October 14, 2011

Late Volleyball Recruiting Effort - Junior College or 4 Year School?

Just found your site, love it!

My 17 year old 6'1 OH Senior daughter was being recruited by DI's and DII's last year. She has been highly decorated thus far in High School.

After suffering a shoulder injury at a club tryout and having poor grades she decided not to play in college, now she has changed her mind. Her plan is to play one year for the local community college (which has a very good program) and then hopefully transfer on scholarship. She is targeting DII's, are DI's even a positivity? She works hard in school and does good on course work and group project but she just does not test well, which has made her grades suffer.

Is there any benefit of her playing club this year as an unsigned Senior, or should I put that money toward JC tuition (I have already spent thousands of dollars on travel)? Should she email coaches with her intentions or wait until the first year at the JC and then start the recruiting process? I was thinking if she started now, there would be a better chance of the school still having a scholarship available for an incoming sophomore in 2013 and the admissions offices helping her with class selection to make sure they would transfer. In your opining, is this an unusual situation that college coaches would frown upon or something they would be willing to work with? Sorry for rambling on, I am just a little confused and unsure how to help her. I would like to get a action plan in place, since it feels to me like she has waited until the 11th hour to change her mind.

Thanks for your time.


Please allow me to give you short answers to your questions now, as my day job has me way too busy!!!

1.  DI's are a possibility as many DI's are still recruiting the 2012 class, and many more will re-start/re-begin recruiting the 2012 class after the New Year.  As I had written about after the Las Vegas tournament, I was stunned to see so many DI's still actively recruiting.  This impression could be easily applied to a few other large early club tournaments and definitely applied to DII schools.

2.  Please visit the NCAA.org site and link on Eligibility to learn the specific Academic Eligibility parameters for NCAA DI and DII.  This may help you if your daughter wishes to go to a NCAA program after high school, instead of a JC.  Remember, that as a JC player, she will need to satisfy NCAA transfer rules for minimum class units and GPA (which are determined by the NCAA and 4 year school jointly); sometimes it is easier to go NCAA initially instead of transferring in.

3.  She must absolutely play Club Volleyball because this is the prime vehicle to develop her skill sets. A Junior College is a great option for many players, but she has to be in a position to play and showcase her skills or 4 year schools won't be interested.  JC Volleyball is becoming very competitive with great talent on rosters; remember that JC's use international players deeply, thus have high level talent, along with the many talented USA kids who start there before transferring to a 4 year school.  Not too mention, being seen by potential 4 year schools during the senior year of club which could lead to NCAA opportunities as a freshman.

4.  I strongly suggest you follow my Recruiting Plan and focus on the Senior year (you can find the label on the lower left side of the site) - Don't initially lock your daughter into the JC because you don't know what the senior year of club may bring and you can only find out by pursuing it.  Why not accept a Full or big scholarship to a NCAA school, where your daughter can immediately begin working on her degree, with typically better academic and athletic support than most JC's can offer?

5.  A number of College coaches will place or cover JC players for their NCAA program on the front side with the JC.  This is most common with international players, who are placed by the NCAA coach so the coach can monitor their grades and English skills, but it happens quite often with American kids.

6.  If your daughter does choose or accept a JC spot, then you want to start the recruiting communication process with NCAA schools in the fall of her Freshman year.  You can notify potential NCAA programs she is going to a JC, but NCAA coaches will want to see current JC film before moving forward with a recruiting effort.  Don't wait until after the season, but start the communication and outreach during the fall.  Please remember that even though she may be at  JC, she will now be competing with all possible JC transfer athletes AND all the 2013 USA kids for scholarships/roster spots in NCAA 4 year schools.

7.  Action plan - I would suggest my Senior Year Recruiting Plan, or consider using a reputable recruiting service.  While a service costs money, it is their business to provide comprehensive information, support and direction to their clients.

Good luck,

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