April 22, 2011

Graduating Early to Join College Volleyball in the Spring

Hi Coach,

First of all, I just want to say what a wonderful resource your website
is! It has been very helpful for me, personally, during the recruiting process, and I thank you for that.

I am a 2012 setter that recently committed to a DII school. After talking
with both my club coach and future college coach, graduating early has become an option for me. I have the opportunity to start college a semester early during my senior year of high school. This particular program has done it once before with another student-athlete and it has worked out well. What is your take on this? Have you worked with programs that have done this in the past?

To give you a little background on where I am coming from, I am an older
Junior with an August birthday. (I will turn 18 prior to starting my senior year of high school.) I have been enrolled in a number of Post Secondary classes at a local community college during my junior year and I plan to continue these full time next year. I plan on wrapping up high school volleyball in November this fall, and if I were to graduate early I would start college the following January. I would be on campus to join the team for their spring season, which I see as a benefit since I will be the only setter on the roster and as a result, would most likely be the starting setter that fall. I would appreciate any thoughts/feedback you have on this topic.

Thanks, E.

Glad the site helped and congratulations on finding a NCAA Division II which fits your desires.  I strongly encourage VolleyFamilies to consider DII programs as I believe they can offer a great balance of high level competition, scholarship support and having a college life separate from the ever increasing demands of the DI category.

After reading your complete information, I think graduating early is good for you.  Usually I don't recommend graduating early, as I believe there are some intangibles to completing the traditional sequence of high school education and Club Volleyball competition.  But, with your older age, your academic work already including post-high school curriculum's, I see this working out OK.

Outside of academics and maturity, the other consideration is Volleyball development.  NCAA Volleyball will be a higher level of training, even with the time restrictions early in the semester versus Club Volleyball.  About the only thing I would really ask is the amount of playing time in your spring dates.  As a setter, you need to be on the court running the team.  Since you will be the only setter on the spring roster, this puts you in an advantageous position to secure a starting spot in the fall, along with developing your interaction with your passers/hitters in preparation for next season.

Just promise me one thing - You will take a long vacation this summer.  I say this because once you start in college, you will be expected to conduct yourself as a college athlete for the next 5 years.  This can easily mean summer school, a comprehensive lifting and conditioning plan, 'volunteer' Volleyball games, etc.  Be sure to take some time to just do nothing but have fun.

Good luck and congratulations once again.

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