December 27, 2009

Let's Get Ready to Rumble (Recruiting)!!!

2010, Holy Cow! When did the year become 2010 - That was a fast decade!!! Remember all the Y2K zaniness? That was 10 years ago!!!! Oh my, time flies when you are having fun.

In my never ending quest to do good deeds (and absolve my sins of poor interaction with Volleyball Referees), I have created a To Do list in preparation for the recruiting portion of the Club season - I know some families have already been in Club ball for at least a month, so this listing is geared more towards the Wonderful World of Recruiting!
  • If you are still in Junior High school, you are not allowed per the Federal Law of the Volleyball Galaxy to even think about recruiting. The Cosmic Volleyball Powers have decreed that you are only allowed to have fun.
  • Please read my Recruiting Plan, which is under the Labels side bar on the left of the opening page.
  • Should you be a Freshman, you are allowed to think about recruiting but cannot under penalty of smelly socks to act upon these thoughts.
For the suggestions below, don't go nuts and try to get these done within the next 72 hours - Now that the NCAA Championship and Coaches Convention is finished, we are all on vacation (either physically or mentally, or in a perfect word both!).

Start getting information out to college coaches during the first weeks of January, which provides time for us absolutely wonderful human beings to prepare our per tournament recruiting game plan (I am surprised we have not started requesting recruiting tape from other coaches like we do for matches!).
  • Sophomores - Take a moment to sit down, in a quiet place, with a nice cup of eggnog (which by the way is a perfect batter for French Toast!!) or some hot apple cider (a winter drink which should receive much more recognition) and write out a listing of schools which sound attractive to you. I STRONGLY encourage you not to limit your list, but rather to keep an open mind towards region, school size, academic strengths and program standing. After you have your list, create a brief information sheet (remember you are just a sophomore, so you don't have to fill out a 1040 Income Tax Return) which lists your name, address, e-mail, year of graduation, height and position(s) played, club name and team playing on (be very specific because the larger clubs have about 65 variations of being on a 16's age group team) and your schedule. Creating a list of schools and putting together a brief introduction document is the easy part - The tougher thing is to go through the process of finding the e-mails of coaches and shooting out the information. Remember that each school will have an athletics website and if you look under the Staff Directory or Inside Athletics or Administration links, you can find a listing of e-mail address for coaches (many times, the volleyball web page may not have the e-mails of the volleyball staff). Finally, this is a Fire and Forget recruiting effort. After you send this contact information, forget about all of it and just play volleyball. DO NOT over-analyze who wrote back, who watched you play, who walked by, who smiled at your parents or brother or friend, etc. Just fire off those e-mails and play some volleyball.
  • Juniors - If you have not already contacted a large group of colleges, then please do as the Sophomores are now doing. If you have already developed a comfortable Crew of Colleges which you are interacting with, then I want you to do two things, 1) Make sure this C of C is an accurate grouping of programs per playing ability (for instance, if your daughter is a 5'9" outside hitter with a 18" jump and has a few letters from Top 20 programs, this is not an accurate reflection of her recruit standing - this is an example of Top 20 programs having the resources to shoot letters off to shiny Freshman/Sophomores); 2) Make sure your possibilities have the most current information about you (schedule, current e-mail, any changes in height/jump, any changes in club coach contact information, etc). As you enter this critical year of recruiting (but not a Do or Die year of recruiting), you want to make sure that you have and are effectively communicating with the programs you are considering for your future.
  • Seniors - Now is the time to re-group and get ready for a very important club season. First of all - Don't Panic. There are still many, many available scholarships in Division I and Division II is just now getting serious about their scholarship efforts. 1) Put together a fresh list of schools which reflects your senior status - Many of the bigger name, higher ranked programs will be done with scholarship recruiting, so I would hesitate from e-mailing such teams. 2) Shoot out your complete information to your fresh list of programs - Name, address, cell phone/home phone number, graduation year (so there is not doubt you are a Senior), height and position(s) played, club name and team, club coach/director contact information, SAT/ACT scores, current gpa and schedule. With this e-mail of written information, include a link to a video of your skills via YouTube or another provider. Remember that college coaches will be receiving many Senior e-mails and we just don't have the time/money to go see every potential player. We will always have time to watch a video and this video could be what puts you at the top of the list of recruits to see at a tourney.
Remember that the Recruiting Plan posts have more complete information for managing each year (I also will be updating them soon). Today's post is just for getting ready for the recruiting portion of the current club season.

If you have read this far, the conclusion is to get information out to college coaches to get us to come watch you play!

By the way, I hope you had a GREAT Christmas Day!

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