February 21, 2012

College Volleyball Recruiting and the Short Setter

Hi Coach,

Thank you for your book, Inside College Volleyball, it has helped our family build a foundation of knowledge from which to navigate the college recruiting process. My daughter is a high school junior from Orange County, CA who loves setting more than life itself. She is 5 feet 5 inches tall and her dream is to set in college. Southern California is overflowing with 6 foot plus, left handed setters, so in spite of her "good hands" and excellent setting training she is overlooked simply because of her height. She has an excellent understanding of the game and shows good leadership on the court.

What is the best way for her to get recruited? At her height can she realistically receive a scholarship at a D II or NAIA institution?

I would greatly appreciate your advice!

Thank you,  Y.F.

Thank you for the kind compliment on Inside College Volleyball and I am glad to hear that it is helping you.

Yes, SoCal is loaded with talent and it can be a challenge to shine when a PSA may not have the desired physical attributes which NCAA DI Volleyball programs are looking for.

A few suggestions:

1.  Being a smaller setter is akin to being a Libero; they tend to be at the end of the recruiting timeline, so patience and consistent outreach is key to success.

2.  I think a DI scholarship opportunity is realistic, if you expand your efforts to the midwest.  SoCal kids have a certain attractiveness within recruiting circles because of their high VB IQ, but so many midwest coaches just ignore SoCal recruits because historically, SoCal players will not play in the midwest (if they leave SoCal, they go to the eastern seaboard).

3.  DII and NAIA is well within reach.  The key is separating your PSA from other smaller setters, or less talented taller setters - This is done by outreach and effort.

4.  You need to have a continuous conversation with your daughter about her goals, her comfort levels and where she would consider playing.  For instance; would she go play in Texas, or Indiana or Georgia?  Is she OK with a small school or does she want a bigger school?  What about a rural school versus a city school?  Will she go to a down program which is rebuilding or does she want to be with a winner now?  These are all topics to continuously visit and outreach to schools based upon her answers.

5.  You may want to consider a Recruiting Service (NCSA is the best in my opinion, hands down and please link through my site) because a they can extend your reach and exposure efforts, while allowing research on different potential schools.

In closing, scholarship support is there for your daughter from mid-DI to NAIA to DII - If she has the talent, if she is willing to go outside of southern California, and she patiently keeps reaching out, she will find what she needs.

Thank you so much for taking the time to give m e such a detailed reply.

My daughter, trains with elite level instructors because she knows that at her height, she has to work hard.

I mention this, not to brag, but to say that, with her training schedule she hasn't had as much time to put into schoolwork as she would normally need.

She's excellent at English and History, but Math and Sciences are a challenge. Consequently, her GPA is just above a 3.0.

I'm hoping for a DII scholarship.  Do you think it's possible even if her club team isn't very good? Unfortunately, the club cannot see past her height and as a 17 she has been plunked on a 18-2's team.

Thank you again, Y.F.

Let me be blunt; you need to change your thinking. Don't "hope" for a NCAA DII scholarship, but work hard to get that NCAA DI Full Scholarship by reaching out to college coaches and making sure a video link is in every email.  

College coaches are looking for three things; Talent, Talent and Talent!!!  We don't care what the category or age or win-loss record of any team; we are focused on the player's talent, not the player's team.  As long as she is on the court, and can be seen, that is all that matters for college coaches.

Create the opportunity by putting in the effort; if your daughter has talent, and is willing to leave SoCal, and you are patient, then she can find that great spot.

Your outreach should include mid to lower DI's, every DII and every NAIA.  Don't wait and hope your daughter gets 'seen', but put her in front of these colleges so they have to 'look' at her!   

Video is key - If coaches see a great set of hands, and positive court personality, then the height concerns will fall away (for the categories I listed). Sure, she is not going to get recruited by USC or UCLA, but she could get recruited by UTEP or Georgia State, or Arkansas State, or Sam Houston, or South Alabama, etc.  All DI's with Full scholarships who value talent.

Thank you again for your "pearls of wisdom". How does one get the video footage from which to make the recruiting video?

I have been taping her club tournaments from the right back corner, but with her team not being especially good she spends a lot of her time chasing down bad passes. I also don't really know what I'm doing in the video making area. Is this something that NCSA makes for their players?

As a side note, she has a younger sister who is 14 but has to play in 15's (late Aug birthdate). She is 5 feet 7 so far and also a setter/opposite.

Same training, same issue with grades. She made varsity as a freshman (the only underclassman on the team).
Same eat, breathe and sleep volleyball attitude who wants to play in college. 

Thank you for your advice, it blesses two players! Y.F.

Glad to help!!

What I suggest is you also film a few club practices, as these are in a more controlled environment, and the drills allow her to showcase her setting (as opposed to just chasing down bad passes).

In terms of the actual highlight/skills video, yes NCSA would cut and edit the video (with arrows/shadow box to point our your PSA) based on the raw footage which parents send in.  If a parent is comfortable with video editing software and creation, then they can do it themselves, but many, like me, are not good with the programs.

What I like about NCSA is they create a specific web page for their players which make the information and video easily viewed by the college coaches who are searching for kids on the site, or who have received an outreach email about your daughter.  Again, these are all things Families can do if they have the time and comfort level, but for many Families, using the resources and outreach of a service just makes sense.

Just think how easy it will be for your next daughter!!!!!

Again, all i can say is thank you.

I will contimue to enthusiastically recommend your book. I have shown it to parents from teams we played at the Fiesta in AZ, as well as parents from our own teams. Everybody is amazed that such a book exists!

If it's allright with you, I may ask you a question or two in the future. 

Thank you again, Y.F.

Ask away!!  I am here for parents and that is the joy of me being supported by NCSA - I can be a resource!!!

Thanks for spreading the world about collegevolleyballcoach.com and Inside College Volleyball!

1 comment:

  1. I just want to say that this is a great piece and one I will be sharing with my (short but talented)daugther who sets!


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