My daughter is 14 and plays both high school and club volleyball. She would love to play in college but I don't know the first thing about the recruitment process or if she's even good enough to play at a D2 or D3 school. She doesn't play up and the club she plays in isn't the most elite in our area. Does she even have a chance? Should I try to get her into a more elite program. You mentioned on your site that the biggest transitions are from freshman to sophomore year in high school. Any advice you have for me to help her get better and more competitive toward the goal of college play is greatly appreciated.
The wonderful thing about women's college volleyball is that there are over 1600 college volleyball programs. If high school players are open to the many categories of college volleyball, then the opportunity to play in college is greatly enhanced. There are 6 categories of college volleyball - NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA, NCCAA and Junior College; each category will have its own opportunities which can be a perfect fit for your daughter.
As you are new in the process, a few suggestions for you:
- On collegevolleyballcoach.com, read through this Recruiting Plan. Scroll to the 2nd page of the link to see a year by year plan.
- Start a Free Recruiting Profile on NCSA Next College Student Athlete, and consider their premium support services which can be a huge help in understanding and managing the recruiting process.
- With club, focus on training - Does her current club provide her good training to improve her skill sets? If so, then you are in a good spot. If no, then time to move her to another club with good training.
- Club schedule - As your daughter gets a bit older, her club teams should be playing in national level tournaments and some travel to out of region large tournaments, if the family goal is a college volleyball opportunity.
A high school athlete's ability to play in college will be determined by their ability. Luckily, women's college volleyball has a broad range of categories, this allows for very different ability levels to transition into college volleyball. The challenge for so many families is being realistic about their athlete's ability and then being willing to go out of their geographic region to match that ability.
At 14 years old, there is a lot of time left of the recruiting clock. At this stage, the most important area to focus on is developing skill sets. This is a function of good club training, private lessons if needed, quality summer camps and clinics, staying physically fit and building core strength, etc.
Develop talent because ability will determine opportunity!