April 12, 2012

Club Volleyball Team Folded - Now What?

My daughter is a junior and wanting to play college volleyball.  Due to a unforeseen series of events, her club team (she plays up on an 18's team) has had to withdraw from their last tournament (Lone Star Classic in Dallas) so her season has ended abruptly. 
She was hoping to have several schools come watch her play at that tournament.  She will definitely contact them to tell them her team will no lonter be attending that tournament.  What else should she do at this point?  She is very worried that she is now "dead in the water" as far as being recruited.
Thanks so much for your help! K.H.

That is just bad luck with her club team folding before Lone Star, and I have heard of 18's teams losing their focus with the older players going in 'different directions' late in the club seasons.

Immediate suggestion is to see if she can join another club team for the remainder of the club season - Lone Star is big tournament, along with the early summer tournaments with pre-nationals, Nationals/AAU's.  If the club team folded, then this may allow her to join another team.  The best avenue is to talk to the Regional Commissioner of your USA Volleyball region to see what your options are.  Now is the prime recruiting season, and as a Junior, it is important she get 'seen' to be evaluated by collegiate coaches.

Make sure that you are sending out the most current video of her skills/matches.  Collegiate coaches know things happen with club, just like they know that many times their budgets get cut and it does not allow them to attend as many tournaments as they would wish.  Video is the only solution available.  

She is not "dead in the water", but if she can't get onto another team, video will keep her on the radar with college teams as she moves into the summer months.  A few thoughts as you move into the summer:

1.  How much interaction has she had with collegiate programs?  For instance, as a Junior, is she getting emails from coaches?  Has she been invited or gone on any Unofficial Visits?

2.  What is her position.  Liberos are last in line, OH's are first, second, third, etc.  If she is a setter or Libero, she still has time to play out the recruiting process because collegiate coaches tend to recruit these two positions a bit later.  If she is an OH, she needs to stay very aggressive sending out contact information because this position is continuously active in the recruiting efforts of coaches.

3.  You must stay patiently aggressive with your outreach efforts, and don't get frustrated.  A key to this is reaching out to college program's which are the appropriate fit to your PSA's talent level.  For instance, if your VolleyPSA is a 5'8" OH with a good jump, good passing skills and ball control; that is wonderful but she won't play in the SEC or Big 12.  But, she could have a great career with financial support in D2!

The bottom line is you can't control what happened, but you can control how you react to it.  Find out if she can jump in with another team, and/or continue your outreach efforts to collegiate programs while being patient.  There still a bunch of time left in the recruiting cycle for the 2013 class, with many great opportunities out there!

Coach Sonnichsen

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