October 13, 2014

College Volleyball Recruiting and Communication


I LOVE all of the info I can find on your site!  My daughter is 15 and a sophomore, playing second year on Varsity, starting libero, occasionally OH.  She is taking honors and AP classes and maintaining a 4.0 We have been sending out emails since the end of Freshman year when she played on a 16s National team to a variety of D1, 2, and 3 schools - most with a high academic focus.  Two of the high-end academic D3s have exchanged a few personal emails with her, which she is thrilled about as the academics of the school are a big priority for her.  The situation I am asking about involves a D1.

A mid to lower level private D1 that is WAY high on my daughters list of "dream" schools - has an amazing science program, smaller team, geographic location near extended family - emailed her club coach after my daughter emailed them a week or so ago.  I believe they looked at her recruiting registry page and I know he watched her highlight video.  Here is a chunk of what he said:
We were recently contacted by *********** expressing her interest in ***. We have started to identify talent and reach out to 2017's so I am very happy to have her reaching out to us. In her email she talks a lot about her interest in academic and athletic balance, which is very important at ***.
I would love to get some more information on **** and try to get to know her as a person and as an athlete. She seems like an extremely driven young lady and working very hard in high school to make the most of her education. It's hard to tell on film what level of club ball she is playing at, this is also because I am not 100% familiar with the 2017 class and don't know all the teams. But I would like to know if she is in Open level or Club level. Does she have any high school film?

Thanks for all your help! Looking forward to hearing from you.
Club Coach responded in a very supportive email and voice mail and we are putting some game video together for Club coach to send in the next day or so - one where she plays against the #1 ranked HS team in state (we are currently in top 20) - they have a player on their team now from this school.  They also have 4 girls on team from our state and head coach grew up in a nearby suburb and went to college here.

Would you say they are interested or just fishing?  The club coach is following up and is extremely supportive of my daughter.  As a defensive player we are well prepared to be late on the recruiting schedule, but were not sure how typical it is for a libero to receive this kind of contact at this point.  Another D1 school contacted her coach late spring and asked her to let my daughter know they received her email and info from their recruiting page, and that they looked forward to seeing her at her next tournament.

I guess we are just trying to decipher what this may mean as my daughter LOVES this school.  Thanks!


Thanks for the compliment about collegevolleyballcoach.com and I suggest that you take a read through Inside College Volleyball for more information!

I would say that the DI school is interested, because they would not have contacted the club coach (as opposed to just firing off a letter/questionnaire to your daughter).  But, as you indicated, Liberos tend to be later in the process and the college coach acknowledges that they are just getting familiar with the 2017 class.

My suggestion is to keep them updated on the HS season progress and as you proceed into the club season, but understanding that the time frame is slower for Libero's (on average).  What you don't want to do, is go into a sprint right now with this school by sending them weekly emails, videos, trying to get to their campus, etc.  

The sophomore year is the outreach year for the majority of PSA's - This is where the family educates itself about the all the recruiting and eligibility rules, while determining which colleges are the best fit for their PSA. These 'best fits' will change per the maturation of their PSA, college coaching changes and conference changes (in addition to 10 other items).  

Families must remember that they rarely can force the tempo of recruiting; college coaches are very good at forcing the tempo, on the other hand.  

Keep reaching out to similar type schools (the attributes listed about this DI can be found in other schools/categories), stay in casual communication with the DI school, and have your daughter focus on developing her skill sets.

Because of the crazy early nature of today's recruiting and communication, families tend to get wrapped up in the how's as opposed to the why's.  The 'why' is talent, the 'how' is promoting that talent.  The bottom line is that a PSA's opportunities will be dictated by talent.

I get many, many emails from families and on my NCSA Athletic Recruiting webinars and chat sessions, I receive questions about what does a college coach look for, how can I get my child recruited, etc.  


College coaches recruit players that will make their team better.  There are certain degrees of 'better'; from "oh my, this kid will be first team all conference as a freshman and we can win 20 on her alone", to "she will help us with depth in our OH position and keep our upperclassmen honest".  

As important as outreach is and must be, the constant development/improvement of a player's ability is even more important - It is a two pronged attack on securing the desired college volleyball experience for the VolleyFamily!

Good luck!

Coach Sonnichsen


  1. This post is just what I needed. My daughter who is a Freshman just started receiving word that her High School coach has been contacted by several currently ranked top 25 D1 schools. I assume her position as a MB is one of those that gets recruited early. Does this mean she is at least on their radar?? How does recruiting really work in this early phase with the NCAA restrictions?

  2. Yes, the college coach would not contact the HS coach unless they were interested. In this early phase, all communication from the college coach has to go through the club or high school coach.


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