November 22, 2010

College Volleyball Recruiting and High School Post Season Award

Dear Coach,

My daughter is a junior libero. She is being recruited by some college coaches and has played on a national team since 9th grade. She has been a starter on her varsity team since freshman year. She just ended her school season and did not receive even an all-conference award, while a setter, middle blocker, and right side all got all-conference and the setter and right side got all-state. The right side is headed to Division I college and is extremely talented, but the other two players do not even play club and do not even really care about volleyball. My daughter is extremely passionate about the game and was crushed not to receive an award. She did all tournament twice this season along with the right side player, while the other two girls did not. My question for you is, how does that affect her chance of getting onto a college team? Do you look for your libero's to receive lots of awards? E.F.

High school awards don't carry much, if any, weight for college coaches in the recruiting process simply because we know how political and illogical it can be. Tell her NOT to sweat it from a recruiting point of view. I remember the good feeling of receiving high school accolades and I can imagine this is a bitter pill to swallow for many talented players which get overlooked for recognition, but again, this really has no impact upon college coaches.
College coaches are concerned with Club Volleyball performance and ability. If she displays the talent necessary to play at the NCAA level, then college coaches will find her. We don't watch a court and wonder if a player has 35 framed certificates in the house. We watch and wonder how consistent is the passing, how steady is the ball control, how is her movement through the ball on defense, how does she communicate with her team mates?
I honestly cannot tell you if any of my current or former players were selected to any all state or all conference volleyball teams; don't know and don't care because it did not and does not affect my perception of them as my players. I look for my libero to pass nails and dig balls and support her team mates.

The bigger questions is - Did her team win? Did her team go deep into the play-offs? I would say college coaches are more interested in team recognition than individual recognition. A talented Libero can elevate her team beyond the ability of the individual players by setting up the offense with perfect passes and empowering defensive transition with consistent digs.

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