I think this is my 3rd question for you. I do have your book and keep up with your blog.
This past weekend was our first major tournament of the 16s season. Beforehand, I sent appoximatley 50 emails with high school highlight video included to schools that meet our preferences. We got 6 “fill out our questionnaire” responses and our club coach got 1 “extremely interested” and 1 “defintely interested” response. 2 of the schools let us know (through club coach) that they would be at the tournament. Tournament morning comes and there is lots of activity around our side of the court—so exciting. It could have been for any player on our team, I know, but I really feel like most or all of it was for my daughter. She is by far the tallest on the team—6’3”. Also, I don’t think any of the other parents/players have made any efforts as far as recruiting goes.
At the end of the first game, a Power Conference coach gave the club coach his card to give to me—again so exciting! We had a break and then it was almost time for our team to play again. Again, coaches began to hang around our side of the court. I see 4 Power Conference coaches from 2 schools from the same state standing together and talking. Then I see a coach from one of our other teams go over and talk to the 4 coaches. Then they left before the game started.
During the game, this coach was standing behind me. A college coach approached her and asked her if she knew this team. She explained she was with the same club and knew the team. He said he was looking at #3—my daughter! They were standing right behind me so I could hear the entire conversation. She said "ehhh", "she is playing middle today but will normally be playing right side. Speed is a question,” and “ehhh” again. Then she spent the next 10-15 minutes hard-selling three players from her team. Then I spent the rest of the day and night watching as the coaches I had emailed come and go. I feel like I made a very big effort and spent a large amount of time emailing all these schools and then she was able to stand at the corner of our court the entire day and reap the benefits of that for herself and the players she wanted to promote. At the end of the day I asked her how many coaches had asked about my daugther. She was stand-offish and said “a few.”
I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. If I say anything to her or anyone else about this, it will probably only make the problem worse. If I try to let any of the college coaches know about it, it will only make us seem like difficult people to deal with.
Now for the second part, my daughter did not perform her best at the tournament. She played middle all high school season long but had been practicing right side for the club season. We know that she is not speedy enough to be a middle and needs to play right, so that was fine. She is still getting used to playing right.
The first day of the tournament, she had to play middle because one of our middles was missing. The second day was only one game but there were several coaches watching. I think all of them had watched her the day before as well. She played right and did not shine again. She is in a transition period.
Now that the tournament is over, what do we do? Do we call the coaches that I know for sure were watching her and ask for feedback. If so, should she try to explain her transition or will she just sound like she is making excuses?
This was the first tournament of hers that I did not enjoy. I will be glad to get this over with. On a side note, it was an opportunity for me to remember that this is in God’s hands and she will end up where she is supposed to be :)
Thank you (for the 3rd time) for your time!
Not for the Faint of Heart
Club volleyball and college volleyball recruiting is a business, and that club coach was taking care of business….unfortunate that she choose to do so on another age group court, but stuff happens.
I would not do anything at this point other than to stay the course - Your daughter is 6'3" which is a great benefit and something every Libero player/family probably wished they had!!! College coaches will keep your daughter on their list and would simply make a note in their database, after this first tournament, to see her later in the year.
Be more focused on supporting her efforts to successfully transition to the right side attack position - Developing skill sets is the best thing she can do. College coaches will want to see, and will recognize this progress in ability. Her talent will create her opportunity.
For this 1st tournament, if she played hard and had a good attitude, then it should be considered a success. Riding the emotional ups and downs of this crazy time in college volleyball recruiting is just not possible; as you indicated, this was the first tournament you did not enjoy…...
As a parent, just keep managing the process, engaging with your daughter so she is comfortable talking about her collegiate comfort zone (academic, athletic and geographic), and basing the continued outreach/communication with collegiate coaches upon this comfort zone.
By the way, thanks for getting Inside College Volleyball and hope the book has helped!