May 23, 2011

Ivy League Volleyball Question

I always believed that Volleyball players are smart and so must be VolleyFamilies, as I have received a number of Ivy League Volleyball questions.....and another:

Hello, My daughter is a Junior in HS and is very determined to apply to an Ivy League school.  She has a very strong academic profile (4.0 GPA all honors/AP courses). She has also extensive volleyball experience playing since she was 10 years old (club and high school). She  is a 5'5" defensive player  (libero and DS). She is an amazing player not only because of her skills but also because of her team player qualities (pointed out by many of her coaches) 

We haven't done any type of recruiting process. What do you recommend? Are we late for the process? I know we should've started before, but we just moved to the US and where we come from, college volleyball recruiting is not encouraged, even though we have one of the best volleyball programs I have ever seen (judging from what I have seen in this state of FL). Also where we come from volleyball is played locally and teams rarely travel to the US.   

We are considering sending her to one of these IVY LEAGUE's volleyball camps so she can meet the coach and maybe start a recruiting process.  I understand that Ivy league schools do not offer athletic scholarships just 'need based' aid. 

 Do you think it is worth sending her to this camp? It is an expensive process, but we are willing to sacrifice, if it is a potential tool to be recruited in this University.  Should we contact the coach first to see if he is interested? Or is he not allowed to answer because of the recruiting laws? 
For us and for her,  academics is first, but if she can combine academics and volleyball, I know her College experience will be an amazing one.

Please let us know your opinion. It is very important to us. I think you have a great blog!

Thank you!


Thanks for the email and compliments on the site; let's approach jump right into your questions.

1. Not too late because my suspicion is that Ivy League programs may recruit a bit later than traditional DI's.  Even if a school indicates they are done, roster positions could well open up after the end of the 2011 collegiate season.

2.  You need to start the recruiting process ASAP - Bottom line is that there are very good defensive players everywhere in the USA and I would think they also are smart with a desire to attend elite schools.  Read my Recruiting Plan and focus on the Junior and Senior years.  This plan works but you have to work it ASAP.

I also encourage you to take a lot at some of the other elite academic institutions who play Volleyball, but are not in the Ivy League (Virginia, Rice, Cal Berkeley, etc) - Since you will be paying the cost of school at an Ivy League, why not consider other Ivy League caliber schools?

3.  Camps are an expensive proposition and I personally don't recommend camps for recruiting exposure - Sometimes camps can be good if a player has scholarship offers and wants to use the camp to explore a school, but to just be seen, this is a lot of money just to showcase for one camp.

4.  Since she is a very smart Libero and you are late in the process, I would consider the use of a Recruiting Service - I can't comment on the cost and I won't recommend a service, but they can serve a function and would probably be more cost effective than camps.  If you do expand your considered schools to outside the Ivy League, then the service can make sense.  If you are just going to stick with the Ivy League, then you can do the recruiting work on your own.

5. Ivy League is not athletic based, but pulls in a number of non-athletic based scholarships.  If you search through site with "ivy league" in the search box, you should find some good information as a number of VolleyFamilies have asked Ivy League questions.

6.  As a junior, the only contact from a college coach is email or letter.  You can call a coach at any time, but they are not allowed to return a call or initiate a call - Only email.  I STRONGLY recommend you contact the Head Coach before spending money on a camp.

The bottom line is it is not too late, but you need to get info and video out ASAP - follow the Recruiting Plan for Junior and Senior.

Good Luck!

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