also a club director) if she can move to a DS position to get more touches at a position she thinks is where she would likely play at the next level.  The HS coach surprised me and asked her why she would want to cut her playing time as she runs the court well at setter adding that while my daughter was on a 2's team in the last season she beat her 15-1's team.  Coaches words  "you beat me at nationals despite not having a a team that passed well"  My daughters team was forced to run a 6-1 due to injuries and a player backing out of nationals at the last moment.  

I'm having some difficulty communicating with the HS coach as she really wants to limit discussion with parents, which I fully understand.  I'm not trying to be the VB parent who is trying to position my child I'm just trying to understand how to help my child plan for the future.  Maybe that is being misinterpreted.

 Bottom line, i'm not known for brevity-  Is my daughters strategy of focusing on where she think she will play at the next level correct? Considering her passing isn’t as developed as her setting capabilities/ (IMHO) outstanding court awareness.

Generically if she is recognized as a strong setter, should she stay there and look for a DII college or with her speed and court awareness what would your advice be in regards to transitioning position this year and working on defense/passing though it would mean fewer touches?

I’ve spoken with the HS coach briefly but I’m sure she is not fond of the idea of moving this setter to a DS role.
I just found your site today I wish I had found it earlier, I know nothing about the recruiting process.  Overall my daughter loves the game and if she couldn't play DI she would be disappointed but would continue to play with the same enthusiasm if she were at a DII or DIII.  Dad would really be enthusiastic if DII were an option.

Thank you in advance for your advice.  I will be picking up your book this week, as it looks as I have a lot of work to do helping her sell herself appropriately.

- Anonymous

Thank you for your email and jumping in with us!  I hope that Inside College Volleyball will prove to be a valuable resource as your manage the craziness of college volleyball recruiting and then college volleyball.

I would agree with the high school coach, as I would not want to move a very good setter to the passing position either.  

As you read through the posts, you will notice the large number of questions/responses with regards to 'shorter' players switching into the DS/Libero position.  As I have written about on many occasions, this Libero/DS position becomes the catch all for shorter players thinking that this is the route to collegiate athletics and as such, this position is now the most competitive avenue into college volleyball.

Back to the High School topic - Remember that collegiate recruiting efforts are not based upon the high school season.  Club volleyball is the Optimus Prime of collegiate recruiting and college coaches understand that players will play different positions while in high school.  We don't stress about that because the high school coach needs to put their players into the positions for the most success of the high school team.  Because we don't stress about high school, neither should the parents which are concerned about college volleyball recruiting.

From your feedback, the better recruiting boulevard for your daughter would be to stay with setting and promote her abilities to the appropriate schools.  Yes, her height may well reduce her chances of NCAA Division I volleyball, but.....There are any number of DI schools which run the Front to Back 6-2 offense (maybe this is what you are referring to when you are saying 6-1?  I though initially this was a typo on your part!) and many schools will take a shorter setter with exceptional abilities.

The NCAA Division II and NAIA levels may offer more opportunities and scholarship monies (remember that DI is all or nothing athletic scholarships, while DII and NAIA can package their scholarships from many sources), so you should be reaching out to appropriate schools in these categories also!