March 25, 2010

Volleyball Recuit Calling a Coach

Hi Coach,

My daughter is a OH/DS for a 17 Open team. She is actively searching for a college to play for by sending out many many emails.

At 5'10", the club lists her at 5'11" in shoes, she has her work cut out for her. Lucky for her she does have strong back row skills considering her lack of size.

When is it appropriate to call the coach? Do coaches assume if they don't get a phone call the player isn't that serious about the school?

Also, how often should a player call a coach?

Thanks for your help! J

Good questions because communication is central to the recruiting process.

1. It is appropriate the call the coach, if the coach has responded to initial e-mails and expressed interest. A call does not need to be anything overly serious, just an opportunity to chat a bit about volleyball and the club season. There is no rule that says you cannot call the coach to introduce yourself, but it helps to make sure the school is interested in recruiting you.

In the accelerated time frame of today's recruiting climate, the PSA's calling the coach makes it all happen; whether they are Sophomores, Juniors or Seniors. Of course, the coach can return the call of Seniors, e-mail the Juniors and to just make sure that no possible recruit goes without making a call, the coaches can request calls via the Club directors or coaches.

2. With today's accelerated recruiting scenarios, if a coach has expressed sincere recruiting interest, especially to a Junior, then a call is a validation of the PSA's interest. Many athletes are understandably nervous or intimidated about dialing up a college head volleyball coach. This mental discomfort leads many players to stick with using e-mail. On the whole, a call does help, as coaches will interpret this as serious interest from the player.

If I was to take an either/or approach to this specific question, then I would say that if a recruit has not called a coach by March'ish of their Junior year, then the coach would take this to mean the PSA was not sincerely interested in the program/school.

3. Calling a coach all the time is not really a needed thing. If you called every couple of weeks during the process, that would be more than enough because of the prevalent use of e-mails. To be honest, getting a phone call every now and then from a top recruit is nice during the recruiting process, but 4 calls a week would get old for everyone very quickly!!!

It is important to remember that making a phone call to a coach allows for an important exchange of information and impressions. Be prepared to have a question or two about the school/program when a PSA calls a coach and listen to how the coach answers - Seriously, do they answer clearly and with confidence or is it a lot of talking and no real information?

Before your answer goes into the pantheon of the blogosphere, I want to squash the notion that 5'10" is not tall enough to play college volleyball with any specific level, including NCAA Division I. There are many, many outstanding outside hitters in DI who topping out at 5'10" - I see them on my team and staring at us through the net. Now, if your daughter has the vertical of my grandma and the arm swing of a toddler, then maybe height is the least of your concerns. But, by your e-mail, your daughter is playing 17 Open and has a nice touch on the ball.

Keep sending out e-mail, make sure to have a video link, encourage her to be active in her communication and stay positive. Now can be the silly season for the 17's age group, as it seems as if everyone and their twin sister is making verbal commitments to colleges. Don't get panicked, there are still a great number of quality schools/programs with scholarships available.

Good Luck!

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