August 5, 2013

NCAA Division I Volleyball Recruiting and Reality Feedback


I'm a parent of a college student-athlete. She committed to a DI program late her sophomore year. My DD has always been a home body, yet, she chose a school on the other side of the country. The first year was filled w/ mixed emotions. She was really scared of the "unknown" and had been told horror stories of the horrible "two-a-days" and bootcamp training etc. Yet, once she was in her groove, she'd send a text "it's not that bad Mom. I'm really happy".  Phew! I'd exhale a sigh of relief and tell all my friends and family how happy she was……only to receive another text/email that she was thinking of transferring. Gulp. 

Once Christmas break arrived, the first week my husband had to hold me back while she discussed all the reasons she wanted to quit (I've never allowed her to quit mid-season since she was 5 and wanted to quit soccer. By week three of winter break she was so excited to get back to school and days later was tweeting/instagraming/facebooking pictures of her and the team. Yay---I think?!  At that time I decided that I need to just let her vent and roll w/ all the different emotions.

When she came home this summer she showed me her contract that she had signed sometime in the spring (oh, I guess she decided to play another year of volleyball) and had a stack of paperwork to fill out to help work the summer camps.

Long story short: the freshman year CAN be a roller coaster. My advise: don't overreact, don't defend the other players/coaches/rules (if they complain). Just be a soft place to fall when they call. And, know their emotions can change on a monthly and/or daily basis.

Sophomore year: Our daughter decided to attend summer school, work the college camps and stay on campus from June 23-December (w/ a week off in August). She's on week one of working summer vb camp (w/ homework, lifting, tutor, open gym). My guess it's going to be a long summer.

Question: Why don't the coaches warn the girls (or, the parents so we don't panic and think our DD's have been thrown into a child slavery ring--haha) how grueling it is? Or, are they afraid they won't have any of their players show up for summer camps?? It sounds like a BRUTAL schedule: 6am run/lift, eat, summer camps, class 6-9pm, open gym 8-10pm.

Hope all is well!  S.L.

This is the new reality of college athletics for all sports.  The 11.5 month a year of NCAA Division I athletic commitment used to be just football and men's basketball, and now it is standard for all sports.  

College coaches don't advertise or educate the parents about this for two reasons - 1) During the recruiting process they don't want to scare parents away; they want to paint the best possible picture with the least amount of serious information, 2) After a player arrives to campus, coaches don't want to deal with parents at all, period and end of story.  So, they are not going to keep parents in the loop or educated them about what happens next.

It is a brutal schedule for the Student-Athletes and this schedule is demanded of coaches by the athletic directors now - This is one of the main reasons that I stopped coaching NCAA DI Volleyball.  

I did not want my athletes in this schedule, and as a coach, I did not want to have to enforce/monitor this schedule in the summer after working 80 hour weeks during the Fall season and 80 hour weeks in the spring recruiting calendar!  

Coach Matt


  1. As a parent of a young lady who just commmitted D1 I appreciate your advice....always our job as a parent is to be the safe place to land - The choices are theirs to make along the way :)

  2. I've talked to many CEO's of companies that state their reasons for giving College student-altheltes the first glance in the interviewing process; as their work ethics and ability to manage time effectively has already been proven .
    A good reminder for our girls that hard work prevails-on and off the court.


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