July 23, 2015

Shorter OH or move to Libero - College Volleyball Recruiting impact

Hi Coach,

Good Morning. I'm hoping you'll be able to give me some insight since we're very confused for the next step regarding our daughter's volleyball career. She wants to play college volleyball even thinking about olympics! (don't they all!)

My daughter is 13 years old and playing club level since last year. She plays OH and all around. She's 5.5 now, predicted height is 5.7". Her vertical is 30". We just had AAU and Junior National tournaments. Her club and coaches would like her to play DS/Libero position next season and build her career based on that position because of her height but I'm little skeptical on that. 

She plays all around, can block 5.11" girls now, great at passing, hitting, serving, very good approach and technique. These are the comments that we receive from the club/coaches yet they also say she has better chance for a college placement as libero. Our club is mostly tall girl club, but best in our Region, so I feel like limited on the options as well. 

I know there are some short O/S hitter examples but also know the requirements in college volleyball. Does height really set stone in college recruiting? Can skill, high vertical, technique would be exceptional, should we push couple more year as O/H or should she go ahead as DS? She's sad of course, wants to hit but she's trying to be realistic too. It's just seems such a waste when she can hit the ball like that. I know most of the questions comes in college level but I'd really really appreciate your insight on this.

Thank you very much!

Best Regards,


I absolutely support keeping your daughter in the OH position…..she is only 13!!!!

One of the criticisms of the USA club system of volleyball, when compared to other countries, is that is has players specializing into a court position very early.  Maybe this is the result of college volleyball recruiting pressure and the college coaches which will recruit a 13 year old, or maybe it is finding spots on the court/playing time for each club player?

Projecting college volleyball and recruiting, a 5'7" OH may be too small for most DI programs, but her 30" vertical will be an attractive quality - If she passes nails, has great defense/ball control, and a variety of attack options/angles, she could well earn a roster spot/scholarship with a lower DI program, and/or many DII/NAIA schools.  

The most important item in your email to me, is that your daughter wants to play outside hitter - She likes the position and wants to play it.  Fantastic - Keep her as an OH, keep developing her skill sets and then adjust her recruiting parameters once she gets into high school.

This is a key point - She is not yet even in high school.  Freshman Free and Sophomore Slow, especially as a shorter OH.  There is zero reason to even say college volleyball recruiting now, much less think it.  Have her play volleyball, have her keep improving, have her stay focused on having a great time playing the position she enjoys.

With her height, she will probably be one of those players who finds their collegiate opportunity late in her Junior year, if not her senior year.  Because of this timetable reality, no reason to stress out now about club position and college volleyball recruiting.


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