Hi Coach, love your site! My daughter is 15 and a freshman playing on a 15U team for a well-respected Midwestern club. She has recently received recruiting questionnaires in the mail from a couple of low/mid NCAA Division I schools. One of the schools is especially attractive due to the academics and location.
My questions are:
Is it important to mail these back in order to get her in their system, assuming she has some interest in these schools? We have not really talked about recruiting because I didn’t want her to worry about it yet.
If yes, should we ask her club director to retest her on block touch and approach touch so that we give up-to-date information? The most recent numbers we have are from tryouts last November. At that time, she was 5’10” (in vb shoes) with a 9’4” approach touch. I think/hope that her approach touch would go up a bit but I don't think she has grown in height.
What is the proper way to test the block touch? At her club, they have the girls jump 3 times in quick succession, touching the wall with both hands each time, with the 3rd jump being the “big” jump that they count. Is this the right way? Seems like the first 2 jumps take the steam out of the 3rd jump.
Or should we just wait until next year’s club season to start this kind of communication, giving her time to mature and improve?
Thanks again for sharing your expertise! A.M.
Glad to hear you enjoy the site. Congrats on your VolleyPSA getting some interest from NCAA schools as a freshman (but PLEASE remember, Freshman is Free!).
1. Yes, return any and all questionnaires which she receives as a freshman, even if the school is on the lower end of possibilities. These are strange times within NCAA athletics and much will change between now and when she could commit and attend a school. It is too early to be making 'cuts' of schools on your end. Return them and put a copy in the file.
1 a. I would start a conversation about college and college volleyball with your daughter; not so much a talk about recruiting, but more of an effort by you to get your VolleyPSA to casually start to clarify her thoughts about her future. Topics to consider; how far from home, size of school, size of community, academic interests, etc. These are just areas to chat about and can easily change over time, but it is good to 'start' this conversation now, while things are not 'serious', rather than do it as a junior.
2. If it is easy to re-test for her jump touch measurements, then go ahead. But if not, then just add an inch or two to the stats you have, believing that she has increased her numbers as she has physically matured. Freshman stats are just the baseline; the thing crazy college coaches (the Triple C's) are looking for is height, and then second, an appropriate attack jump.
3. There is no set protocol on block touch. The way I have always done it is to use a vertical jump touch (the contraption with the colored slats you knock away to get your jump), set the bottom slat even with as high as the player can touch with one hand/arm extended, then three tries to jump and touch as high as possible, but each try is separate and not in quick succession - just feet still, then down-up touch.
With your daughter's age, the key is just to get on the 'to-see' list of the college coaches when the go to a club tourney; don't get ahead of the process. The current stats are just that; current for a freshman. The coaches are looking at four things now; height, current skill, anticipated skill and athleticism.
Wow, I never expected such a quick response. Everything you say makes perfect sense.
Thanks so much! A.M.
p.s. I just ordered your book and can't wait to start devouring it.
Thanks for the getting Inside College Volleyball and I hope it helps you with the craziness of college volleyball recruiting.