February 2, 2015

The 14 year old college volleyball recruit….

Hi - Just came across your website, my daughter is 6'2 14 years old, just started playing volleyball last year on a national clubteam, is very good , plays middle.Also plays for a high school that has awesome volleyball program and coaches. She triedout for the USA HP and made the A2 team and went to Colorado this summer and trained and learned so much...

My question is (well 2): I'm finding all of these recruiting websites some free some not, which website do you recommend? Also, what do you think of the HP programs? Verses summer college camps?
I'm also hearing that this year playing 15u Nationals first team is gonna be a big year for her!! Feeling very excited!

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give!

There are any number of recruiting services and with full disclosure, I work for NCSA Athletic Recruiting, which I believe is the best service out there.  I think that their Free site is amazing and a wealth of information (and it is really free); their Premium (paid site) is the best in the business and offers outstanding support.  

Basically, everything a recruiting service does, a family can do - The challenge is, does the family have the time and technological prowess to educate themselves about all the rules/eligibility issues, research schools/programs, make videos, reach out to schools, prepare for visits, etc?  Some families can and some get really overwhelmed.

When looking at the HP program or Summer College Camps, the key is to not view them through the spectrum of recruiting.  The HP program is the avenue to represent the USA in international competition (with the apex being the Olympic team).  College Camps can be a great volleyball vacation or training opportunity (the ONLY time I recommend a college camp for recruiting is if the player has it narrowed down to just a couple of schools and can't really decide; then the camp may help).  

I believe the best way to view the HP program or College Camps is for improving skill sets.  Each avenue has its benefits and challenges; how good are the actual coaches working with your child?  I am rather sure that the DI head coach is not punching balls at camp and Coach Karch is not working with the HP team on blocking footwork.  But, maybe they are????

The Freshman year for tall, talented athletes can be important….but it can also be overwhelming for parents. The excitement of having their daughter getting attention from 50 college programs quickly wears off when the parents realize how aggressive college coaches can be, and the pressure they exert upon families to make a very, way too early decision about their daughter's collegiate future.

In closing, I strongly suggest that you been aware of keeping the tempo of the recruiting process slow and steady; don't get too high, don't get too low.

Coach Sonnichsen

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