January 4, 2013

College Volleyball Recruiting Challenges

Hi Coach!
I'm from Northern Illinois and I am a 5'5" junior in high school. I've been a setter my entire life, and have played club since the 12's team and am now in my 17's club season.
My club isn't one of the "big" clubs to watch or that you'd hear about, and my teams have never been spectacular, although I've always been listed on the "best" teams in my age division. I'm rather short for the position, and I wouldn't say I've had the best of training throughout the years either.
It's my dream to play college volleyball as a setter somewhere, and I'm definitely willing to play at a college far away from home. I know I'm too short to play at a D1 school or anything really big, but is it too late for me to convince my parents to start video taping games and to start recruiting profiles online?
Also, how would I contact coaches (and, who would I contact, the Head Coach himself or the Athletics Department of the college?) and what would I say to them in the e-mail/phone call/way of contact?
Not to brag, but I know I have pretty good skills and I know the game like the back of my hand, so I know I have what it takes, I just want to know how, if it's not to late, to get into the "recruiting game" and how to be recognized and picked out of all of the other players trying to be noticed as well.
Thanks! A.M.

Let me give you the quick version, as you need to get moving on this recruiting thing:

1.  On www.collegevolleyballcoach.com, you should read the Label "Recruiting Plan" - I have listed a year by year plan you can follow, if you are comfortable with the process.  In my book, Inside College Volleyball, I have an updated Recruiting Plan available for VolleyFamilies

2.  I also have a Label for Videos, which should provide some guidance.

3.  You are a shorter setter, but with the increase in substitutions, many NCAA teams are now running 'front to back' 6-2 offenses, where the Setters and Opposites positions sub for each other.  This has resulting in setter height becoming a non-factor because they only play back row.

4.  I suggest you take a look at NCSA Athletic Recruiting.  The reality is you are in a position and height/skill set in which you will have tremendous competition for the collegiate roster spot.  NCSA has a tremendous Free Site, along with the best Premium Paid service in the country - You want to use whatever resources possible to get yourself seen by collegiate coaches.

5.  The new reality of collegiate recruiting is it starts way, way early and lasts way, way late.  You can absolutely find the collegiate future you want, especially if you have an open mind about level/category/region.

6.  The best way to do the initial outreach to college coaches is via email; make it short and direct, with the pertinent contact information and ALWAYS attach/include video.

Good luck and get going now, in preparation for the upcoming club season!

Coach Matt

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