I just turned 14 November 1st and will be playing on a national top 15s.
How do I start to get recruited to a DI?
"How do I start to get recruited to a D1?" - That, my friend, is a very broad question deserving of a broad answer; be good enough to be recruited to a NCAA Division I program.
Please allow me to be a bit more specific with my suggestions:
- To be recruited to any level of college volleyball (from NCAA Division I to a Junior College), reaching out to college coaches is the first, best step. Too many players/families are still operating under the assumption that if you have collegiate potential/talent, then college coaches will find you. The reality is that there are more and more talented players each year but the number of collegiate programs has stayed the same.
- This Outreach is how you help college programs 'find' you, even NCAA DI college programs need help 'finding' players. When you see those beautiful and great smelling DI coaches walking around your National Qualifier, they are predominantly evaluating players who have reached out to them.
- Before you reach out to any college program, you need to determine what level best suits your physical volleyball ability. Being 6'1" as a 14 year old middle blocker may 'qualify' you for many DI programs, but do you have the corresponding volleyball abilities of a potential DI middle blocker? Remember that the "DI" label encompasses over 300 programs.
- Many players and families get caught up in the DI mindset (because of media or family history) but playing DI may not be the best academic and/or emotional fit for you. Sure, saying you play DI is cool, but are you willing to spend 11.36 months months per year playing/training (you get 14 days off for Christmas and maybe 3 days off before mandatory summer school attendance, cross country travel, 8 hour bus trips, 5 a.m. lifting and conditioning work outs, shagging balls in practice for 4 years because everyone is good in DI, crazy college coaches, staying up until 1 a.m every night studying because you did not get back from the training room until 9 p.m. and still had to eat dinner, etc)?
- After you have pondered the above two points, stay open to the great non-DI opportunities that college volleyball can present - I know of many non-DI players who had wonderful careers, played in front of larger crowds, competed for championships and had a fantastic campus experience outside of volleyball.
As to the nutz and bolts of how to go about the recruiting process, three suggestions:
1) Read the Recruiting Plan labels on collegevolleyballcoach.com.
2) Purchase a copy of Inside College Volleyball (just the greatest book every written about college volleyball and recruiting).
3) Get the NCSA Free Recruiting Profile and chat with them about their premium recruiting support options!
Good luck this club volleyball season and remember not to drift on your block!