January 30, 2014

College Volleyball Recruiting Questions

Hi, Coach. Thanks for providing all the great information.

My daughter is a sophomore. She was moved from OH to L/DS during her 15s club season. Because of injuries on the team, she bounced back and forth between L/DS and OH. For her high school season, she made the varsity and as a sophomore playing with upperclassmen, she moved around to where there was a need -- DS, OH, a little RS and even a short time as a serve specialist. 

As a result, she went into this 16s season not having played a full season on any team at L/DS. She's athletic and has been working to learn the new position, but coaches changed her position to make her more recruitable (she is 5-7) and, as honest evaluation, she is not as recruitable at this point as she will be and needs to be. We've even held off on making her recruiting video. What we want to avoid is getting her crossed off lists -- possibly once and for all -- because we moved too. Yet one of the cautions to parents is not to wait until it's too late. Ugh!

How would you recommend we handle this in recruiting? One thing on our side is that she's probably an NCAA Division II- or NAIA-type player, and the recruiting for those levels tends to take place a little later.

Thanks again for your web site. I recently discovered it and have been going back through the questions and learning much from your insight. I also am ordering your book based on the positive reviews I've seen and look forward to reading it.

A Volleyball Dad

Thanks for ordering Inside College Volleyball - I hope it can act as a positive resource for your VolleyFamily!

Liberos are last when it comes to recruiting; just the harsh facts of the process. But in your case, this is a positive, especially when evaluating your daughter's talent level best suited for DII/NAIA.

As a sophomore, she has plenty of time left in the recruiting game, that is put into slo-mo as a libero.  Let her develop her skill sets and get comfortable in the position she would like to be playing in college.  The best thing you can do right now, is exactly what you are doing, which is educating yourself about the process.

Don't stress about the video and I would not even worry about generating one until she is January of her Junior year.  

Don't stress about the switching of positions on the high school roster; the two best liberos I ever had play for me were not full time Liberos until they went to college.  Because they had played other positions, they actually had a much better feel for the game than so many other liberos which get slotted into that position while still in pull-ups!

Last nugget - Enjoy this year; liberos can get an extra year of 'freedom' before having to really focus in on the recruiting process and managing the creeping stress of it all.  Enjoy the club season, enjoy the matches, enjoy not having to watch the back of the court trying to guess who is watching your daughter.  Focus on how great it is to see her playing and mastering a new position, focus on what is you are going to get to eat when this wave is done, focus on sports bar you are hitting up to watch the bowls, or basketball, or golf, etc.

Last, last nugget - Take a hard look at NCSA Athletic Recruiting; they really do an excellent job of providing amazing support for VolleyFamilies!

Good luck and enjoy the process!

My daughter is in her senior year and has had a tuition offer from a Community College in Illinois. She visited and although it is small she liked the coach. There is a deadline to accept and my question is if we do accept the offer and subsequently get an offer from another school, what are our options?
Best regards, J.C.

There is nothing locking you into the JC offer, should a 4 year school offer come along.  What I will say, is that our sport still enjoys the reputation as a person's word (coach or player or family) being solid.  

My suggestion is to pass on the community college offer simply because it is only tuition and she still has the upcoming club volleyball season.  If this was May instead of November, then I would say accept the JC offer.  

Now is the time of the recruiting cycle as a senior that you should be reaching out to any and all appropriate collegiate programs - Match your daughter's physical abilities with the family comfort level of geographic location and then be aggressive in sending out emails with videos to garner attention.

You know your daughter and family better than me (obviously!), so maybe this is a situation where getting a scholarship and roster spot fills a certain financial and security need, and she can just concentrate on the remainder of her senior year and club volleyball?  But, if you are wanting to keep the option open of a 4 year school, then it leads me to believe that the JC opportunity is not best.

Good luck and keep working the recruiting process.


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