September 1, 2016

College Volleyball Recruiting and the Short Outside Hitter

Hi, I have the following question.

My daughter recently attended the USA National Skills Program and they measured her at 5’9”.  She also attended a college camp and they measured her at 5’7”.  And then NCSA has measured her as 5’8”. 

My question is … who do you go with?  Do you measure with shoes on?

I know this sounds silly, but she desperately wants to play outside for a D1 school and she needs all the height she can get but we don’t want to mislead anyone.  Without shoes, she is probably more like 5’7ish. 

On a positive note….she is an incoming freshman and has a recorded vertical of 30.6. 



Since my day job is as the Director of Volleyball for NCSA Athletic Recruiting and I was probably at the NCSA booth at the tournament where your daughter was measured and I may have actually taken the measurement, use the NCSA height measurement!!!
Some groups/organizations measure with shoes off and some measure with shoes on.  At NCSA, we measure with shoes on because the athletes play volleyball with their shoes on.
As your daughter has a great vertical approach jump, promote her approach touch as opposed to getting hung up on the height.  Sure, 6'2" looks better on the resume than 5'8", but there are many, many 'tall' players who are no where near garnering a 30"+ approach jump.
When I speak to families at my NCSA Recruiting Education Talks, the simple reality for the smaller player is 1) Make sure the player does not feel bad about not being tall, as it is solely the fault of the parents or that 4'5" Scottish Grandma from 3 generations ago), 2) the smaller the player, the better the needed talent.

As your daughter reaches out to collegiate programs, the family just needs to do a bit of research about NCAA Division I rosters.  I doubt Penn State or Nebraska will have 5'8" Outside Hitters, but they are the elite, elite programs.  There are over 300 DI teams and each 'classification' (Power Conference, Mid-Major, low DI, etc) will have their own characteristics for OH's.  The key is finding that DI program that has OH's who are 6' or under and then marketing your daughter's great approach touch.

Last comment; short OH's must be excellent in serve receive and defense to play at the NCAA Division I level. They would typically be called OH2's and be 6 rotation player; this is the player who can do everything well.

Keep the focus on improving skill sets and reaching out to the appropriate level of Division I.


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