April 26, 2012

Small Town, Small Volleyball Club Recruiting Question

Hello my name is G.Z., I am a junior in high school in a smaller town in South Carolina. I started playing volleyball in 7th grade and have fallen in love with it ever since. Can you give me any advice on what I might be able to do to get notice so I can contiune to play throughout my college career? 

Volleyball is my passion and I've have tried to go further with it. I joined a traveling team in my county and it has helped me imporve my footwork and simple skills a whole lot. Please get back to me as soon as possible.

Thank you!

Great to hear you have the bug for volleyball and are passionate about taking your play to the collegiate level.

One of the changes we have seen in collegiate volleyball recruiting these last few years is the great increase in quality high school age volleyball players.  You are a part of this change, because the foundation of this increase is the growth of club and high school volleyball in the southeastern region of the USA.  

Because there is such an abundance of good volleyball players, it can be a challenge for Prospective Student Athletes (PSA's) to get noticed by collegiate coaches.  In an economic sense, supply has risen above demand in college volleyball recruiting.  Talented PSA's have greatly increased, but the number of collegiate roster spots has barely risen at all.

A few suggestions:

1.  Play the highest level of club volleyball possible, even if it means having to travel a bit to participate with a team.  You may need to go to Columbia, or up to Charlotte or down to Charleston, but joining a club team which plays and trains at a high level will increase your abilities and collegiate exposure.

2.  Make sure your club team has a national type schedule.  If you are currently on a club team which plays a dominant or exclusive regional schedule of small local tournaments, then you will not be seen by many coaches outside of your region.  The current down economy has limited the recruiting travel ability of many collegiate programs, and coaches can see more players for less money by attending a National Qualifier, than by attending regional tourneys.

3.  Continue to push yourself to improve your abilities.  All players can improve, even if you are a starter on the USA Olympic team, you can still improve.  As a PSA, your talent will create your opportunities.  The greater your skills, the more you will get noticed by collegiate coaches.

4.  As you are from a smaller town in SC, and are not currently with a big club, you may wish to consider joining NCSA Athletic Recruiting, as they can greatly assist you in your outreach efforts to collegiate coaches, along with providing valuable educational resources to help understand all this craziness.

5.  Video will be your best friend to reach out to coaches.  Never be shy about sending out video; does not have to be fancy or long, just a couple of minutes of your current play or practices.

6.  As you reach out to collegiate programs, be sure to properly match your skill sets with your possible colleges.  For instance, if you are a 5'8" outside hitter with a good jump, and solid all around skills, that is wonderful but you will not be able to play in the SEC.  

Lastly, be sure and read through some of the previous collegevolleyballcoach.com posts, as it will provide a ton of useful information as you navigate the challenges of college volleyball recruiting (or if you want some wonderful reading material while icing after practice, then pick up a copy of my book, Inside College Volleyball)!

Coach Matt Sonnichsen


  1. I was a recent south Carolina graduate where I started off and on for 4 yrs and was a 2 yr captain. I also came out of a small town except I came out of northern california and had no club experience. Film is great but if you are vey interested in a school if you have the ability to go to a camp you can form a better relationship w coaches and they can see your development over the couple days you're there. If you are interested in the school do not be afraid to call coaches or inform them of your interest. Some will say no some yes. It will also give you an idea of what level you are at. While 5'8 with good hops and a all around player is not the ideal body build it can get you into the sec if you have the skill. If you are not very tall, under 5"11, work on ball control it will be your best friend. I was a successful 5'8 player in the SEC and professionally for a season. Coach matt is right about understand what level you are at. Best of luck!

  2. If nothing else works my dads alma mater in sc now has Vb. The only drawback = the citadel


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