March 13, 2014

High School Volleyball and College Volleyball Recruiting

Hi coach!

My daughter is a freshman in high school. She didn't make varsity this past season. Also she is playing on a 16U team instead of a 15U team. But she isn't playing on a nationally ranked club team but we're planning on switching to a nationally ranked club team next season. Since she didn't play varsity or on a nationally ranked team this season will it effect her chances into getting into a collegiate program? Do colleges even acknowledge players who played only two or even one year of varsity?

Your thoughts would be appreciated - F.M.

College coaches really don't care much about high school - Our focus is club volleyball and only to evaluate skill sets.  Now, very few would ever come out and say this, because of being politically incorrect.  High school is during the collegiate season and there can be such huge divergence in high school programs, that trying to qualify/quantify them is not logical.

National, regional, zonal, intertidal; we don't care about the label of club volleyball just the talent of the player.  Even when the elite college teams are looking at elite club teams, they are really just looking at the skill sets of the individual players.  

Sure, those elite college teams will gravitate towards the big city elite club teams because it is easier to shop at one store/court, but I can promise you that if a top 20 team finds out about a stud player who is from Nowhere, USA and plays for Club Anonymous, they will go see them play - It is all talent driven.

Your focus as parents should be on your daughter, not her team association.  Try to put her into the position of receiving excellent training to improve her skills.  As she improves her skills, then you need to reach out to colleges to let them know about your daughter.

In situations such as yours, I strongly suggest NCSA Athletic Recruiting because they are excellent at getting exposure and creating interest for volleyball players who are not 6'4" and don't play on club super duper!

Good luck and don't sweat the teams, focus on the skills.


  1. Coach, last weekend was a big tournament for 16U here in California. The college coaches literally parked themselves at the 4 courts where the top teams played. Many of these girls will probably have offers from at least 8-10 colleges when the clock stricks 12 on the day okay for coaches to reach out. Other than seeing if they are still improving as players, why aren't the coaches going to the other courts? You aren't a mind reader, and I get maybe they might just want to keep watching high level of play but there were a few girls on lower level teams who are pretty darn good but did not even get a glance. At least from where I sat and I had pretty good seats. I follow many of these girls from watching countless tournaments over the past 5 years and when I can, high school matches. I've watched their progression and while they might not be D1 Elite, they are definitely college caliber players.

  2. For the situation you mentioned, the college coaches are babysitting, showing face time, making sure the top players/families see that coach standing next to the court all day. Of course, not every college program hanging out at those top courts will be in play for those elite kids, but there tends to be a pack mentality where the mid majors like to rub shoulders with the top programs (don't forget that many coaches are trying to network as to find/get a better job).

    Usually the top 10 programs are all competing for the top 10 players because they need a very specific height and skill set to stay top 10. The other players which you have mentioned as having talent and the ability to play college, they just have to correctly reach out to the those college programs appropriate to them. Often, these college programs which are a best fit, may not have the funding to fly out to California or they don't have the funding to go to every tournament (if they are in California).

    Folks must understand the huge financial disconnect between the Power Conference teams and everyone else. The Power Conference programs say "what club tournaments should we go to" and everyone else says "what club tournaments can we go to".

  3. Ahhh...makes sense. Thank you!


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