July 28, 2016

College Volleyball Recruiting and the Libero

Hi Coach,

My question revolves around my desire to continue to play the game I love at the highest level and on the biggest stage possible without taking on a lot of student loans or placing a large burden on my parents.

I am tall for my age but considered undersized for volleyball. My passion is passing the volleyball and digging my competitors best hits. With five years of club volleyball I have learned a lot and what I am learning now is that DS/L players may commit early but it seems most do not sign on national signing day as it appears that they are not getting the deal that they thought they were getting.

With this in mind, should I learn another position? A coach suggested I try setting because I am athletic and left handed. Do coaches get DS/L to commit early without really offering a scholarship?

I had a blast at Nationals this year. Got to play off court game of ninja with the collegiate national team and help them shag balls during their warm up in Indy.

Thanks for your help, G.M.

As a general rule, Liberos are not going to receive a large athletic scholarship and often, they may not receive any athletic monies at all. The rational being that there are a huge number of quality Liberos, but not a huge number of opportunities - Simple supply and demand.

Hitters tend to garner better athletic scholarship offers and Setters can be found in between these two general statements.

You should play the position you enjoy the most and then adjust your recruiting outreach based upon your collegiate goals.  Too many youth players think, "If I switch to this position, then everything will be better" - The grass is not always greener on the other side of the recruiting fence.

Keeping the financial burden to a minimum for you and your parents is a great realization, and in today's economic world, you will be the better for it post collegiate graduation.

The best way to secure scholarship support is to achieve high academic scores (both the ACT/SAT and high school grade point average).  The athletic scholarship available for collegiate athletics vary widely; from NCAA Division I schools which provide a Full Athletic Scholarship to NCAA Division III schools which are not allowed to provide any athletic scholarships.  Then with NCAA DII, NAIA and Junior Colleges, you have some type of combination of scholarships.

Outside of NCAA Division I, each category will be packaging their scholarship support and this largest component of this package will be academic.  

You want to walk with your collegiate degree and the least amount of debt, then bring great academics to the recruiting process.  Outside of NCAA Division, your great academic standing will make you a more attractive recruit, because college coaches can package a better scholarship offer for you.

Combine your great academics will great skill sets in the position you enjoy the most.  Liberos are generally the last position to secure their collegiate opportunity, and the majority of them during their senior season.  Remember that there are over 1700 college volleyball programs and only 330 are DI.


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