October 23, 2017
The "short" Division I player
Hey! i'm a 5'9 OH and i still think that's short for a D1 OH, but I set well, pass and dig well, i lead my select team in blocks, kills, digs, and aces, i hope to continue to increase my vertical (which is now about 20 inches) i'm hoping to makeup in other areas of my game for my lack of height. I am not a short player, but i'm not a big one, and i one day want to play for a D1 college, i'm a freshmen right now and i'm playing with varsity, so i've got four years to go, and i guess i've just been wandering what i should do to make me stand out when put next to the thousands of outsides competing for a D1 spot.
via Comments Section
Ok - Let me say this before I answer; the above question will be the last question I transfer from the Comments section to the blog. For some reason, the post from a few year's ago about DI and short players, has garnered 486 comments (slight exaggeration) and many of these comments are actually questions. But, I usually don't read comments, and they post. Communicating as clearly as possible, thank you for the comments but if you want to have a question answered, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And now the last question from comments that will ever be answered...most likely....maybe...
Outside hitters which are around the 5'10" height, posses a good vertical jump and can play all six rotations will be recruited by the mid-level and lower NCAA Division I programs; think 100 and below in the DI RPI (this is the current statistical ranking of every NCAA Division I volleyball program in the country).
In my talks for NCSA Next College Student Athlete, I call the 5'10" outside hitter the Toyota Camry of college volleyball and recruiting. The Camry is a very good car, that is a positive addition for many families but there is really nothing that stands out. This is the all around OH who is not over 6'0"; solid, will help many programs but does not stand out.
The biggest attribute you need to have is patience. Unless you can change your genetic makeup, you are not going to suddenly stand out. It is not like you can take a magic pill and grow 3 inches or jump 6 inches higher.
What you can do is consistently work on your all around abilities, so any college coach concerns about your height are offset by your great passing, great attitude, perfect blocking technique, tenacious defense and perfect hair!
As you increase your abilities, you have to be consistent in your outreach to college volleyball programs and have great patience. The Toyota Camry's are recruited later in the process; think your late Junior and Senior year (most likely your Senior year). You have to keep reaching out to college programs, even when they say no because a "no" today can easily become a "maybe" next month.
Because you are just a freshman, your mindset should be on increasing your volleyball ability. Don't get too far into recruiting right now because your recruiting time will be as an upperclassmen.
In closing, your ability will determine your opportunity. Try not to get too caught up in height; there are many tall players who get a DI scholarship and never play or transfer out of DI because their height was better than their talent.