October 3, 2013

Club Volleyball program selection


I just ordered your book, Inside College Volleyball, and have been reading from your website quite a bit in the last two years, but with all the wonderful questions Volleyparents have had, I have not had the need to ask a question until now.

My freshman daughter 14years old, has been playing since she was 8. She has played club volleyball for the last 4 years and has always played up one year in age because of her height and skill level. She is very dedicated to being one of the best on her team every year. She is only 5`7", but has played setter, middle and OH and opposite. She has made her high school varsity team as a starter, and the have her playing middle because she loves to block and has quick feet, and now are moving her to OH to see if she can handle that if needed. So she has some talent and dedication. 

Like most girls in the Va., Wva, Pa. Area dreams of playing at Penn State. I've tried to tell her that it would require another big growth spurt to make that happen, and that going to a mid or lower D1 school could be just as rewarding. Sometimes it is better to be the big fish in a small pond than a little fish in a big pond.
Our problem, comes in the form of the club teams in the area. And this is where we need help in making an informed decision.

We have 3 clubs in the area. The club she has been with since day one has ties to the local college and she loves the director and the girls from the team have know her form years and when she sees them she always gets help in any and every thing that she could possibly need. The turn over in coaches has been high, as well as players. This is one of the reasons my daughter has played so many positions. Also with the 2 other clubs having tryouts before our club she has only had one other girl on her team she has played with for two years.
The two other clubs in the area, all within 30 minutes of each other, have ties to the local high schools. Good clubs, but very few spots for girls not in their schools program, and are not AAU programs.

The club that is an hour away has a national ranked club that if my daughter went and played her age group could make, but they have hitters in the 6 foot range and she would most likely be a libero which could be great for her college preparation. They go to nationally ranked tournaments and compete on an entirely different level. They win our regional tournaments with ease. The draw back with this club is the fees for being on a nationally ranked travel team are over 6k.

Is this type is exposure, playing on a Nationally ranked team really worth the monetary output?  The local clubs do well but are not anywhere close to being ranked or being able to compete with them.

Do we rely on our recruiting efforts through videos, and emails?
Or does playing on such a club really increase your National exposure?

Thanks for all your hard work.



Thanks for ordering Inside College Volleyball and glad the website has been of help.

Your club decision should be based upon the family goals for your PSA. 

Does your PSA want to play within your region?  Does she want a big school or small school? What position in college?  Does she want to play right away or develop her skills?  These are just a few questions which must be answered to determine how to use the club opportunity to best advantage of your VolleyFamily.

The reality is that National level clubs (those which travel outside of their region and compete in 2 or more National Qualifiers) will have their player's scouted/evaluated by more college coaches on average.

The weakness with the regional clubs in your area, is simply that the region is not a 'volleyball area' like Texas, Chicagoland or southern California.  The smaller, non national clubs in these regions can still get seen by a variety of colleges, because schools outside of the region will travel in to evaluate players.

With your daughter's height (if she is done growing at 5'7"/5'8") she will be limited in her DI choices - Most likely Libero or setter (shorter setters are making a comeback in DI, thanks to the 15 subs allowed).  D2/NAIA, she could play OH if she jumps well, along with setter/Libero.

I say this because even in your daughter plays with a National team, she would most likely be a player who is offered a scholarship/roster spot much later in the process - Senior year.  This is not a bad thing, as it allows for a VolleyFamily to be more mature/seasoned in selecting a college and it means less chance for massive change at a program by committing late.  But, it does lend to some level of stress for VolleyFamilies having to be patient.

One mistake which VolleyFamilies do make, is relying upon the club to handle or guide the recruiting process.  There are so many good players, on so many clubs (both national and regional), that it can be a challenge to get noticed at club tournaments.  VolleyFamilies are hoping that their PSA gets noticed on the coach's drive by recruiting - This is where coaches are wandering around courts just checking out players, after or in-between evaluating the hundreds of players in their database they are scheduled to see.  If your PSA is a 6'3" oh who flies, then she will get noticed on the drive by....but a 5'7" Libero?  

I strongly urge families to supplement their club involvement by being very active in the outreach process, most especially if you fall into the great middle class of talent.  For these good, but plentiful players, it is the families which stay focused on managing the recruiting process that end up with the best opportunity for their PSA.

Videos, emails, updates should all be employed by VolleyFamilies and the outreach needs to be in the 200's of schools - Just emailing 25 is like buying 25 lottery tickets and hoping to hit the Powerball.  

In situations such as yours, talented PSA who is 'competing' against thousands of other such PSA's, I recommend taking a hard look at NCSA Athletic Recruiting.  Their resources and support will enable VolleyFamilies who are blessed with a good PSA, to obtain the best possible opportunity.  They have a free site, which is amazing, and a paid site which is the best in the business and what I used when I was a college coach.  Something to consider.

Good luck with the remainder of the high school season and in selecting the club which best fits the goals of the family.


1 comment:

  1. Wow! Great to see that how people are helping each other specially a good coach can make your future who has concern with talent not with the 6k like clubs and scholarship deal is awesome.


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