I really do love volleyball, and it would be great if I could play in college as well. Im aware that in order to be seen by college recruiters, you'd have to do club (4 years for D1, I've heard). Although I've done club before, I have been taking camps at an academy for the past three years. As much as I'd love to do club, I know that the chances are slim since it's so much money.
My question is, is it possible to be seen by D1, or any, college recruiters without having any/enough club experience?
Thank you so much.
College Volleyball coaches are focused on recruiting talent. If a high school player has the talent to make the college coach's team better, then that coach will recruit the player.
Club Volleyball provides the practice and competition (and exposure), which allows high school age players to develop their talent to an attractive level. But, again, the talent of the player is what is important.
Some players are naturally gifted and could attain a NCAA Division I scholarship without playing much or any Club Volleyball. Other players would not have had a snowball's chance in summertime Texas of gaining the talent of a DI recruit without the venue of club volleyball.
As you noted in your email, Club Volleyball can be cost prohibitive for families to participate in. With the long Club Volleyball schedule and very large club volleyball tournaments, the majority of College Volleyball recruiting evaluations will occur within Club Volleyball.
Fortunately, technology allows players to promote/market themselves to college coaches, without having to play Club Volleyball. Video is the best friend of any aspiring College Volleyball player, and an absolute must for those recruits which do not participate in Club Volleyball or don't play in the large national tournaments (which attract the largest number of College Volleyball coaches).
Non Club Volleyball recruits must reach out to College Volleyball coaches with their Volleyball biography and current video, via email to get recruited. College coaches will not be 'seeing' you in Club Volleyball, so you must help them 'see' you by sending them video, and a lot of video. Remember, college coaches recruit talent, so they will evaluate your talent, not your Club Volleyball program or lack of Club Volleyball program.
Also, you may consider employing a recruiting service to help promote your talent's - For transparency, please note that my day job is the Director of Volleyball for NCSA Next College Student Athlete. Honestly, NCSA can be a great fit for players who don't participate in Club Volleyball, but need help getting their information out to the appropriate College Volleyball program.
Finally, if you have surfed through collegevolleyballcoach.com or read Inside College Volleyball, you will recognize my advice to look beyond NCAA Division I for your collegiate future. DI can be great, but it can also be the absolute worst category for some players. There are great opportunities and great scholarship packages in the NCAA Division II, Division III, NAIA and Junior College Volleyball.
Please do not limit your outreach to just DI Volleyball!