July 31, 2012

Never too late for College Volleyball!

I'm going to be a senior in high school this coming year and i have no idea what i'm doing for college, I filled out a ton of  prospective athlete forms forms and emailed a few coaches but that's about it. Is there even hope of me playing in college at this point?  

And if there is whats the best way for me to contact coaches at this point, I want to send film and my club coach said he would help me with that and everything else but he hasnt responded to any of my emails in about a month now so I'm getting kinda frustrated. It's always been my dream to play a D1 sport in college but now I feel like there is little hope for that, Is walking on still an option for me at this point or am i too late in the recruiting process for that too? 

If its not how should Contact a coach about walking on, I've been told calling is the best way to contact coaches to show your serious about there school but what sort of things do i talk to them about if I'm the one that calls them, and should I say I'm interested in walking on or wait to say that? I understand what walking on means once you are at college but I have no idea how to get there. 

Sorry if this doesn't make a lot of sense or sounds like the same question over and over again but I hope you can help me, Thanks so much in advanced. MM

Yes, plenty of time in the recruiting process and many athletes will secure their collegiate future during their senior years.  With Inside College Volleyball, I have written extensively about how to proceed with a later recruiting effort. 

Don't get panicked because you have heard that so many have already committed; there are still so many other opportunities out there, and many opportunities will open up during and after the current collegiate season.

My suggestions:

1.  Online prospective athlete questionnaires are not a very effective way to reach out to a collegiate coach, and neither is a cold call (calling a coach before sending in information).

2.  When you reach out to collegiate coaches, do so by email and have attached your personal volleyball bio, along with a web link to your video.  It is later in the process, so coaches need to quickly digest your physical characteristics, position and the video of your skills.

3.  Don't over think the video - Just put together a 3 to 5 minute clip of you demonstrating the skills specific to your volleyball position.  This can be cut/spliced from game film, from practice film or you can just take your iPhone/iPad and have your parents film you while you demonstrate skills in your high school gym.  Again, does not need to be fancy, and only needs to be a few minutes; you just want a visual to go along with your email.  Your goal is to make an impression upon the collegiate coach so they come watch you play in person.

4.  Before you consider walking on, you need to step back and put together a comprehensive list of possible schools based upon your specific desires; academic desires, geographic location, size of school, size of town, level of program, etc.  After assembling your list of schools, you need to start reaching out to the collegiate coaches to gauge their response.  Many will be done and many will be still looking, thus your contact list needs to be quite large. 

5.  If you find a school, again, a school which you really feels fits all your parameters of a collegiate experience, then you can consider a walk on route.  To explore a walk on route, you do the same outreach, but make it clear you want to walk on because the school is where you are going. Understand that scholarship athletes in DI Volleyball have a tiny safety net (the one year renewable scholarship) and that Walk On athletes are there purely at the pleasure of the coach; you can be cut and removed at any time.

6. Only call a coach after you have established contact via email, and there has been interest shown by the coach. When you call, have a specific set of questions about the academics of the school, and about the volleyball programs support, residence halls, the season, etc.  Write down a list of questions, and also be prepared to give the coach a quick update about what you have going on.

I will close with this - It is never too late.  If you want to play collegiate volleyball, then you need to get organized and you need to be aggressive.  Don't expect a club coach or high school coach to do the work.

If you need assistance, and many families do because they just don't have the time, energy and technology to successfully manage today's collegiate recruiting process, I strongly suggest you explore joining NCSA Athletic Recruiting (just click the box on my website), because they are worth every penny to a player who needs help.

Good luck,

Coach Matt

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