The MLK Weekend traditionally 'opens' the college volleyball recruiting season. Even though recruiting happens all year long and there are combines/showcases/tournaments/shootouts/drive-thru's/popup-yogurt-stands, the MLK weekend is the first serve because those much desired NCAA Division I programs are finished with the Dead/Quiet Periods.
If you are a Freshman VolleyFamily - Stop reading this article right now, and research exactly what a Dead Period is, what a Quiet Period is, what organizations/divisions these terms apply too and what you can/can't do, what the college coach can/can't do. The above congregation of letters is based upon the reality that if your baby girl who grew up in the blink of an eye is not 6'2"plus amazing studnacious player, then thinking about recruiting is not what you and your daughter need to be doing. Your daughter needs to play and have fun, and the parental units need to be educating themselves about all the important boring stuff.
Should you be a more mature VolleyFamily and have desires to play collegiate volleyball, then how did the weekend go? Not from a Win/Loss perspective (college coaches don't care if your club team won or lost), but from a recruiting view? And, how do you know this? How many emails did you receive in the days following the conclusion of whatever MLK event you played in?
This is the evaluation of your current standing in the college volleyball recruiting process - How many follow-ups from college volleyball coaches? And this is also not the way to engage in the recruiting process.
College Volleyball Recruiting is competitive. VolleyFamilies must understand that they are in competition with a thousand other VolleyFamilies that they will never know. They are competing to give their daughters the opportunity of choice. Being able to choose your school, scholarship, job, partner, car, health plan, pizza toppings and shoes is a great luxury.
Waiting for the email inbox to bing is not competing. Hoping that some coach saw their daughter play on court #54 and believes she is worth an email is not a plan.
Because college volleyball recruiting is competitive, VolleyFamilies must be proactive. They must be reaching out to the appropriate level of collegiate volleyball to tell that coach he/she/it should recruit their great volleyball student-athlete.
Starting as a Sophomore, VolleyFamilies must start to manage the process and understand what is the best fit for their daughter and for their family. Based upon their daughter/family desires, email college coaches with your VB profile, video and the next couple of tournaments you will attend. The way to be 'seen' is to make sure they know where to see you (video, in person, practice).
Here it is folks - The best Volleyball recruiting feedback you will ever receive; if a coach thinks you will make their program better, they will recruit you. If they do not, they won't.
College coaches cannot be at every tournament, or see each player at every tournament, or have the desire to do both. College coaches walk into big tournaments with a lengthly list of players to evaluate; players that have reached out to them with a VB profile and video. This reach out allowed the college coach to do a 1st evaluation, and determine that watching the player live was the next step.
So, back to this weekend - How many college volleyball programs did you reach out to before the MLK Tournament?
None and you had 25 schools write you? Congratulations and you are fortunate.
25 and none wrote you back? Then you reached out to an inappropriate level of playing ability.
25 and 25 wrote you back? I would suggest that you should elevate the playing/competitive level of volleyball programs you are writing to?
25 only? Well, please know that college volleyball programs usually evaluate 200+ athletes who had previously written them, in a large weekend tournament.
College Volleyball recruiting is competitive. If you can manage the process yourself, them move forward with that competitive mindset. If you need some help, then take a look at NCSA Athletic Recruiting (full disclosure, I am the Volleyball National Speaker for NCSA and I used them extensively as a college coach).