June 6, 2016

Early College Volleyball Recruiting Pressure


I am 15 years old and playing my second year of club season. I am so blessed to have a wide variety of college scholarships and I am so grateful. 

I am being pressured by some to make a decision by the end of this current month. I really really like a local AAC conference school  but I have been offered by 3 Pac 12 schools and 3-4 Big 12 and one Big 10. I was wondering what should be a huge factor when choosing. And what conference is the best to play in, does the conference make or break the deal? 

Any other advice would also be welcome.



By the information contained in your email, you are cognizant of the fact that you are fortunate to have such offers but the information in your email also shows you are not prepared to be making such a huge decision for your future.

What I took away from your email is the following:
  • You just finished your freshman year and are a rising sophomore.
  • You are being recruited upon your future potential (as is any high school athlete) because you have only being playing club for 2 years.
  • If you are receiving such offers (power conference schools), you must be tall and/or very athletic.
  • Unofficial Visits?  It does not seem like you have visited all the schools that have offered you, if any of them?
  • You have not gone through the research process to determine the ranking/status of the various conferences.
  • You are trying to decide how much conference status means to you as a player.
  • Adults that you can trust, family/club or high school coaches, have not been mentors in your short recruiting process.
My advice, based upon the above impressions:
  • You are not even close to being ready to make a verbal commitment to a collegiate program, no matter the status or name.  Just reading your email, the red flags were flying like crazy.
  • Tell the specific university(s) which are pressuring you, that you are not ready to commit.  If they go away, then they go away and you will still have other options.
  • Before you consider committing to a school/program, you should make at least one visit and more than one visit if possible.  You absolutely must get to know the school, the program and the coaches because this is such a huge decision for your future.
  • You need to talk with someone you trust, family or coach, about what you are feeling, what you want in a school and a collegiate playing experience.  At 15 years old, it is not realistic that you can work through all of this recruiting information and pressure by yourself.
  • Have you reached out to the school or schools you are interested in?  If you are being offered by the power conference schools, then you should have the ability to play anywhere in the country, so reach out to that school "you really, really like".  When you are blessed with talent/athletic ability, it gives you more control over the process.
  • You are too focused on the conference status right now - Remember that you play in a conference but you play for a school.
  • When looking at potential schools, you need to consider G.A.A.S. - Geographic location of the school, Athletic ability you have to play at a specific school, Academic interests and the Social life of school.
In closing, I strongly suggest that you make a focused effort, with the assistance of family and/or club coaches to work through the research process to determine which school/program is your best fit AND do not be in a rush to do so!


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