May 9, 2016

Post Club Volleyball Season College Recruiting

May, the month of the club volleyball season which seems years away when all the annual club craziness started last November.  

As a club volleyball family, May is either the end of the season or a small breather before ramping up for the national championship tournaments.   Below, you will read the greatest advice ever for the next steps in the recruiting process during the month of May.

Club Season is Done:

Wow, that was a quick season!  The good news is that you have no more monthly payments, no additional travel costs and having to show your wristband to walk in the door and watch your baby girl play volleyball.  You can actually have a weekend free, take a family trip to WallyWorld and go visit those grandparents you have been ignoring for the last three months (and no, they really don't like sitting in a convention center with all the chaos and random volleyball flying around).

For the collegiate recruiting process, you are no longer in a situation where a college coach can see you play in person.  That is the biggest downside of not continuing the club volleyball season into the national championship events.  But, this downside is not really as steep as you might think.

  • If you have been reaching out to college programs with video during the club season, then interested college coaches would have already seen you in person.
  • Believing that you did reach out to the correct programs and reached out often (please follow my often written advice on and Inside College Volleyball), then the national championship events, from a recruiting perspective, are no different than a late season national qualifier.
  • The college volleyball coaching changes have occurred in the early spring, and the corresponding or independent roster changes have also occurred in the early spring.  The table is set for the next recruiting cycle.

Your focus needs to be upon three areas:
  1. Rest/Recover/Rehabilitation - Your club season has run from November to May.  That equates to thousands of impacts on hard surfaces and a ton of swings.  Knees, ankles, back, shoulders, hair ties, have all been pounding for months. This is a large amount of wear and tear upon the body and the body must heal.  If it is sore, rest will help but if it hurts, you need to see a doctor/trainer and start rehabilitation.  Resting does not fix pain, resting just masks it.
  2. Skill improvement - After you are back physically (whether that takes 1 week or 3 months), then target those areas which need to improve.  If you paid attention to your club coach(es), then it should be obvious about the skills you should focus upon.  If you did not use your ears, then remember what you saw - Who was the best player in your position that you saw this club season?  Mimic what she did; you can't control your height but everything else can me improved.
  3. Recruiting management - Just because your club volleyball season has ended does not mean your recruiting season has ended.  Recruiting is now a 12 month a year effort and those families which are consistent and focused in their management of the process, are the ones which enjoy the luxury of choice.  You should still be making videos (open gym, private trainings, camps), still be reaching out to college coaches, still engaged in communication with college programs and still determining which programs would be a good fit for the future.
  4. Enjoy being a kid - What? What is this crazy advice?  Be a kid?  Yes, for the love of Tachikara, be a kid!  As quickly as the teens want to grow up these days, they are still just kids and that whole adulthood thing will be here too soon.  Hang out with your friends, go to the beach, stay up all night on a sleepover, set up a lemonade stand and donate all the profits to a charity, etc.

National Championship Events (We are going to Disneyworld!....or Indianapolis....):

While the national championship represents the end of the season and competition against the nation's best in hope of garnering the number one ranking, from a recruiting perspective, the championships are no different than a late season national qualifier.

You still want to keep communicating with college volleyball coaches, you still want to reach out to new programs or re-reach out to a program which may have said no (if you know that the program would be a good fit for you) earlier in the year - While the tempo of college volleyball program changes (coaches/players) may have drastically slowed down from earlier in the spring, stuff happens.

When you are at the championship, don't get too caught up in the recruiting process as it relates to how your team is doing.  College coaches don't put any additional value on the championship versus  watching you play in a February practice.  Just play to the best of your ability and forget those logo wearing crazy college coaches walking around.  I had a recruit who's team did not win a set at Nationals; not one set, much less a match.  Her team winning or losing at the championship did not mean a thing to me.  She was a quality player and person who was an immediate positive to my collegiate team.

Focus instead on the recruiting management before you ever step foot in the the Sunshine or Hoosier State - Reach out to college programs, send video taken recently, re-reach out because the worse case scenario is the coach hits the delete button, and don't get stressed about this being the championship with regards to recruiting; for college coaches this is another tournament to recruit at.

As the championships don't start until mid to later June, you have a small window of time to rest and heal your body.  As per the examples above, you have been physically stressing your body for months and now is the time to recover.  Find time to rest anything that is sore, go see a specialist if something hurts and if all is good, then keep your conditioning steady, so there is no drop off in your physicality pre nationals.  

Lastly, use this segment to generate some new video; either cut up footage of your last national qualifier or film a trainings session or two.  Remember that college coaches don't need fancy video  they just need recent video.

Have a great summer if you are free and Good luck at the Championships if you are playing!

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