December 12, 2011

Recruiting Patience

Congrats on your new position! I just read your post from Dec. 2nd and had to smile because I almost commented on your earlier post in November that you'd reveal your identity--because you mentioned a big change. :)

My daughter is still going through the process. She's a senior and had a great senior season--won districts, made it to states, got 1st team All District and 1st Team All Region. Super proud of her. I really hope she decides to play in college because she loves her sport.

But her dilemma is this: she wants to go to a big university(UVa, JMU, Ole Miss, Kentucky) but she's realized she's not suited to play D1. Way too much time, and commitment for her. She was being recruited by Ole Miss for a walk on position, and went to camp there last summer. She realized just how crazy hard D1 in the SEC would be and decided its not for her(and very possible she wouldn't have gotten a spot on their team anyway).

Right now she has a great offer from a D-3 school in VA. Great coach and a super good team. He told her his timeline and wants to hear soon what her plans are--and told her he doesn't want to look further but if she's unsure he needs to find someone else who will commit. I'm glad he was so straight forward. Her main concern is that the school is so small.  I do worry that in her typical style of keeping her options open, she'll miss this great opportunity. I sometimes wonder, "does she really want to be recruited?" Because she sure does play hard to get!

I enjoy your site so much! This process has been irksome in so many ways so your advice has been a godsend. I do wish our club had been more helpful through this process--they were generally "hands off" and the girls were clueless.

Is this company you're with a recruiting service?

Thanks for your advice over the last couple years, A.R.

Thank you for your kind compliments and I am glad has been helpful.

I can understand your concern with the potential commitment or non-commitment by your daughter.  I think it is important to acknowledge that she did sort through an important clarification of her volleyball and academic goals.  With any collegiate offer, the PSA has to know that this is the school and I mean just KNOW that this is the one.  I have been in this so long as an athlete and as a coach, there there is a certain voice in a player's head that says this is the place. 

VolleyFamilies get into issues when they 'talk' themselves into a program because of name or location or conference, only to be unhappy and then contemplating transferring to another school.  One of the drastic downsides of the way too early recruiting and commitment process is that VolleyFamilies can be making life changing decisions before they are ready.

It is now too common to hear of Sophomores and Freshman making their collegiate commitment.  Think about this, these are 15 and 16 year old kids (they are young teenagers at best) determining how they will spend a tremendously influencial block of development into adults, but this development period does not start for 3 to 4 years.  Not only are the PSA's young (a year or two out of 8th grade?  Come on!), but the parents are also young or maybe a better word is inexperienced.

One of the most common phrases I hear from VolleyParents from emails is that they were not aware of the process, or caught off guard by how quickly this is moving, or confused about how all of this works.  If Mom and Dad are trying to catch up, then how can they provide the best of support and council for their duaghter?

Because the PSA is young and the parents may still be learning about the process, it is so important to not get stary eyed about the name of program or school but be methodical about the process.  VolleyFamilies which are into the process early in high school, need to make a determined effort to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of potential programs and they must open the door to their daughter communicating with them, along with encouraging her to listen to that voice in her head.

I compliment your daughter for analyzing that playing at the power conference big school was not going to work for her, but also not jumping upon the offer from the small school.  Being slow and steady will win the prize in collegiate volleyball recruiting, and that prize is having a great academic and athletic experience for the entire collegiate career.

For whatever reason, your daughter is not sold on this DIII school, and take her hesitation as a sign that she still needs to keep looking.  I know it is a bit unnerving, but continue with the process because after the Holidays, there will be a big rush of colleges (all Divisions) working hard to find recruits.

To answer your last questions, NCSA Athletic Recruiting is a recruiting service and in my college coaching opinion, the best in the country.  They are the top service for football, which enabled NCSA to build a comprehensive human and technological support service which empowered thier crossover into other collegiate sports.   With a number of their employees being former collegiate volleyball players, they are applying their experience to become the clear recruiting leader for Volleyball.  My joining their team is an example of their commitment to Volleyball and making sure they are doing things the right way for VolleyFamilies. 

NCSA's  free site provides wonderful information for any family.  Just click on the NCSA box on the left side bar of the site (this helps me out) to go to their free section to get information.  Trust me, the free information is good and the paid service is amazing.  One of the topics I will be writing about soon is the continued increase in the sheer numbers of talented high school age volleyball players, but there has been no real increase in the number collegiate programs or roster spots - This mathematical equation makes the recruiting efforts of VolleyFamilies even more important.

Again, thanks for your kind words and keep working the recruiting process.


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