August 1, 2016

High School Volleyball Playing Positions and the Collegiate Volleyball Recruiting Process

First of all, your book has been a valuable resource to our family!  My daughter is currently faced with a dilemma and I am unsure how best to proceed. 

As a 16yr old HS Junior, she has been playing club for 6 years, 3 of which were National.  She is a 5’7” setter by nature and is also a strong right side.  She is effective running a 6-2 and a 5-1. 

Her High School team is a mix of Club and non-club girls, some of which are great athletes, but not necessarily volleyball players.  For this season, the Coach has moved my daughter to Outside Hitter for 3 rotations, setter for 3 and middle back for 1.  The other setter has decent hands; however, she is limited in what else she can do on the court.  I understand my daughter is versatile, and the coach asking her to hit outside is somewhat of a compliment to her hitting ability.  However, she is greatly concerned about her setting stats and options if she is only setting for 2 rotations.  The club coaches intend for her to continue setting and pursuing that avenue for college.  Will college coaches look past what her HS Coach is doing and understand that she is being a “team player” by fulfilling whatever role is asked of her?  Or should she discuss with the Coach that she would like to be setting more and is worried about her college options? 

Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge!


College coaches will look past what her high school coach is doing because college coaches don't look at high school.

As I have written many times online and with Inside College Volleyball, High School Volleyball is not important to college volleyball coaches. And, I don't mean that in any negative way, it is just the recruiting reality of college volleyball coaches.

College coaches understand that the high school coach has to put players into the positions best for the high school team.  This often means the position a player is being recruited for in college will not be her position in high school - I once had a setter who was the Middle Blocker for her team, and she was not tall!!

While the high school season is going on, so is the collegiate season and college coaches are rightfully focused on their own program (and job security).  If we come see a recruit in the high school setting it is because we have a huge budget and staff to burn, or the recruit is in the same city.

In terms of stats and ranking and awards and hair bows in high school, we don't pay attention to that because we understand that high school is a unique situation.  We know that athletes of all abilities and sport preferences pull on the knee pads, that the Volleyball coach might really be another sport coach who was 'volunteered' for the position over the summer, that some coaches play favorites, that some families have influence, that some conferences are weak and that many elite club players are stepping way from the high school season to rest their body and mind.

My point of view, is that this is the best of all worlds for your daughter - She gets to hit, she gets to set and she gets to pass.  Enjoy this all around experience on the court because it will not happen in club or in college. 

Focus on club and enjoy the unique flavor of high school volleyball, while representing the school your daughter calls her own!


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