May 23, 2016

College Volleyball Recruiting Success Story

These emails are the reason I do what I do with

Hi, Coach. I am not sending you this email hoping you will publish it on your web site. Instead, this is a personal note of thanks to you because we are one of your success stories.
Our daughter signed to play college volleyball this morning, and considering that I have read probably every post on your site and bought and read “Inside College Volleyball” late in her freshman year, I jokingly thought that there should have been a seat for you at her table. lol
Here are two key pieces of her story I want to share with you: She signed with an NAIA school that was on the list of her top five schools she put together as a sophomore. Her new coach is the coach she has most wanted to play for. She never got caught up in what level schools were that recruited her. She determined the type of school and coach she was looking for and stuck to those parameters even when it meant turning down opportunities – and even when it looked at times like she might not play in college.
Although she was offered a good scholarship (for a DS/L -- haha), she will be attending on a separate package of scholarships and grants that will provide more financial aid. The status of a volleyball scholarship never was a factor for her. All she looked for was whether the coach was committed to her during the recruiting process.
Hopefully, from those descriptions, you noticed that someone has been following your advice.
Even if she had not signed to play college volleyball, I would still consider our volleyball experience a success. It feels like we experienced every conceivable up and down when it comes to school volleyball, club volleyball, in-team drama and recruiting. Along the way, our daughter has gained invaluable inexperience at handling adversity and disappointments. She has learned how to communicate with adults through recruiting calls and talking through issues with her coaches. Some of the lessons were painful for her. As parents, we have been grateful those experiences came while she was still under our roof and we were able to help guide her along the way. Volleyball and all that comes with it have helped her mature and has helped prepare her for college and her life after college.
Because of our experiences, I have decided to share one piece of advice for other volleyball parents when I have the opportunity: Don’t fall into the trap of looking at the cost of club volleyball as an investment in your daughter’s athletic career. Instead, look at it as an investment in your daughter. From that perspective, every cent has been well spent even if, for some reason, she never actually steps onto the court during a college match.
I’ve pasted a photo from her signing (photo emitted from post by Coach Sonnichsen) below because I wanted you to see the joy on her face. That’s the smile of a 17-year-old whose dream just came true, and through your excellent advice over the past few years, you have well equipped us (along with many others) to help make that dream come true.
Thank you very much, Coach, for helping put that smile on our daughter's face and for all you do for volleyball players and parents. All the best to you!
D and S

May 19, 2016

LIbero College Volleyball Recruiting Question #897

Hi College Volleyball Coach,

Thank you for your book and your website.  I have used it frequently as an  invaluable resource. My question is for my daughter.  She is currently a 5'4 Libero who also plays Libero for her current club team and her HS.  Her current club team is imploding and likely may not play competitive tournaments next year.   Currently, she is trying to decide on a new club for her 18s year of club ball and would like to play in college.  She has received two decent offers for club teams next year.  

The first offer is for a 1 team that should be very competitive but already has a player who has played Libero for the last three years.  The offer is for her to play DS on a strong team playing with a 6-2 setter rotation.  This team has a really good coach who has coached the team for the last three years and my daughter would get good training.  

The second offer is for a very competitive 2 team that plays a strong qualifier schedule and has a record as good as the 1 team that offered her.  The team has been virtually the same for the last 2 years, but is getting a new coach.  The new coach offered a back row position and has said my daughter could compete for the Libero position.  I want to add that there is a player that has played Libero for 2 years.  This coach is an unknown.  The 2 team may not be quite as strong as the 1 team, but it will be close.  There is also no guarantee that she will really get a shot at the Libero position on the 2 team, although she's been told she will.  We are very torn and would like to put her in the best position possible since she would like to play in college. She has received interest from some college coaches, low level D I and D II.  

My question is, how important is it for her to play the Libero position to be recruited for college?  Is it sufficient to play DS for a good team or is it more important for her to have a shot at the Libero position?  

Thank you for your help!

Torn Mom

You have presented a challenging scenario because they are so similar to each other.  

I will answer your last question first - The Libero/DS position is a hyper competitive recruiting position because of the sheer number of players who are good (and some are very good).  For college coaches, we would tend to recruit club Liberos to be collegiate Liberos with the logic being, that the club Libero is the best passer and defender on the club team or she should not be the Libero. 

But, college coaches are also aware that politics and 'club seniority' can come into play with all positions, so beyond everything else, we recruit talent.  If a college coach believes a player will make their team better, then we will recruit her.

It would be 'better' if your daughter could play Libero for her recruiting efforts, but it is not 'detrimental' that she does not.

After reading your email 138 times (slight exaggeration) I would choose the 1st offer....and the determining factor?  The coach.  You wrote that "This team has a really good coach who has coached the team for the last three years and my daughter would get good training."  If the coach can improve the talents of your daughter, then your daughter will garner more recruiting opportunities because she is at a higher playing level.

Also, there is no guarantee (which there should never be and if presented, should be a huge red flag from any coach) that your daughter would be the Libero or even present the chance to be the Libero with the second offer.

The Coach