January 16, 2009

Volleyball Recruiting Question

Who is qualified to assess my daughter for statistical purposes? Where can I get the numbers for reach and approach? She is a high school junior playing on a regional club team. She would like to play on a DIII team.
I do not have gym time available to me, where can I find someone to make a recruiting video?

I am, but my per hour evaluation rate is not cheap! Honestly, it is my belief that too many folks get tied up about statistics at the club level (and high school level). I don't look at club hitting/serving/passing statistics at all when they are presented in recruiting information and I would be surprised if any college coach does. College coaches understand the level of competition can vary drastically from match to match. We (the college coaches of this world) are more interested in the '
trust-able' statistics of height, approach jump and block jump when they are presented to us via e-mail or letter. As for successful hitting, we can gather quickly from watching a Prospective Student Athlete if they will be a good fit for our program.

Obtaining the number for the reach is simple, but there are two ways to measure. Have the player stand with her toes touching a wall (and her nose will probably touch also) and then reach up as far as possible with both hands, then mark the top of her
fingers and break out the handy tape measure. In effect, this would be the 'block' touch reach because blocking is with two hands.

Another way to measure reach is by having the player stand sideways to the wall with her attack shoulder touching the wall and then reach up with her attack hand as high as possible. Once again, mark the top of the reach and measure. This would be her 'attack' reach for obvious reasons (I hope).

I don't know how many clubs or coaches use the two handed method to establish reach, but I think most use the one handed reach. I good trick used by players is to not quite stretch out on the reach, so your jump touch is a bit higher!

To find out the block touch/approach touch depends on the resources available. Many high school athletic departments will have a Vertic (that device which has the plastic horizontal slats you whack when you jump), along with fitness centers and maybe the YMCA's. I have seen some schools design their own type of measuring tool by hanging athletic tape at different lengths down from a basketball backboard. We know the rim is 10' and if you hang a piece of tape 8 inches down and the player touches it, the math is simple.

Worst case scenario, you can just have a player approach a basketball goal and
guesstimate - Again, 10 feet is the rim and make your best observation about how far away her hand was from the rim.

Block touch is determined without taking a step and do not pre-bounce. It is
literally down-up as high as you can jump with both hands even at the apex. Approach jump is usually a three step approach and most tests allow for three attempts.

Videos can be cheap, expensive, simple or complicated. The
simplest and least expensive way to make a recruiting video is to film practice or a match and mail it off to the coach. If you have the ability to hook the camera into a DVD player/recorder, then you can do a bit of editing to remove any down time in the match/practice.

There must be a way to load video into YouTube or set up a video link because I get these all the time via e-mail, but I do not know how this is done (maybe my assistant does?).

It is my understanding that there are a number of business that provide athletic video services for various sports. If the club does not know of a specific company, do an Internet search and you could well have luck. These will be more expensive than the at home version, but it will look more polished and allow coaches to focus exclusively on your daughter.

A couple of things to remember about videos; 1) They can be edited or completely
re shot, so please do not stress out; just edit or re shoot until you are happy with the result, 2) A video is not the end all. The video is just a resource that allows the coach to make the determination about seeing the PSA play in person. Seldom is a roster spot or scholarship awarded solely on a video.

Too many times parents get freaked out about the video and try to make it too perfect. College coaches are not looking for something by Pixar, we just want to see what the player looks like on the court before we travel.

Good luck!