June 9, 2016

Late Bloomer - College Volleyball Recruiting

Hi Coach,

My daughter is now 6 feet tall (and still growing) but is a very late bloomer compared to the majority of girls.  Her current club coach (Former D1 coach) said she is like a long distance runner in the volleyball world - getting much better/stronger  - while many others are like sprinters who are as strong now as they were when they were 15 and aren't developing like she is as she is getting older.  She is nearing the end of her Junior year in high school.  She is a great volleyball player and would love to play in college.  She has played varsity for the past 2 years and played club since she was 13.  

She is really tough mentally after having to hang with much stronger players over the years, work for playing time against someone who had developed muscle strength earlier, etc. .  She is now just as good or better than many of them. 

I worry her recruiting time time has been shortened.  Do coaches ever take into consideration players who don't grow until much later than others?   Should she be open about this with coaches she is reaching out to?  If she had been 6 feet tall like other players we know when she was 14 or 15 years old she would have had many coaches looking at her.



For families of rising seniors (players who have are about to finish or just completed their junior year of high school), this time segment can be stressful because of the tempo of college volleyball recruiting.  Your daughter's status as a late bloomer has no impact upon her situation because she, like so many other rising seniors are still searching for that college best fit.

Every year, about May/June, I talk with any number of families about this current time segment and how they need to be patient.  College coaches, in all divisions, tend to slow down their recruiting tempo.  They just finished the combination of collegiate indoor spring season, club volleyball prime season recruiting and for some, beach volleyball season.  The coaches are trying to get some family time in, to recharge the battery before summer camps and then, to get ready for the collegiate season which begins in early August.  

Outside of the personal life of the coaching staff, it makes sense for the programs to slow down on their recruiting.  If they have a scholarship available, they are wise to wait and see how the team looks in the fall.  After collegiate season gets going, the coaching staff can exactly see where they might wish to use their available scholarship; to "spend" it now, is not the best choice because of the variables of the soon to be here college volleyball season.

Also, colleges may not have any scholarships right now, but because of injuries, coaches getting fired/hired/retired, players quitting, there will be scholarships available after the collegiate season concludes.  When these scholarships do come open, you can be sure that the coaches will be full tilt on trying to secure a talented player for the next season.

Back to your situation, you are fortunate that your daughter is a late bloomer because she will 'look' better next fall/winter, than she does right now.  Next fall/winter, the college coaches will be recruiting heavily to complete their rosters.

Don't make a big deal out of your daughter growing later, blooming later, getting stronger later; none of that matters to a college coach.  Early or late, they are trying to decide with every recruit, "can this player make my team better".  Talent is the bottom line, no matter when that talent develops.

The best thing your daughter can do right now, is keep working on her skill sets, keep working on her physical conditioning, and keep enjoying the wonderful sport of volleyball.

As a family, you should be focused on keeping the recruiting effort steady but low stress.  Now is not the time segment which merits intense focus and every day conversations.  Your recruiting success will come next fall/winter, so you might as well enjoy a relaxed summer now!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please stay positive or at the minimum present constructive criticism - Negative comments or attacks upon other reader's opinions will not be posted.