January 2, 2014

Junior College Volleyball

Dear Coach:

Your book and website has helped our family out during this crazy recruiting process and want to thank you for making that info available.  We do have one last question for you that we cannot locate...are there any reasons not to go to a NJCAA?  

We really cannot think of any but a few of my daughters coaches said not to do that as she'll have a hard time getting any playing time when she gets transferred to a university?  From our research and talking with other families that have done this we find that not to be a very accurate statement.  So I guess our real question is what negatives are there for starting out at a junior college? 

Thanks for your time and I think we'll be a pro at this recruiting thing by the time my 12 year old is ready.


Thank you for the compliments on the site and Inside College Volleyball; glad I have been of service!!!

It is unfortunate that your current club coaches are not correct about JC's - What they are speaking about is the reality of 10 year's ago, but that is history.  JC's are now a hot bed of 4 year college recruiting because the player talent level has increased and college coaches can bring in a veteran player to make an immediate impact.  No college coach is recruiting a JC player to sit on the bench; if they are going to have someone sit, it would be a high potential freshman who just needs more training.

The two main detriments to starting at a JC are:

1.  Having to go through the recruiting process two times; it can be stressful enough to find a school and many families will take a poor fit 4 year school, over a great fit JC, just as to not have to go through the recruiting process again.

2.  The student-athelete will not be able to transfer every credit to the new school and this can mandate summer school or a heavy load while at the 4 year school to catch up in their unit counts for NCAA initial eligibility and then graduation.

My advice to families, both online and when I speak at NCSA Athletic Recruiting Education talks, is that if they don't find the great fit at a 4 year school, or their PSA is a later developing athlete (growth spurt, recovering from injury, switching positions, young for grad year), then starting at a JC is a smart choice (provided it is a JC which support volleyball).

Of course, there are situations where starting at a JC does not make good sense.  These are those instances where the player and family has found that 4 year college program which does fit well.  While this may seem obvious, some VolleyFamilies can be unrealistic about their PSA's ability.  They might wrongfully believe that if their 5'9" outside hitter goes to a JC for a year or two, gets a ton of repetitions and game experience, that a Top 10 program will come recruit her.  

Good luck and glad you have time to keep educating yourself before the blink of an eye and your 12 year old is signing her scholarship papers!


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