October 31, 2013

Double Shot of Volleyball Recruiting Questions!

Hi Coach Matt,

First of all, I would like to say that I LOVEEE your blog. I've been reading it for a couple of years and it's awesome.

I am a 6'1 MB/OPP of the 2014 class, and I'm at a crossroad with myself and I was hoping you would give me some insight.  I started playing volleyball in the 8th grade, and up until this past club season I specifically played Middle. This past club season was my first experience being on a National team, and my coach thought I would be a better fit as a Opposite, so I adjusted and ended up playing front row for the majority our club's season (a DS played my back row).

My issue is that some colleges are looking at me for Middle, and others as an Opposite. I am more familiar with Middle, but I really enjoyed the change of playing as a Opposite and honestly like it better. Each college I'm talking to knows I have more experience as Middle, but all the footage I have of this year is of Opposite and I've gotten positive feedback from that as well.  I'm just not so sure which one I need to pursue, and I know I need to focus hard on one.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

A Volleyball Player

Glad to hear of your love for the greatest volleyball website on the planet!!!!

You answered your own question....." I really enjoyed the change of playing as a Opposite and honestly like it better"

College volleyball is too intense to play a position you don't like (unless the team has an injury or a specific need which arrises during the season).  If you like opposite better, then play that position.  It is not like you are going from a Fab 50 Outside Hitter to learning to set because it is 'fun'.

Pursue college as an Opposite because you are already getting recruited for that position, even though you also played middle. 

Trust your instincts and your instinct is telling you Opposite is for you!



My daughter is a senior plays volleyball, lacrosse and basketball. For years her focus was lacrosse, and she’s been offered a partial scholarship to play D1 lacrosse. However, she’s 5’11” and has made all state in volleyball as a junior and has become such a good volleyball player that her volleyball coach is really pressuring her to look at volleyball in college. She’s told my daughter that if she could jump and touch a basketball hoop, she can get her a full D1 ride. She’s a senior – I know that for lacrosse, most schools already have their classes set. Is this even realistic, to put this thought into my daughters head?

A little history…we asked my daughter numerous times if she wanted to look at D3 schools so she could play both, and she didn’t. But I think her success on the volleyball court has changed her mind a bit, she’s said that maybe she should look at D3’s. I wish she’d have realized this last fall and not this fall, though. I don’t have an issue pursuing that route, but I am concerned my daughters coach may be telling her stuff that just isn’t realistic about the D1 route. She’s a middle hitter/blocker, but also played OH in club and rotates to OH pretty often in games as well.


With the constant changes in NCAA DI volleyball coaches and rosters, there will be a bunch of scholarships awarded to this year's seniors.  At USA Volleyball Junior Nationals in Dallas last year, there were DI schools still scholarship recruiting graduated seniors for that fall's collegiate season.

Please note that NCAA D3 does not provide athletic scholarships, so while she would be able to play both sports (the lacrosse season is in the spring?), the cost of this opportunity would be borne by the family (or hopefully academic/merit/need based scholarships).

5'11" as a MB would be on the small side for DI and may limit her options to lower DI conference, but her ability to touch a basketball rim would be a big plus.  As a 5'11" OH, who jumps very high, she would be much more attractive to DI schools and could push into the mid-major category.  OH's must have some semblance of ball control and this must be kept in mind when evaluating the recruiting opportunities.

The most troubling item I found in your email, was the coach saying that 'she could get her a DI scholarship' - If you have read my posts or Inside College Volleyball, the days of the high school coach 'getting' a player a scholarship are gone, unless the player is such a stud that the Starbucks drive thru person could 'get' a scholarship for her.

I say this not out of disrespect for the high school coach, but rather the reality of thousands of 5'11" outside hitters who jump high - The Toyota Camry's of the volleyball recruiting world.  The mistake that too many VolleyFamilies make, is turning over the recruiting process to the high school or club coach and hoping for the best. 

If your daughter wants to play collegiate volleyball on a scholarship, then the family has to commit to the recruiting process.  Volleyball is more popular (read better funded) than lacrosse, so the players will receive larger scholarship awards.  For DI, it is a Full Athletic Scholarship and a great deal.  For DII, it can easily package into a full scholarship with combining athletic, academic, merit and need based avenues.  To garner these opportunities, the family has to be very proactive and engaged; waiting for it to be done by a coach or hoping that a college coach see your VolleyPSA at a club event not effective.

In situations such as yours (good athlete, solid but not great height, talented player) that I strongly recommend NCSA Athletic Recruiting.  As I mentioned above, you must be proactive and manage the process.  Because of NCSA's technology, resources and support, they are built for those athletes that need that extra boost to get seen and recruited.  The NCSA Free Site is amazing and a huge resource for families, and their paid services are first rate.  At the very least, get onto the Free Site to research school, NCAA rules, watch webinars, etc.  

In closing, you have got to make a decision - Either she goes full go for college volleyball or not.  As club season is just around the corner, now is the time to put the plan of attack together!

Good luck!

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