December 13, 2011

Two Recruiting Questions

I will be at the NCAA National Championship in San Antonio and if you attending, please swing by the NCSA Athletic Recruiting booth during the AVCA Coaches Convention and say hello!

Also, during the Semi Finals and the Championship match, I will be sending out in-match tweets, so please follow me on Twitter - @collegevbcoach (I have Twitter feed on the site now).

And without any further delay, question and answers for your recruiting benefit!

Hi Coach,

Question #1

I have a question that I haven't seen addressed on the site.  My oldest daughter received a scholarship at a top program, but was a casualty of a coaching change.  When it was made clear to her that she wasn't in the new coaches plans, she was forced to choose to either stay at her dream school and give up volleyball or transfer away from her dream school to play.  She had lots of fantastic transfer options, but ultimately chose to stay and retire.  This all played out last spring.

My youngest daughter is a sophomore and even more volleyball-crazy than her older sister.  She's a 5'-9" OH which is 2-3 inches smaller than her sister, so the recruiting pool will likely be quite different.  We're starting to get ready to send out the introductory email you recommend for December of the sophomore year to a large pool of coaches to get her on their radar and let them know her upcoming club season schedule. 

We live in California, and I'm aware that some east coast coaches are concerned about recruiting west coast girls.  My youngest's intention (at least as of now) is to go wherever the best volleyball/school combination exists for her, and claims to have no qualms about going east.  My question is whether to mention her sister at all in the email, especially to those coaches who were interested in my older daughter transferring.  Should we include something in the emails to coaches that were interested in my older daughter like "although my sister decided to stay in California, I want you to know that I'm definitely open to east coast schools".  I'd hate for my oldest daughter's decision not to pursue a transfer to come back and bite my youngest. 

Or (as is often the case) am I just over thinking this?  :)

Question #2

I know that high school isn't all that important for recruiting.  However, my youngest daughter's high school team won the CIF Championship this past week and she was awarded an "Area Player of the Week" once during the season as a sophomore.  Does the CIF Championship change things so that I should include a mention of that and put together a short highlight time of her high school season to go with the recruiting email?

Thanks again for the site and your advice, and have a wonderful holiday!  R.L.

Your Answers:

Q#1 - I would not mention your eldest daughter, but I would make it clear to those non-California schools that your VolleyPSA is open to playing outside of California.  This is the one stigma with the Cali PSA; a general perception among schools in the mid-west and east that these players will not leave the west coast.  The sooner you can inform potential schools that she has no geographic preferences and it just looking for the best Academic and Volleyball fit, the better.

As an aside, the willingness of PSA's to travel to out of region schools is one of the reasons that Texas has now become the hotbed of collegiate recruiting. Texas players will travel anywhere and you can see supremely talented players on the rosters of teams at every compass point!  This is another reason that traditionally successful TX university Volleyball programs have struggled in the last few years, as this home grown talent is not staying!

Q#2 - High School impact has lessened in the recruiting process, but it is important to toot the horn when it merits tooting!!!  I would most definitely highlight her CIF Championship and any individual awards from this past season - She has the benefit of playing in a state where being able to say she is a Champion carries more weight than saying she is a champion in Vermont! 

College coaches are video addicted and there really is no such thing as sending out too much video, especially if it is of recent play and in an edited form. 

Good luck with your next VolleyPSA!

Hi Coach - love your website.

I read your post on the scholarship challenges for Liberos in D1 programs and can vouch for your comments 100%. My daughter is a 5-8 Junior (2013) Libero/DS who plays on a very highly ranked club team in Southern Cal.

Since collegiate volleyball has been her dream since she was 10, she began sending emails and video before the start of her 16’s Club season when she was a Sophomore. All in all, she has received emails or letters from about 50 D1 programs. She attended a Pac-12 camp this past summer where she was told that she was in their top four for the 2013 class (this school actually first sent her an email when she was a Freshman). Two other programs (one east coast and one west coast) have contacted her coach and stated that she is on their short lists as well.

Having said all this, even with what seems to be very encouraging communication, there have been no offers at this point in time.  I suspect it’s because defensive kids are the last to be recruited after the monster front row players and then setters. Also, some of the programs who have contacted her readily admit that they usually only scholly one defensive kid and that they rotate the scholarship every two years. Anyway, I realize my daughter has plenty of time but I just wanted to share our experience so far and would enjoy any further comments you have on this topic.

Lastly, do you think the no serving rule in Club for Liberos will ever change? My daughter has a cannon jump serve but it’s her coach’s biggest dilemma (and I’m sure a lot of other coaches too!); if you want the serve, you only get three rotations!



Quick answers - Liberos being last in line will continue to be the status quo.  College coaches are first and foremost trying to find the Golden Goose of the Outside hitter who can bang and pass nails.  The other reason Liberos are last is because there are so many talented OH's who are too small to achieve their elite playing goals as a hitter, so move into the Libero position which results in colleges being able to secure talented passers/defenders very late in the process.

The Libero will continue to be non-serving in Club volleyball until the FIVB (international volleyball association) changes their rules because USA Volleyball (under which Club Volleyball operates) follows FIVB rules. 

Keep up the communications, keep working hard on improving skill sets - sometimes volleyfamilies get too concerned with the recruiting process and forget to keep concentrating on getting better as a player; skills will get you the best recognition. Lastly, you just have to continue to be patient and understand that the scholarship or roster offer may not arrive until spring of your senior year!


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