September 30, 2013

College Volleyball Recruiting Communication

Dear Coach:

Like everyone else, I thank you for all your helpful advice.  Here's my question:

My daughter is a 5'11" junior OH.  She plays for a good club team in California, and is beginning her third year of varsity vball at her high school.  She has been selected first team all-league during both her freshman and sophomore years.  We have sent emails and video links to 50-60 colleges, and visited 12-15 this past summer.  The coaches we met at those colleges were very nice and seemed interested, asking her to "keep up the communication" with them during her her upcoming season.  Now September 1st has passed and while she heard from 4-5 D1 schools, she didn't hear from any of the coaches she met, nor are the ones she heard from any of her top choices.  Interestingly, she didn't hear from any D2 schools.  Do we assume those schools were just being polite and aren't interested?  Does she continue to email them? Have we done something wrong?  Any suggestions for our plans going forward?

VB parent

VB Parent;

Glad to help and hope the HS season is going well.

You have not done anything wrong, it is just the nature of today's recruiting game.  But, I would suggest that you should be expanding your outreach effort to include a couple of hundred schools.

My specific feedback:

1.  A certain number of those visited schools were just being polite in hosting you for a visit - "keep up the communication" response to a visit is a tell tale sign.

2.  Some of the visited schools may be interested in your PSA but they are not ready to move forward because they are still evaluating their scholarship scenarios - How many open scholarships, what does the program need in a certain class, still evaluating possible players, etc.

3.  Even though it is past 9/1, this is the crazy busy time of the season with the conclusion of the preseason training segment and going into the competitive play/travel.  

4.  Since it is only a couple of days past 9/1, some of the contacted/visited schools or coaches are so focused on their season and keeping their jobs, that recruiting may be delayed.  I know from experience that while I wanted to have emails blasted out to all the PSA's in our database, there were too many times that got delayed a week or so because there was just so much to do during this time of the year.

5.  Division 2 schools tend to recruit a bit slower than DI, and don't enjoy the larger staffs, which can easily combine to result in not reaching out quickly.

6.  I would continue to email all the schools you have reached out to, until you cut them from consideration or they communicate that they are not going to recruit your PSA.

7.  By my reading of your email, I would say you have the classic Toyota Camry Volleyball player -   5'11" OH who is a good, all around player.  Like the Camry, there are a bunch of these types of PSA's.

8.  Two suggestions:

A.  Expand your outreach list to over 200 schools inclusive of mid to lower DI and mid to upper DII.   As you just experienced, 60 schools contacted, 15 visited, 5 responded after 9/1.  You can always change your mind and say "no thank you" to schools you have reached out to, but you have to create a very large outreach to give your PSA options.

B.  Be consistent and patient - The Camry's which find the best opportunity are ones which are consistent and patient in managing the recruiting process.  The recruiting landscape is constantly changing with scholarship openings, coaching changes, etc.  There is plenty of time left on the recruiting clock for talented 5'11" outside hitters and many won't determine their school until spring of the senior year.  This is not a bad thing at all, and I would argue, is the better decision because the family is more 'seasoned' in reviewing the specific schools/programs and there is less opportunity for negative actions (coaching change/conference shift/budget cuts) when a player commits later in the process.

A couple of closing thoughts - In my book, Inside College Volleyball, I have written about the challenge of being a good player having to compete for scholarship/collegiate opportunities with so many other good players nationally.

Additionally, being a good all around player, the challenge is elevating your name above those other good all around players.  In these situations, I strongly recommend using NCSA Athletic Recruiting because of their incredible technology and resources - The number of college coaches who access NCSA's database is staggering!

Good luck and keep working on it!

Coach Matt

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please stay positive or at the minimum present constructive criticism - Negative comments or attacks upon other reader's opinions will not be posted.