April 23, 2013

Way Too Early College Volleyball Recruiting

Hello Coach,  I enjoy reading your questions and answers and I always learn a lot.  Whenever I search online for something volleyball related I usually find it on your site (I guess I should come here first).

So here's the question...  My daughter is in 8th grade and she'll be 14 in a few weeks.  She just returned from a qualifier and her team did very well.  She's a 6' lefty and she's a good hitter and blocker.  The qualifier was 3 days ago and she has already received 2 college letters this week asking her to complete a volleyball questionnaire and/or email or call the coach.  We are excited about it but we realize that this might not be uncommon for players on top teams.  What would you say is "normal" for a tall and skilled 14 year old?  Do teams send out these letters to get more girls to their summer camps, or do you think they are seriously interested?  At this age is filling out the form good enough, or should my daughter send an email or call?

Thanks for any advice in this area.


I was at the ShowMe National Qualifier this past weekend, which was for the younger players (15's and below).  This same weekend was the Lone Star older group, Northern Lights younger group and Far Westerns younger group.  With all these huge events being played at the same time, in addition to it being the heart of the college volleyball spring season, there were 7 power conference programs at ShowMe recruiting.

Congratulations on your PSA receiving her first couple of recruiting letters; enjoy it, fill out/return the questionnaire and then forget all about them.  I say this because in today's crazy world of collegiate athletic's changes, 4 years is a lifetime and to actively engage in recruiting (emails, phone calls, visits) is illogical for 14 and 15 year olds.  Plus, there is something not right about college staff interacting with 8th and 9th grade volleyball players, unless it is at camp.

Unfortunately the recruiting of talented 8th graders is not uncommon - So many elite college programs are afraid of being second with a contact, that they will soon be at elementary schools in August to make sure they are first.  The school would not have sent your PSA a letter unless they were interested, but they are 'interested' in seeing how she develops and matures in her skill sets.  Schools will throw a wide net to ensure they can be in the memory banks of the player's as they develop, in addition to possibly creating a wider camp audience.

Just fill out the Q; please do not call or email or visit......don't invite the recruiting beast inside yet...As I wrote of with Inside College Volleyball, Freshman Free, Sophomore Slow and as an 8th grader, talk to the hand.  

Best thing you can do right now is stay abreast of the NCAA rule changes (there are a bunch coming down the pipeline for August), the conference changes, the academic interests of your daughter, etc.  

Again, congratulations and enjoy this small period of time before it disappears because it does disappear all too quickly!

Coach Matt

1 comment:

  1. E,

    Read Inside College Villeyball by Coach Matt. It will be very helpful for you and your PSA.


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