Hang in there as a Libero family!
My daughter is a junior and has had interest from D1 schools. She is tall middle with great academics. As the year has progressed it has narrowed down to smaller D1 to the point that we felt we should open the playing field and look at top tier D2. The schools that have shown interest are not within realistic driving distance. My daughter will be calling a D2 coach tonight. What are the top 10 questions that she should ask? What is your view on college camps? My daughter is the oldest of a large family so going to camps outside of the area would put a strain on our budget. How should we handle camp questions?
I am sure I will have more questions later! Thanks so much for your assistance.
Apologies for the very late reply to your email - Too busy with my Educational Talks via NCSA during the Qualifier season. Hopefully my answers will help with future questions, even though I am too late in responding for the coach call you mentioned.
Congratulations on your VolleyPSA gaining the sincere recruiting attention of a number of NCAA programs. It is a good choice to bring elite D2's into the mix, when you are realistically focused on low DI's.
By your email, having your daughter close enough to go see within a drive is important - So, what is your drive distance? 4 hours or 10? This will include or exclude a large number of potential programs - I encourage you to make the perimeter as large as possible to make your daughter's opportunities as varied as possible.
Top 10 Questions to ask a DII coach:
1. How many Volleyball scholarships does your athletic department fund? (the NCAA limit is 8)
2. What scholarship packages are typically available?
3. Where did the program finish in the conference in 2013 and in the Regional rankings?
4. What is the size of the roster you carry during the year?
5. How many staff members are with the program?
6. What percentage of the players live on campus? What are the housing rules for Freshman and Sophomores?
7. Where does the program practice in the off-season and at what typical time?
8. What academic support is available, via the athletic department, for players?
9. Do athletes receive early or preferential enrollment for classes?
10. Is the food any good in the cafeteria?
As for camp, and I have written extensively about camps in my book (New York Times best selling Inside College Volleyball)(BTW, the whole NYT reference is in jest) and on the site - Camps should be viewed within three perspectives:
1. Training - A college camp can be a solid training opportunity, provided the instruction is cohesive and you have more than a redshirt freshman walk-on coaching the camper.
2. Vacation - Many campers will want to go to a volleyball camp at Giant State University because the last 5 generations of their family went to Giant State University, so they get to hang out on campus for a few days and get the $300 t-shirt.
3. Recruiting - Statistically speaking, the odds of a camp being a rewarding recruiting effort is very slim. You will be paying a lot of money to be 'seen' by one program, who probably has already seen you play in club. I only support Camps for recruiting if you are sincerely stuck between choosing a couple of schools and a camp could help you decide. But remember that Camp is not the season...camp is play time, camp is recess. How you see the coaches/players react and interact during camp will not be how they conduct themselves during the pressure of the season.
Also, college camps are expensive, no matter which avenue you choose; I know, I ran them for 15 years and mine were some of the least expensive, but were still expensive. I think it is better to take that money and go on a number of unofficial visits (gas is expensive now!) or to hire NCSA Athletic Recruiting to maximize your exposure and management efforts (and the NCSA membership lasts a lifetime, as opposed to 3 days).
If a college coach pressures you for camp, you should side step that question by saying you are still putting together your summer family plans. If the coach persists and says they need you at camp to evaluate you (especially if you know they have seen you play in club), then for me this would be a RED FLAG.
Again, sorry for the late reply and hope my tardy information can help!
So, yours is the court which all the sharks and remoras are swimming about huh?
For OH's, college coaches are looking at physicality and passing. How high does the PSA jump, how hard does she hit, how quick are her movements, high many angles and speeds does she use on her attacks, what is her blocking mechanics, and then, how does she pass. Passing has been devalued in OH's because there are now 178 subs per match, so the majority of players are just 3 rotations - I don't think either of the U of Texas OH's were in the back row this last year.
What you see the college coaches doing on their iPads is evaluating players - College coaches pay big bucks to get the rosters/contact information for each participating team in a tournament, which includes the flow of the event (games/courts/waves) so coaches can quickly figure out which team/player is playing what court and when. This program is all point and click, then the coaches will download their evaluations into their computer database when they get back to the offices.
Hope that helps!