July 30, 2012

Early Volleyball Talent and Response


I have a incoming 7th grade daughter daughter who has a very strong skill set.  She will play 15s next club season as a 13.  Currently she is 5-7 and has potential to be 5-11 to 6-1.  She has a strong background from our HS coach who also coached at NAIA level.  She plays for a club where the director is also her coach. The coach is an assistant at a prominent D3 power. She was offered a camp spot with USA Volleyball after a tryout at A3 level(not sure how big of deal that is). 
How soon is too soon to start getting her exposed?  What steps do you recommend?  If she is offered a slot at A3 or better next year do we go that route? How do we determine what level she start looking at? I trust our club coach to determine that level but am looking for additional feedback.
In the process of ordering your book for our Ipad. P.B.

At your PSA's age, I would just keep things as 'fun' as possible - I have just seen too many times where a young player with talent and the potential to become very good gets pushed too hard, too fast and burns out or loses the passion for our great game.

Please take a look at my Recruiting Plan on the site (use the Label or search) and I have an updated Recruiting Plan in my book, Inside College Volleyball, as this should give you some information.

I would not initiate any recruiting efforts until your PSA's  sophomore, which is what my Recruiting Plan dictates.  If your daughter has elite level talents, then the crazy college coaches will reach out to her, but if you have read my site for awhile, then you know I absolutely don't believe in committing early.  If you daughter receives Letters and Questionnaires as a freshman, then return those as you feel comfortable, but nothing more. In today's collegiate environment, it is illogical to actively pursue or commit to a college as a freshman because your PSA's arrival is 4 years away; just look at all the changes in college athletics the last 4 years!

Freshman is Free - It is a free time for volleyball and being a kid. Sophomore go slow.  And if you are not even yet a freshman, the volleyball should be nothing more than laughs and enjoying what a gift you have to play sports.

Just let her play - If she wants to play in the A3 program, then great.  If she would rather hang out with her buddies and go swimming, great also!  Now is not the time to push anything; offer volleyball but DO NOT push it.

Sophomore Slow.  Freshman Free.

Hope you enjoy Inside College Volleyball.

Coach Matt Sonnichsen

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