My daughter is 15yrs old, a freshman in H.S., was a starter for her H.S. varsity team as an OH and has played club vb for 6 years. She currently plays for a 16U club team and has always had to play up a year in club due to her very late August birthday. Do you see this as a disadvantage later in recruiting, as she will have to play two years on an 18U club team? Should she be sending out letters to college coaches now or should she still remain "Freshman Free" from the recruiting process? Is it important to colleges to play two years at 18U or could she take that final 18U season off?
Your answers are very appreciated!
VB Mom & Dad
Thank you for referencing "Freshman Free" (glad to know folks are reading the collegevolleyballcoach.com site and Inside College Volleyball) and I do suggest you keep it free right now. Even though she is playing up on a 16's team, she is still just a freshman. Enjoy the positives of a faster game that she is acclimating to as a freshman, but don't get caught up in the recruiting tempo of the sophomores.
There is absolutely no harm in playing 18's for two club seasons and this scenario happens quite often when it has nothing to do with a player's age. College coaches focus on the individual; the club team is just where they can find that individual. Most of the time, college coaches only see a part of the match when recruiting and are not concerned how the team did - They may ask or seem interested in how the team finished in a tournament, but they are really just making conversation because the player is all they are recruiting.
If she is going to be attending college to play volleyball, then taking that final 18's club season off is not really an option. College coaches want their players arriving in the best possible volleyball ability possible and they would be very concerned with a player not getting those extra months of touches on the ball before coming to campus.
Keep the focus on skill improvement and having an enjoyable experience for the remainder of this club season. When she is a sophomore (no matter the age group of her team), then you will start to be a bit more proactive in the management of the recruiting process).