July 21, 2014

Home Schooled Player and College Volleyball Recruiting

I love your blog, and recently bought your book.

Our daughter is 5’ 8”, just completed her freshman year with a 3.7 gpa, and is a left handed setter with a moderate approach jump (9’+).  We homeschool, and were involved with a homeschool organized volleyball team up until this past season when we got her involved in a club.  Up until this point our homeschool coach was not developing her left handed skills, and we didn’t know better to consult otherwise.  Once we got her to the club her new coaches flipped, and immediately started working her left handed skills, and she has blossomed.  The coaching staff has mentioned the possibility of volleyball beyond high school, and we want to make good decisions for her benefit.  She loves volleyball so much, and we want to help her realize this dream.

We know we are up against some hurdles with our daughter being homeschooled, and we are up for the challenge…especially our daughter is up for the challenge as she is very passionate about volleyball and academics.  But what experiences have you had (if any) regarding homeschooled players?  And what advice would you have for us as we embark upon this possibly journey over the next few years?

Your feedback is much appreciated.

Thank you,


Thank you for purchasing Inside College Volleyball and glad to know my website is of help to you!

In general, high school volleyball has significantly diminished in importance because of the growth and professionalism of club volleyball.  Club volleyball is a 6 to 8 month situation, and with the rise of club camps and summer trainings/lessons, it is easily becoming 10 months of participation.   For many players in the larger cities, taking the high school season off has become a viable option because of the opportunity to rest their body during the fall months, without any fall off of skills.

For recruiting, college coaches are focused on club.  We may say we are concerned about high school but we really are not; we just say that so we don't upset the high school volleyball coach of our recruit.

I have not had any home schooled players, but it would not concern me if I did - As long as she is academically eligible, is my only consideration.  The volleyball development part will be handled by club, and it sounds as if you have found a good club situation to develop her volleyball abilities.

As you move forward in the process, be aware that setters tend to operate on a slower recruiting time table because of the nature of college volleyball recruiting.  Outside Hitters, then Middle Blockers, then Setters and then Liberos tend to be the nature of things.  

Because your daughter is just 5'8" with average athleticism, and new to club volleyball, my guess is committing late in her Junior year or most likely as a senior is her timetable (which is a good thing considering all the craziness in today's collegiate athletics and volleyball).

Best thing you can do is continue to support her healthy skill development, while you educate yourself about the recruiting process and rules.  To this end, I would strongly suggest you take a look at NCSA Athletic Recruiting and at least get on their Free Site which is amazing!!

In closing, enjoy the fact that you don't have to operate under the hurried recruiting tempo of the attackers.  Savor the bonus of watching your baby girl play elite level volleyball, without dealing with us crazy college coaches.  The stress will arrive soon enough, and I promise you that you will wish for her freshman and sophomore year back!


July 17, 2014

Volleyball Training for Attacking

We read with interest a 6 year old post regarding broad jump vs. vertical height and reduced injuries and greater power/control:
What training techniques would you suggest for an outside hitter to maximize the broad jump aspect of the hitting technique as a injury prevention and power/control goal?
Thanks in advance for your kind response.

As simple as it sounds, an Outside Hitter needs to practice broad jumping just as they practice any other skill set.  One of the best training techniques to encourage broad jumping is the use of 'small balls' (tennis balls, wiffle balls, foam balls, etc).

The OH will start in the passing/serve receive position (not in 'hitting lines' - This is not grade school Volleyball) with a small ball held in her attack hand, she will mimic pass the ball, then release into her her footwork approach pattern as if she is going to get set.  She then goes into her hitting approach with the mental focus of jumping and landing as far apart as comfortably possible, while throwing the small ball over the net, thus mimicking the attack.

I have found that these small ball attack patterns, with a throw to mimic the attack are an effective means of training broad jumping.  With small ball attack patterns, each hitting position can incorporate this footwork and broad jump training.  For some reason, the volleyball tends to mess with a players mind; they get so concerned about attacking the volleyball, that other techniques will suffer in a training environment (footwork, broad jump, elbow height, hand position, targeting zone, hair bow, eyeliner, etc).

When I would roll out the small ball cart, my players would just groan - Small ball drills are boring, and tedious and can be physically demanding.  But, my players also realized that these type of drills did make them much better and while they would groan, they also let me know they understood the value of the drills.

Good luck!