March 2, 2012

Getting Recruited for College Volleyball with Average Skills

Dear Coach:

I am a curious parent about the college recruiting for an average
player. Holds their own but isn’t the stud on the team, maybe doesn’t
even start but comes in as a 3rd OH or a DS?

How do these kids fair in the overall evaluation. I can't imagine a
coach is looking to “discover” a DS who comes in off the bench.
Is the basic rule, reach out the coaches, tell them that you play as a
sub and hope they will find interest in watching you?

We have participated in some of the local showcases but have not
received attention like the “studs”.

Thanks for any help you can, got your email from one of the showcases.  J.T.

Thank you for your email and glad to help.  It is good to hear that you obtained my email address as part of or as a result of one of the Showcase events.  I have really enjoyed being able to connect with and help so many VolleyFamilies with the challenges of college volleyball recruiting.  I hope that as my speaking schedule increases, the result will be more VolleyFamilies visiting the site for assistance, along with getting a copy of Inside College Volleyball (and NCSA being the destination for those VolleyFamilies wanting elite level support with college recruiting).

Part of your idea is correct, and part is not.

Definitely reach out to as many possible programs which fit into your VolleyPSA's broad definition of attractive collegiate options, but do not preface any contact by saying she is a sub.  You want to present your PSA as a great recruit for their program because she can be a great recruit for their program.  Always focus on the positive and what she can bring to the collegiate program.

Not every player is a stud, not every player is going to play DI.  But, there are plenty of solid, steady PSA's which can find that match for their academic desires, and volleyball skills among the many options of collegiate volleyball outside of DI (JC, NAIA, NCAA DII and NCAA DIII).

The key is reaching out, including video, communicating where the college coach can go see the PSA live (showcases/combines, tourneys, practice) and having a realistic contact list.  Part of having a successful contact list may well mean being open to going outside of your home area.  I went from Texas to California to play; while it would have been nice to have my folks at every match, that just was not an option for me to gain that collegiate roster spot.

Also, you need to be patient and this is the toughest thing to do!  It may not be until late spring of a PSA's senior year before they find that school.  But, again, keep active, keep reaching out, keep considering new schools, regions, conferences, etc., as she searches for the collegiate fit.


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