Before I say anything else, I will say this - RELAX...........The mere fact that you have written to me to ask intelligent questions about the recruiting process while your daughter is just a freshman, means you are miles ahead of the average parent of a Prospective Student Athlete. In Inside College Volleyball, I write about the need for parents to have balance with the recruiting process.
I will respond to your questions, based upon the following information you provided:
- Current Freshman in High School.
- 5'11' OH, touching 9'9" as a 15 year old.
- Weaker volleyball state (both club and high school reputations).
And now to your questions/answers:
1. At this time segment, camps are just a revenue generation for collegiate programs. I would think they would love to have her on campus to recruit her, and they would really love for you to pay a camp fee to have her on campus so they can recruit her. If you have read my site, you know that I am extremely hesitant to use collegiate camps for recruiting - That is an awful lot of money for exposure to one school.
2. When picking a club, two areas should be examined (beyond cost/distance) - How good is the training in practice, and what is the playing schedule. Volleyball is a sport where players get better in practice, not competition. If the practice training is not good, then they will be limited in their improvement (too many 'big' clubs fool parents into thinking the training is great, when in fact, it is the competitive level which makes the player better (but not nearly as good as a good practice environment). With travel tournaments, you want to have a balance; playing in 4 National Qualifiers is expensive, time consuming and hard on the players with little additional exposure. Playing in zero National Qualifiers (or very large non NQ events) is a negative for recruiting because the largest numbers of collegiate coaches attend the NQ's (or very large non NQ events). Assuming that you can afford the time and money to attend a different club, make your club selection based upon the above points.
3. Again, if you have read my site, you will know one of my tenets is Freshman Free, Sophomore Slow. Right now, they only thing you should be doing (other than educating yourself, which you are doing by reading this), is just enjoying the fact your daughter plays volleyball and likes it. Do not send out videos, do not send out emails, do not call coaches, do not use the club as an intermediary. Freshman Free! After the HS season has ended next fall, then start to reach out to collegiate coaches with current video (reach out is based upon your family's comfort zones) in preparation for the upcoming club season. Then, go Sophomore Slow - slowly review all the potential schools/coaches because things have changed drastically in collegiate athletics within the last 10 years.
4. I would skip camps, unless it is a camp well known to develop skill sets or teach new techniques (which is hard over just a couple of days). As she is an OH, better for her to play sand/beach/grass/open gym, so she can get plenty of touches in a positive environment. If there is someone she can get good touches, then that is great - But private lessons are only as good as the person giving them. I would rather have her play weekend beach/sand doubles tournaments or go to open gym a couple of times a week to play pick up VB, then do 10 camps and 10 weeks of private lessons.
5. You are not crazy; you are just going too hard, too fast right now - Now is the time to slow everything down and understand that you have plenty of time, and it is better to slow down now because it may not be possible to slow down later.
I see two main 'mistakes' that parents make with the recruiting process - They either wait too long to get involved, which results in panic and feeling that they missed an opportunity. Or, they start way too early in the active outreach/intensity of the recruiting process, which leads to a high level of stress that cannot be sustained for 4 years.
Educated yourself about the NCAA rules, get comfortable using technology (or maximize your recruiting service, which should have been NCSA Athletic Recruiting), enjoy the process without getting too caught up in everything. Because of technology, you can gain plenty of recruiting promotion/exposure for your PSA, and if your family works its way through the process, then she will find the best fit for her collegiate future.
With her height and athleticism, she will have opportunities...they may not be DI top 10, but they will allow her to make the collegiate choice which best fits her (and the family) comfort zone!
Good luck and slow down for the rest of this year...please.