Hi, Coach. I am not sending you this email hoping you will publish it on your web site. Instead, this is a personal note of thanks to you because we are one of your success stories.
Our daughter signed to play college volleyball this morning, and considering that I have read probably every post on your site and bought and read “Inside College Volleyball” late in her freshman year, I jokingly thought that there should have been a seat for you at her table. lol
Here are two key pieces of her story I want to share with you: She signed with an NAIA school that was on the list of her top five schools she put together as a sophomore. Her new coach is the coach she has most wanted to play for. She never got caught up in what level schools were that recruited her. She determined the type of school and coach she was looking for and stuck to those parameters even when it meant turning down opportunities – and even when it looked at times like she might not play in college.
Although she was offered a good scholarship (for a DS/L -- haha), she will be attending on a separate package of scholarships and grants that will provide more financial aid. The status of a volleyball scholarship never was a factor for her. All she looked for was whether the coach was committed to her during the recruiting process.
Hopefully, from those descriptions, you noticed that someone has been following your advice.
Even if she had not signed to play college volleyball, I would still consider our volleyball experience a success. It feels like we experienced every conceivable up and down when it comes to school volleyball, club volleyball, in-team drama and recruiting. Along the way, our daughter has gained invaluable inexperience at handling adversity and disappointments. She has learned how to communicate with adults through recruiting calls and talking through issues with her coaches. Some of the lessons were painful for her. As parents, we have been grateful those experiences came while she was still under our roof and we were able to help guide her along the way. Volleyball and all that comes with it have helped her mature and has helped prepare her for college and her life after college.
Because of our experiences, I have decided to share one piece of advice for other volleyball parents when I have the opportunity: Don’t fall into the trap of looking at the cost of club volleyball as an investment in your daughter’s athletic career. Instead, look at it as an investment in your daughter. From that perspective, every cent has been well spent even if, for some reason, she never actually steps onto the court during a college match.
I’ve pasted a photo from her signing (photo emitted from post by Coach Sonnichsen) below because I wanted you to see the joy on her face. That’s the smile of a 17-year-old whose dream just came true, and through your excellent advice over the past few years, you have well equipped us (along with many others) to help make that dream come true.
Thank you very much, Coach, for helping put that smile on our daughter's face and for all you do for volleyball players and parents. All the best to you!
D and S