March 9, 2011

Double Recruiting Questions

J.T. hit me with the one two punch of College Volleyball recruiting questions!

Hi Coach, My daughter is a Jr in H.S. and has been encouraged by her club and H.S. coaches to pursue playing in college which she really wants to do. We have sent out several e-mails to coaches and assistant coaches, and in some cases where our interest level is high to attend that particular school, we sent an e-mail, DVD and some other info. We only have received a couple responses and are getting frustrated with our next steps. I know a lot of the coaches are busy recruiting at this time, but I would expect more feedback saying thanks or No thanks. Should we follow-up with another e-mail? Or, move on? I read that one of the coaches pet peeves are not following up with coaches when asked questions or requesting info. I would hope they show the same courtesy.

Thanks!!! J.T.

My thoughts:

1. You should be sending out HUNDREDS of emails, not several.

2. Many, many NCAA DI schools are finished with their 2012 recruiting (at this time, but as witnessed this President's Day, they can easily have a scholarship come open next year for the 2012), thus they may not respond because they are done.

3. Your daughter may really, really want to attend State U, but if State U is not recruiting your daughter's position, there may not be a response.

4. I agree that coaches should respond to all emails, but we can literally get 500 emails a week and we sometimes just hit the delete button when we know we won't be recruiting someone. If it is any consolation, there are many college coaches who never respond to fellow NCAA DI coaches with email. I literally have to send 2 or 3 emails, and then call to get a response on something like a playing contract or match date!

5. I strongly suggest you follow my Junior Year Recruiting Plan which is under the label Recruiting Plan on the left lower side bar. This will give you some direction about to specifically attack your goal.

6. It can easily be that your information was received, and they may be interested, but this time of year, the 'to-do' list can get rather long and it takes time to get through. For instance, at my school we are in individual training/conditioning, we are setting up our spring season matches and full team training, while securing facilities around basketball, I just got back from Las Vegas and have yet to turn in my expense report much less compile it, I am getting ready to head out again on a recruiting trip and gearing up, and I have hundreds of emails I am trying to get through from when I was in Vegas.

7. Remember that right now, with NCAA Volleyball recruiting, supply outstrips demand. There are more Volleyball PSA's than there are volleyball scholarships, and this is magnified for NCAA DI. So, you can't get frustrated. You just need to keep working it, keep sending out information and have your daughter stay focused on being a great Volleyball player. I have found that a player's talent usually finds the appropriate team. Just be open to out of region or different characteristics of schools; if your daughter hems herself into a preset idea, she won't have as many opportunities.

Hi Coach, my daughter is a JR in H.S. and is on a very talented 17 National club team, however, they cannot seem to get they're chemistry just right and are about .500 at the time. You can see their frustration in their play, and It seems difficult to get college coaches over to our courts to watch even when we invite a lot of them to personally come see our kids play. Do coaches look at standings of teams of the kids they are looking at? Also, can I approach a coach at a tournament and ask them to see my kid play?

Thanks!!!! J.T.

College coaches really don't care about how a team finishes. We just are looking at individual talent and attitudes; we understand that sometimes things don't mesh with a team and if we knew the answer as to why, we would apply it to our own programs.

The issue which you are facing is that there are HUNDREDS of players to see at a tournament, and it can be tough to make time to see all of them. When you factor in that college coaches get physically worn out and overwhelmed; sometimes it is easier for us to just hang around one court...illogical, but easier.

There is no regulation about approaching a coach to ask them to watch your daughter, but please remember that NCAA rules don't allow us to interact with parents (off campus) unless their PSA is in their senior year. It would be better to approach the coaches with a team recruiting flyer (a one sheet page which has all the players listed, with contact information, for the team) and provide them the sheet. Just something low key, and say the team is on court 5.

It is important to remember that coaches recruit to the level just above their college team's playing ability. So, for a mid level college program, they will recruit PSAs which would be considered appropriate for a mid to upper level college team. A mid level program won't recruit the player who is being recruited by Stanford/Penn State, because that is beyond their reach. Nor will they recruit a player who is being looked at by Tumbleweed State because that is below their level.

I say this because if your club team is roster'ed by 5'8 outsides and 5'10" MBs who are average players, this is not going to attract college coaches to your court, especially as a 17 team. The college coaches are going to gravitate to the court of the 16/17 teams which have OH's at 6' and MB's at 6'+. The college teams which can legitimately recruit the smaller, less elite players don't have the recruiting budget to be at every tournament; they can only pick one or two to attend. The college coaches you see at every tournament are either local, or bigger budget teams.

Patience is the key. If she is doing well on a 17 national team which is doing well, then she will be seen by college coaches (you can greatly help by continuously sending out information about her to a variety of teams), but it may not be as early or often as you wish.

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