My daughter is in her first year of a D2 school. Her regular season has ended and she hasn't stepped on the court once. She was told by her coach today that the program had too many girls (22 total as of today with a potential of 24 with new recruits) and cuts would need to be made. Her coach made some reference to the scholarship/academic ratio was too high. My daughter is getting a very small amount and has a 3.65 gpa. My daughter was told that she needed to be one of the top 4 outside hitters to remain on the team and coach would let her know by Spring. There are currently 9 outside hitters. So as you can tell by my previous statement of her playing time, that is probably not going to happen. Plus, Spring is too late to make any transfer decisions. Coach offered two options to my daughter if she is let go, the club team or just be a student.
My daughter strongly wants to continue her volleyball career but where do we begin when she has nothing to show for her first year as a college athlete other than time spent in practice? What do we do if we have no video to show potential coaches??? What do we say to a potential coach to get her noticed?? Is a transfer even possible being faced with these challenges ?? Should her father and I set a meeting with her current coach to discuss what happened this season?? The amount of frustration, hurt and betrayal I feel is unexplainable. As you have heard before, she was told one thing in the recruiting process and had a completely different coach/experience during the season. This coach has her favorites and no one else gets on the court, win or lose.
Any and all guidance is greatly appreciated and needed. My heart is breaking for my daughter and I want to guide her to make the wisest decision possible.
Thank you for your email and reading collegevolleyballcoach.com!
Please understand that your daughter is not the only collegiate volleyball player, and you folks are not the only family, which is having to manage such an uncomfortable situation. We are entering the crazy season of college volleyball, where coaching and roster changes can cause such upheaval to many, many families.
First of all, I would encourage you to use the links/search bar for collegevolleyballcoach.com to read a number of the articles which I have written about the college volleyball transfer process; again, this is the crazy season and so many families have gone through what you are facing.
Please allow me to break out your questions/points, one at a time:
* She was told by her coach today that the program had too many girls (22 total as of today with a potential of 24 with new recruits) and cuts would need to be made - Within the collegiate ranks, college volleyball programs will have a "desired" number of players on the roster, as told to them by the athletic director. Often times this is to drive enrollment numbers (as dictated by the university administration) or it is to balance gender equity numbers (I had a DI athletic director "strongly encourage" me to carry 18 to 20 players on the roster, to help balance the walk ons which football used...). This number is constantly changing and is a source of irritation to many college volleyball coaches.
* My daughter is getting a very small amount and has a 3.65 gpa - Small silver lining, since the transfer will not 'cost' you a bunch of lost scholarship monies...
* There are currently 9 outside hitters - That is a bit crazy; by what you have written above and with this number of position players on the roster, your daughter may have just been a roster spot recruit for roster minimum...sorry to write that....
* Plus, Spring is too late to make any transfer decisions - Agreed. You need to move forward now, to start the process to find a new opportunity.
* My daughter strongly wants to continue her volleyball career but where do we begin when she has nothing to show for her first year as a college athlete other than time spent in practice? - Couple of things here; 1) She did practice within the collegiate game, so she will have improved; volleyball players get better in practice not so much in games, 2) If she has not played, then she can 'redshirt' this season, which means she will still have 4 more years of playing eligibility. It was actually better for the coach to not play your daughter, than to just put her in randomly for a few rotations; this year does not count against her 4 years of playing eligibility!
* What do we do if we have no video to show potential coaches??? - Over the Holiday break, get her into a gym (her old High School or Club team) and film her peppering, passing, and attacking. Nothing fancy, but just capture about 5 minutes of film. When sent to college coaches, she just lets them know she redshirted this year, so there is no game film.
* What do we say to a potential coach to get her noticed?? - Nothing you say will get her noticed; she will be of interest to other colleges because of her talent. If she has the talent to make a collegiate team better, then they will recruit her. She just needs to be honest that she wants to find a program where she can contribute in matches, as opposed to just practices.
* Is a transfer even possible being faced with these challenges?? - Absolutely! Don't get bogged down in the bad karma with the current situation. Take the video, load it up to youtube, send to the a large number of appropriate level colleges along with her academic and contact information. Again, if she has the talent to make a team better, then the collegiate coach will recruit her. Be sure to send her video/info to a large number of programs where she has the ability to play.
* Should her father and I set a meeting with her current coach to discuss what happened this season?? - No, this would be a waste of everyone's time. Collegiate athletics is a business and the college coach made a business decision. Now, it is time for the family to move forward with the next steps to make the best possible choice with the future.
* The amount of frustration, hurt and betrayal I feel is unexplainable - This is the tough part of being a parent, and what I am going to write next will be hard to read - This is not about you and since your daughter is now in college, it is time for her to manage this situation like an adult. Still hurts, still stinks, but this is part of all collegiate athletics...
Let me close with this - College coaches REALLY don't want to deal with parents when it is a collegiate transfer situation. If a parent takes the lead and manages the recruiting process on a collegiate transfer, it is a huge red flag and the majority of college coaches will back away.
Get the video together, compile a list of realistic potential collegiate programs (you don't want to transfer to another school and sit the bench for 3 more years), reach out to all of them with the video, collegiate transcript and brief intro letter.
Bottom line, is there is no time to feel sorry, because recruiting is competitive and your daughter is now competing against every high school senior and collegiate transfer for that roster spot!