October 27, 2011

Recruiting Communication

Hi Coach,
Love your blog...here's my question.
My daughter is a junior in high school and a L/DS who wants to play college volleyball. She plays for a reputable club and takes private defense and serving lessons to ready her self for college play. She has attended several college camps (mostly D1), who were impressed with her skills and asked us to keep  them updated with her school season. We have done so through emails, sharing with them her notable accomplishments, such as Athlete of the Week and aces leader in our state. We have even made some in person visits at games, where she has had some short side-line conversations with the coaches.
My question is this...are they allowed to email her back or call her, considering her status as a high school junior? We have not heard back from any of them and wonder if we should concentrate our efforts elsewhere. Is it common for coaches to ask an athlete to keep them updated and seem interested, only to ignore them later, even when they have impressive growth and accomplishments to share?
D.J. from Ohio

Per NCAA rules, college coaches are only allowed to interact via e-mail/letters because your daughter is a Junior.  Your daughter can call college coaches at any time, and as often as she wants, but college coaches cannot return calls if your daughter just leaves a voice mail.

Also, your daughter's position tends to be the last one recruited in the process; college coaches are very focused on outside hitters and then middle blockers.  Liberos tend to be at the back on the line when it comes to the recruiting process, which is a result of the sheer number of quality players who are in this position.  College coaches know they can recruit/commit a very good libero late in the process because there are so many of them.

You should also consider that as this is our playing season, and any number of us college programs don't have a full coaching staff, much less a Director of Operations, so we go into Volleyball season survival mode.  I know my recruiting communication suffers this time of the year and I think many other programs do also.

With your daughter's position, I suggest you keep communicating with those programs which have shown interest, while reaching out to new potential universities.  Many VolleyFamilies can become frustrated because of the fits and starts of the process and communication with college coaches/programs, but the best thing to do is just keep communicating and reaching out to new programs while not losing the joy of the high school and club seasons!

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