March 16, 2020

Managing Recruiting Amid the Coronavirus

Club Volleyball, along with the sports world, has been turned on its ear this past week.  As all of us work our way through this challenging time, I wanted to share my advice/thoughts on moving forward with the recruiting process.

  • The COVID 19/Coronavirus will run its course as all flu viruses do; I hope that the steps which sports, education and city/state governments have taken will encourage a quicker return to our traditional way of life, while protecting the most vulnerable members of our society.
  • Club Volleyball has been effectively shut down for the month of March; USA Volleyball's decision to remove insurance coverage and sanctioning for any volleyball activities may well result in no practices, individual lessons and obviously, no tournaments.
  • We all know that Club Volleyball will return - The question is when? I believe how large or small the spread of the Coronavirus is in the next 2 weeks, will determine if Club Volleyball is able to resume in late April and recapture some March cancelled/postponed events in May or if everything gets shut down for the season (including the June/July national championship events).
  • That being said, college volleyball coaches will still need to recruit and families will still need to manage the recruiting process.  Unfortunately, the Coronavirus is a flu virus and will have to run its course; hopefully sooner rather than later, we will return to our usual volleyball routines.
  • As no in-person player evaluations are able to occur until further notice, families must use video and emails to manage the recruiting process.
  • In a very real sense, the same recruiting management that you would use when you are not playing volleyball but need to promote and reach out to college coaches, you will employ now.  If your team does not usually play in or qualify for one of the national championship events, then May, June and July are months where college coaches would not be watching you compete.  It is not until mid-August that you would be back in a team environment (with the exception of high school camps/summer leagues).
  • Continue to reach out to college coaches, continue to send video which you had taken before this mandatory break in Club Volleyball.  College coaches can only recruit you if they know about you, and since Club Volleyball has been put on pause, you have to make sure they know about you by reaching out to them!
  • If you are not able to practice, because of the USA Volleyball mandate, you still have a responsibility to stay physically fit.  The last thing you want to do is take the next 3 or so weeks off, then try to ramp immediately back up to mid-season speed.  Go for runs, do sprint work at the school track, do push-ups and sit-ups, do sets of block jumps in your back yard, continue with your shoulder strengthening exercises in your room, pass the ball agains the garage door for 500 reps, set against your brother's bedroom wall for 500 touches, etc.

Just because the Club Volleyball world has been put on hold, does not mean that your recruiting management efforts should be put on hold - College coaches will still be managing their recruiting databases, will still be recruiting for the future.

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