January 13, 2009

NCAA Volleyball Recruiting Period - Checklist.

The NCAA Division I Volleyball Quiet Period will come to a close on Friday the 16th of January. On the 17th of January, the Contact/Evaluation Period will begin and NCAA Division I Volleyball coaches are allowed to leave campus to evaluate players and to have face to face contact with prospects (provided they are in their senior year and not during an event).

In general terms, the 2009 recruiting year begins on Saturday, takes a few days off for the Spring Signing Date (short Dead Period) and an approximate 1 month holiday in May, before heading into summer recruiting.

I hope you have taken the time to read the Recruiting Plan posts which might provide somewhat of a game plan to handle this craziness of recruiting. In preparation for this weekend's first serve, here are some class by class reminders-tips.

Unsigned or Uncommitted Seniors - Now is the time of the year that college coaches will try to fill the open spots on their 2009 anticipated roster. Some upper level programs may have had a scholarship open up post-season (homesick, academics, unhappy about playing time, etc.), while many lower level programs may not have committed their available scholarships last summer/fall. It is important that you are focused and prepared to move forward with your recruiting efforts. Now is not the time to sit back and wait for things to happen.

* Make sure you have a recruiting flyer available at the tournament (the coach's hospitality room, available tables at the event or to directly hand to college coaches). This flyer should list your pertinent information quickly - Name, graduation year, position played, club team, e-mail and phone number, along with height, weight, approach touch, block touch, uniform number, GPA/test scores and if possible, make sure your picture is also on the flyer.

* Your club coach needs to be up to speed about where you are in the process so she/he can communicate effectively with college coaches which may ask about you. Your coach should be aware of your academic interests, size of school you want, willingness to travel, desired NCAA division, etc. Almost all college coaches work through the club coach to obtain information.

* Be prepared and available to visit with colleges coaches on-site after the tournament has come to a conclusion. Again, your club coach needs to be aware that you are available after the tournament to visit and help arrange or discourage (if you don't want to visit with a certain school for whatever reason) meetings.

* Make sure you are focused, rested and ready to have a great tournament every weekend. If playing college volleyball is what you want, then this must take priority. Eat correctly, drink plenty of water before the event, get good sleep the night before and stay focused on volleyball during the tournament.

Uncommitted Juniors - Don't Panic!!!!! Okay, now that we have that out of the way, we can move forward with recruiting. Seriously, there is plenty of time left in the 2010 recruiting cycle. I know that Mary from Club Super Duper just committed and Nancy from Team Neoprene has 3 offers from the greatest schools ever, but this is the exception, not the rule. The majority of the programs will begin their evaluations and start to make the tough decisions about offering out scholarships in the coming weeks to months.

1. If you are entering the game of recruiting this year (1st year in club volleyball), then you would do well to have a recruiting flyer as illustrated above.

2. Your club coach should be aware of your desires academically, type and location of school, along with what level you hope to compete at. Again, colleges coaches will make inquiries about you via the club coach.

3. DO NOT try to conquer the volleyball recruiting world of 17's club in one tournament. If you play your absolute best ever - good for you. If you play your absolute worst ever - it is not as bad as you think.

4. DO NOT be aware of who is watching or not watching you (and that means your parents also) - Just play good volleyball. It can be exciting for families when they see a bunch of coaches around a court, but the reality is most of these coaches are not really pursuing the players on the court; good match to watch, they are talking to another coach, they are letting court traffic pass by while they figure out where to walk to next, etc.

Sophomores - Unless you are the next Logan Tom and know exactly what and where you wish to study, you should not be worrying about anything at the tournaments. Any work you do in the recruiting process should simply be to get information out to potential schools before you ever go to an event.

* If you get some letters as a result of your play, then feel good about yourself. If you don't get letters, it is nothing to be concerned with because there is so much time left in the cycle. Just play volleyball.

Freshman - The only thing I am going to say to the 2012 class is that if you see college coaches scouting your court, immediately send Grandma (and grandma's are good at these things) over to the coaches to shoo them away. The 15's age group should be played on courts that are walled off from the upper age groups - Just play volleyball, you are a freshman in high school!

My biggest suggestion for the upperclassmen is to be prepared. The underclassmen should just be having fun with no other concerns than playing volleyball.