January 6, 2012

Volleyball Position and Recruiting Communication Question

I first want to say that your site has been a blessing ever since I stumbled on it a few months back. I only wished I had found it about a year ago. However I have learned a lot since reading your blog! Thank you! Thank you for this wealth of information!
My daughter is a junior in high school and has received many of the infamous "interest" letters since her freshman year. As guided by many coaches within her club and other parents who have gone through this, she filled out all the questionnaires, to get her on the recruiting radar. 

Last year prior to her sophomore year of club, she sent emails to university she thought she was interested in asking them to come watch her. She primarily focused on the larger D1 and mid major D1's. She created a profile sheet that provided general information and sent video. During club last year there was a lot of interest, and some coaches went as far as speaking to her club coach and asked for her to call them. When Sept 1st rolled around she received quite a few emails from schools ranging from the Big 12 down to D2 schools. Again she was thrilled and responded to every single one. 

However here is our dilemma. The communication by many has almost ceased. Don't get me wrong she still gets the blanketed email sent to the recruits but nothing real personal. She continuously sends emails, sends updates on what is going on in her world, updates them her high school season etc. But nothing. What happened? Would you recommend her to still send emails? 

Just recently she has begun sending emails to new coaches/programs asking them to come watch her this club season, hoping to spark new interest however she is not sure if its too late for her class of 2013 for mid major D1's recruiting. I failed to mentioned that she is ONLY a 6'0 middle (I say ONLY because 6'0 is a bit short for a middle). She has always be a very strong blocker who is very quick, can touch over 9'10, and is very versatile. 

She has come to grips that she is too short to play at the "bigger level" and realistically a mid major is where she should be looking or possible a D2 program.  I have asked many of her club coaches (some who have coached D1 programs) if they would recommend that she transition to the outside due to her lack of size in the middle.  On all accounts we have told "keep her in the middle", They tell us if a recruiter likes her based on her athleticism, versatile, strength, they will move her to the outside. 

However if a coach is looking for a outside hitter and my daughter is labeled as middle would she still be considered? This club season she will be playing both middle and hitting outside (since they have seen have effective she is on the outside also). How do I make sure that opportunities are not missed because of her height in her current position? We wonder if this is why some of the schools who had such early interest lost interest because she did not grow any taller.  Some of the programs who are sending personally correspondence tell her they are going watch her "early" in club this year. 

I failed to mention that we live in Texas and the competition is very competitive. She plays with one of the top clubs in the city and she will attend 2 out of state qualifiers plus the large ones here in the state. My daughter has her heart set on playing D1 (realistically mid major D1) but as her parents, we want to be realistic is where she should be.  

We have gotten her to consider corresponding with D2 schools just recently. She recently sent emails and video to some D2 programs in state and out of state. That response from schools have be phenomenal. After watching her video some have asked us how soon can she come on campus, and sending emails every other day, etc. Did we jump the gun contacting these school too early. Should we have waited to see what they large schools are going to do. Ideally she wants to play for a mid major D1 rather than D2.
I apologize for all these question. I am sure you will tell me not to stress, but this is a crazy game, and for my daughters sake, I am trying to stay sane through the process. Please help a frustrated mother, who wants to make sure she directs her daughter to a realistic dream, rather than holding on to something that may never come.
Thank you,

Thank you for the compliments on the site and I am glad it is of assistance to you as you navigate these challenges.

Your situation is common, and yes, I will tell you not to stress yourself out.  I posted an article about the 5'10" OH's being the Toyota Camry's of College Volleyball Recruiting, and I could easily add that the 6'0" MB's are the Honda Accords of College Volleyball Recruiting.  A key item to remember, is that your daughter is only a Junior, and there is still plenty of time left in recruiting craziness.

Please let me try to 'break out' your questions from below:

1.  What happened is that the college volleyball season came to an end, college volleyball coaches are worn out, and all of them were getting rather deep into their Caronas down in San Antonio a few weekends ago!  Late November and December are the slowest times of the year for recruiting because of the end of the season job demands (and uncertainties), along with coaches just running out of gas.  Universities/Colleges go on Holiday break, and coaches go on mental shutdown because it is also a NCAA Dead and Quiet Period from early December to mid January.

2.  Keep sending out emails and information to all the schools she has been in contact with, even those which may have told her they are 'done' with the 2013 class (because scholarships/roster spots have a habit of coming open after the end of the season/fall semester).  Don't get frustrated by the mass emails from programs (again, this is the easy way for tired coaches to communicate), but keep responding and updating current and potential programs.

3.  It is definitely not too late in the 2013 class for DI (all levels) - Many schools don't have the luxury of committing their classes early, many committed one scholarship early and are still involved in recruiting for the next one or two spots, while some schools will re-open their recruiting efforts for newly opened opportunities after the NCAA Quiet Period ends in mid January.  My answers are based upon last February at the Las Vegas Invite (a tournament exclusive to the 17/18 age groups), there were dozens, upon dozens of DI schools were actively recruiting the senior class at this event, and some of these schools were from the power conferences.

4.  6'0" for a middle is on the shorter side, but as UCLA showed in the NCAA Championship, speed wins.  Is she too short for U. Texas or LSU?  Yes.  Is she too short for UT Arlington or Tulane?  No.  Her jumping ability and overall talent/attitude can mitigate her shorter position height (crazy when a 6' MB is too short!).

5.  I would hesitate to move her full time to the OH now.  Traditional OH's must be able to pass and play defense at the Junior/Senior years of high school, and usually converted middles take time to make this transition, if they ever do.  Better to play to her strengths as a Middle; and if she happens to get some exposure/swings on the OH with her club occasionally, then all the better.

6.  It does not surprise me that D2's are all over your VolleyPSA.  As you indicated in your email, your daughter received introductory letters from the Big 12, along with regular emails from a range of DI levels.  While DI's, especially Power Conference DI's, can financially afford to cast a rather wide recruiting net, they would not have contacted her unless they saw the ability/potential to play at their level successfully.  I would wait a bit before actively pursuing the D2 route; you can always go down that path in the spring of her senior year, as there will still be plenty of openings and scholarships.

7. I understand you wish to put the emotional safety net under your daughter, but as I noted above, she is getting contacted by a wide range of DI's.  Keep the safety net tucked in your pocket, because I don't think you would need to throw it up until the spring of her Senior year (if at all).

Let me close with two things; 1)  Be patient, keep working through the process and absolutely empower your VolleyPSA to focus on becoming the best Volleyball player she can be while having a great time doing it.  2)  I would suggest you take a solid look at NCSA (please link through the box on my site) because they can offer so many resources and support to give your daughter that extra push/promotional/outreach she may need to secure the future she wants - I would not recommend NCSA if I did not believe they could be of service to you.

Good luck and enjoy the few days of quiet left before the Triple C's (Crazy College Coaches) are let loose on Club Tournaments!


1 comment:

  1. My hats off to her for contacting DII schools!! Perhaps she should check to see which colleges were in the Final Four (or Eight) for Division II and contact them. I bet she will hear from all of them too! Hey, she might just fall in love with one of them after visiting.


Please stay positive or at the minimum present constructive criticism - Negative comments or attacks upon other reader's opinions will not be posted.