May 6, 2011

A Double Quick of College Volleyball Recruiting Questions

Hi Coach, 

My daughter is a junior and is very interested in 2 schools; one is a D1 school and the other is a D3 school with an exceptionally good volleyball team. Both these schools are interested in her. I would say the D3 is very interested, and the D1 wants to talk about being a recruited walk-on. 

Here's my question; do D1 schools feel like a player is more "desirable" if she is being contacted by several other elite schools? Would it help her cause in getting a spot on the D1 team if they knew that she was being recruited by other D1 schools? Should she try to get a couple more D1 schools to come see her play? 

I am concerned about her being too eager to accept a walk-on position without a scholarship and wonder if she should play a little "hard to get". Honestly, though, she would do just about anything to play for this particular D1 school--it would be a dream come true. She hasn't cast her net too wide when it comes to contacting schools and sending emails to coaches. 

Thanks for any advice you may have about how to play this recruiting game. A.R.

I would take a different tact.  Instead of the thought to create a competition for your PSA, I believe she needs to create alternatives or back-ups to her dream school.  As you indicate, she has not "cast her net too wide" which means her options will be limited.  My concern would be if the dream school changes their mind about a walk on spot, or if another player takes such a spot and their roster is now full.

With the accelerated recruiting efforts of both PSA's and college programs, along with the current Recruiting Quiet Period for the DI programs, time is coming short to effectively promote a 2012 PSA.  Things will quickly slow down for the 2012 class with programs being done with recruiting this class over the summer period, only to restart this effort after the 2011 College Volleyball season. 

There may be some validity to the belief that a PSA being earnestly recruited by multiple schools creates a certain rating or why would coaches ask what other schools are recruiting them.  But, I don't think this should be the focus of her recruiting efforts.  She needs to get her information out to many other College Volleyball programs which fit her academic and athletic desires just because it provides alternatives and options for her future.  On the VolleyFamily's side, you never know what goes on in a college program - Budget cuts, political battles with the AD's, coaches get other jobs, burn out, etc., which can change the parameters of a walk on opportunity.

If she has not created alternatives, she will be severely limited in her Volleyball future.  

Dear Coach,

First, let me take the time to thank you for your website and let you know that we Volley Folk appreciate it greatly.

My question has to do with recruiting and what age college coaches actually start paying attention to PSAs?  From what I've read on your blog the focus on 16 Club is rather high.  My daughter currently plays MB on her 16 Club team and she has garnered some good attention at various tournaments this year.  This is her third full season of club but first at the 16 level.  

This club season has been really good for her as her skills have really started to come into their own.   She has added a great deal of power to her hitting and has started to really get on top of the ball, often killing it inside the 10 ft line.  Her slides work well and she is equally comfortable hitting cross-court or going line.  The jump serve has gotten more consistent and she has also gained a lot of confidence with her "back row" defense.  She is 5'10" and has a block touch of @ 9'6" with an approach touch of @ 9'8".   Last weekend I had a coach approach me with regards to her blocking.  He told me that he really doesn't see many 16 MBs with the ability to run the net and get in the position to block an outside hitter "with her elbows".   That in itself was a great compliment but when I mentioned her age he thought I was joking.  

This is really the reason I am writing you coach.  My daughter is in the 8th grade and just turned 14 in March.  When I mentioned her age to the coach I couldn't tell by his reaction if it was good or bad.  He just stared at me like I had two heads and really didn't say anything else.  Having her play on a 16 Club team this season has been a good experience for her but does the fact that she is only 14 hurt her chances of "being noticed" by a college coach?  When club season rolls around next year she will more than likely be playing on a 17s team.  My worry is that she will no longer be in the "16s focus group" for college coaches.  She will be playing ball for her high school team this fall as a freshman but from what I read college coaches tend to pay more attention to club as opposed to high school volleyball.  

Will playing on a 17s team as a 15 year old hurt her chances next year?

Thank you Coach,

 Quick answers:

1.  Quite impressive for a 14 year old to be successful on a 16's team - The stunned look was a positive.  I just hope the stunned look did not come from a College Volleyball coach, because he approached you without knowing her exact age and NCAA are very clear about contact.

2.  Keep her on the 16's team for one more year, because she will be only 15 and this will allow her to work on leadership and learning how develop some skill sets which she might be reluctant to use in a match if she is playing up to 17's as a 15 year old.  The physical difference between a 15 year old and 17 year old is significant.  While she could play well two age levels up, Rally Score Volleyball does not reward risk and to grow as a player you have to be comfortable enough to make mistakes.

3.  All the college coaches will do this year is see her, look into their Palm Pilot, iphone, Ipad2, Blackberry and realize she is a 14 year old, then shoot out a letter for the 2015 class (crazy!).  No damage done playing 16's this year and only positives.

4.  Keep her in the 16's (reason #2) because this is the prime time recruiting age class now.   The swarm of College Volleyball coaches hit the 16's courts hard at every tournament.  Not that she won't get seen on a 17's court, but she will be surrounded by coaches on the 16's court.

5.  High School Volleyball recruiting is done by local universities/colleges, or when an out of region school wants to make an impression and show some face time to a top recruit.  Club Volleyball is the dominant forum for recruiting. 

Last bit of advice - SLOW down and enjoy the ride.  If she is touching 9'8" as a 14 year old and is 5'10" then everything is pretty much Golden like in Greenwood for her future.  Don't get too far ahead of yourself and encourage her to relax and enjoy playing Volleyball.  

If you start worrying about recruiting right now (and you should not since you are two years away from the faux serious stuff), then she will start worrying about it without you initially knowing it.  I believe that the longer PSA's can wait to look directly at the Medusa of recruiting (wow, that is deep on so many levels!!!), the better their development as Volleyball players will be.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please stay positive or at the minimum present constructive criticism - Negative comments or attacks upon other reader's opinions will not be posted.