September 15, 2008

High School Volleyball Recruiting - Videos

The Fall time period may well be the slowest time for off-campus recruiting for college volleyball coaches. We are so busy with our season and all it entails, that getting out to see players can be tough. On campus recruiting is very busy - Official Visits with the 09 class, Unofficial Visits with the '10 class, mass mailings, e-mails, calling the 09 class, etc.

Unless a college is located in a city that enjoys abundant talent and/or has a full compliment of coaching staff and a secretary, it just takes too much time to go off-campus to recruit. This post topic was brought to mind because I was trying to figure out a date when I could get out to see a couple of our top recruits. Since they are not located just around the corner, it will take a full day to watch them play. In reviewing my schedule, I don't want to skip a practice because it is not fair to my current players and we have a bunch of areas we need to improve upon. The days that are good in my schedule are not good with the recruits schedule. The days that could work for both of us, I don't like because they represent an off day for me that I really want to spend with my family (just getting back from a long road trip).

My example is not unique - there are a whole lot more of 'me' type programs than U. of Texas type programs (large staff, well funded, good locale, etc.) . As a recruit, how does this affect you? If you are a top flight recruit that currently gets enough emails to fill up your In Box and enough letters to fill up your mail box, then you really don't need to be concerned - odds are the top programs are sending out assistant coaches to show face time at your matches and practices anyways.

If you are not among the elite level recruits, I strongly suggest you 'go' to the college coaches this time of year. Of course, your schedule is every bit as crazy as ours, so how can you get to me? You can do it by using technology - Video yourself playing or practicing and e-mail it to me. With YouTube and the other Internet hosting sites, up loading video from a digital camcorder and providing a link via e-mail is rather simple.

E-mail videos are great because the play back software, many times, is carried on another server, hence we don't run into compatibility issues that pop up with DVDs. A click and play e-mail link will get watched by me every single time. I don't care how fancy the video is and I actually prefer to watch practice video over game video. Don't over think the video, just film it and send it out to coaches.

I am seeing more and more of these type of videos, as opposed to DVDs. Remember, this is not the evaluation material that college coaches will use to make scholarship offers, but rather this is a tool to market your abilities. If I see a video that I like, I will contact the recruit to express my interest and put that recruit into our database to see in person.

This is the key; using the Internet videos to interest the college coaches into seeing you play live. The in-person scouting may not happen until after the holidays, but the video will get you on the 'must see' list that all college programs generate before Junior Tournaments.

Remember that a picture is worth a thousand words, so a video must be worth a whole bunch more!