October 8, 2009

Here I Am!!!

I'm trying to find the best way for my daughter to be seen by recruiters.
She is a rising junior and plays high school in Los Angeles.
She is only 5'8 and plays outside and has been playing for only 3 years.
She would like to play in college. I would say her talent level in DII or
lower DI. This year the varsity coach says she had ready improved but she
would hardly play if she was on the varsity so she he started the season on
JV and told she will be going between both team. I don't like it but what
can I do. M has a real passion for volleyball and is a hard worker.
She also is very athletic. Any suggestions would be helpful.


When I read your e-mail, a few things immediately came to mind:

1. Don't stress out about being on Varsity or not being on Varsity with regards to the recruiting arena. Remember that this time of year is also the college volleyball season. We are so busy with our season business, that getting out to watch high school matches is tough (relatively few programs have full staffs and a director of operations, which would lend itself to seeing high school teams play on a regular basis).

2. California high schools, especially southern California (I deleted the high school name for privacy reasons in the e-mail from Mark) high schools, enjoy a very high level volleyball ability. I believe this is a result of volleyball being supported by the general sports community, the coaches tend to be former players with a solid base of experience in techniques and systems, and so many of the players also participate in Junior Club volleyball. This all translates into a good volleyball learning environment for your daughter to improve her skills.

3. By your e-mail, there is no mention of Junior Club volleyball. Junior Club volleyball is the dominant avenue towards obtaining a college playing opportunity. Club tournaments are the venue at which college coaches find Prospective Student Athletes (PSA's) and then evaluate the PSA's with a view towards the future. In addition to Junior Club volleyball being the venue for exposure for college coaches, Junior Clubs are the next level up of playing ability from high school; it is here that you will find the better athletes, possibly more experienced coaches, dedicated facilities, higher percentage of players at an elevated ability level (when compared to high school teams) and fashionable head bands.

OK - With that out of the way, some advice to get your daughter in front of those oh so attractive

1. Join a Junior Club volleyball team - RIGHT NOW is when you should be contacting club programs with inquiries about openings. The timeline has really changed from year's past - Now "try-outs" are invites and they happen exactly 8 hours after the USA Junior National Championship (exaggeration, but not by much) are done. The reality is you are probably late on getting in with any number of club teams, but that does not mean there are not opportunities, you just need to get on it.

2. Read the Recruiting Plan posts on the site - They are located on the link list on the left side of the page. On the Recruiting Plan, I have broken it down into each year of high school. I won't promise you it is the yellow brick road to college, but rather what I have experienced as a coach over the years of recruiting. Basically, it is a plan to get your daughter's information out to as many applicable colleges as possible, in a format we can digest.

Overall, I think you have some positives being in southern California and your daughter's athleticism combined with her ability upside since she has only 3 year's experience. The biggest challenge is the apparent lack of Junior Club volleyball participation.

Good luck!

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