March 20, 2012

Wednesday Webinar Reminder and The Throw Away Walk On Offer - College Volleyball Recruiting

Wanted to remind VolleyFamilies of the Wednesday Webinar  - Top Ten Volleyball Recruiting Tips.

Top Ten Volleyball Recruiting Tips will be on Wednesday, March 21st at 9 p.m. Central Time.  Follow these instructions to join:

Cut and past the below address into your browser address bar:    

Click "Guest" - Type your name - Click Enter Room.

Very simple and a great way to get information about focusing your recruiting efforts as we are halfway through the 2012 club volleyball season.  This will be a live webinar, so you will be able to submit questions via the Chat Box!


Hi Coach, long time reader.  Your insights have really helped us through the recruiting "process".  We have a Jr. who has a pretty solid resume and gets a fair amount of attention from across the board but is only 6' (although many like her athleticism).  We live in one of the 3 VB recruiting areas and are blessed with nearly as many coaches as parents even for Power League.

After Nationals last year, we visited with a Mid-major D-1 NCAA bid team.  My DD could easily see herself there. The coaches said "Oh we've watched you play more than you know and really like what we see".  Fast-forward through a successful HS season, leading team in many categories as RS (new this yr) and MB and as a Captain, farthest in the State playoffs.  

The College coach sets up a weekly phone dialog but never gets into anything deep.  At a President's Day tourney, we play a club from nearby that school and a parent reports that an OH has been recruited by them. The coach had asked for "more film" and I started hearing warning bells go off in my head from what I've learned here. Fearing the old "string 'em along until something better comes along" we send the game footage (and her torching the recruited OH) and then we have her coach give them a call. 

Coach calls DD and says they have firmed up their '13 plans and would like to offer her a roster spot.  Unfortunately, DD does figure out that Roster spot is code for Walk-on.  So, she sends an email and explains her confusion and there is no way she could go to school out-of-state without a scholarship. 

It's been a week and we have not received any response from them, which is uncharacteristic.  Is this is a sign that they really didn't have her as a top recruit and she would probably spend alot of time as a practice girl? If they really wanted her, wouldn't they have come back with "hey, we can work with the financial aid office and see what they can do for you'' ?

Do these college coaches realize that in the real world money is tight and many professionals are just scraping by?  Do they really think someone is going to drop $200-$250,000 just for the previledge of being (and maybe not even playing) on their team?

Luckily DD has a high GPA and "almost Ivy" ACT and has the ability to get in almost anywhere.  This whole experience has opened eyes and now she (we) are looking at VB for what it really is, a means to an end and are thinking a high academic D-2 or D-3 is the way forward.  T.N.

I am sorry to hear what your VolleyPSA went through with the DI mid-major program, and it is an unfortunate residual of the recruiting game.  In my Inside College Volleyball book, I have a number of articles about the walk on options; when they are good and when they are not so good.

By the information you provided in your email, the DI program had her as a back up to their top player(s); she was player 2, if player 1 did not accept the scholarship offer.  The email about the roster spot offer was a token gesture to try and let her down easy; they have not replied because they have moved on and it was token.

Again, I think they had her as a back up option, and yes, if they really 'wanted' her on the program, they would have presented the non-athletic scholarship options to you for consideration.  Better to let this just wash down stream, as she probably would have just spent her career as a practice player and may not have even travelled. 

For VolleyFamilies considering a walk-on roster spot, they must remember how tenuous this position is.  At any time the coach can just say, thank you and good by/good luck, because the next year's recruiting class could easily include additional walk ons who are better or specifically fit a program's seasonal needs.  Scholarship players have a scholarship reduction/termination protest protocol (even though I have NEVER seen a player win the appeal), but walk ons have nothing.

College coaches can definitely get into a bubble, which is not real life.  In a sense, it is no different than the college professors or administrators living in "the Ivory tower" and disconnecting.  As I said, the walk on offer was just a throw away effort because they are done with 2013 recruiting on all accounts.  I doubt the coach gave a minute's thought to the financial burden of such an offer, because it probably did not even cross their minds - Sometimes the bubble can be a simple place to live.

What I encourage you and your PSA to do is keep an open mind to potential schools and keep working the recruiting effort.  She would not have been recruited by a NCAA tourney mid-major DI unless she had talent; it just worked out that they went with someone else.  

Don't let their evaluation or priorities define her talent or goals.  Bottom line, there are so many knucklehead college volleyball coaches out there; believe me, I know most of them.  Some coaches are just obtuse.  Within the profession, I will see players recruited by a certain program and shake my head because it does not make any sense!

Keep reaching out, don't automatically go to DII or DIII - these are great options and could well be the best fit, but there are still good academic DI's recruiting for the 2013 class.  Be patiently aggressive.

Glad the site can help, and I will be Speaking at the MEQ's in Indy and NCSA/AVCA Spring Showcase, along with the JVA World Challenge in Houston - If your schedule has you there, please come up and say hello!

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