I found your email in a forum that is a few years old. So I hope it’s still ok to reach out. My daughter is in 8th grade. Second year of club. 1st year with a new club team which she is a starting middle for and she is the setter for the middle school varsity team. Her dream is playing for FSU.
So I was wondering if you could tell me or point me in the right direction as to what I or she needs to do to start to make that happen?! I saw you mention sending video in emails. Would that be best if it were video during games? Or practices? Or both? When should we start sending out emails? Once she reaches high school? Junior year?? Or sooner? Also, is there a format to use when emailing college coaches?
I appreciate any info you have for us and thank you for taking to time to read this email.
Thank you for your email - I am just getting back up to speed with helping families with recruiting answers and advice.
In reviewing your email, there is some information missing which would guide my answers better. For instance, is "FSU" Florida State University? Probably so, and I will use this upper Division I school as the reference point. Also, how tall is your daughter? What position does she want to play in college, middle or setter? What region of the country are you in, which determines the relative strength and reputation of the club teams.
Generally speaking, college volleyball recruiting is height and ability driven with regards to the age. The taller and more talented you are at a younger age, the earlier your recruiting efforts and management will commence. If you are tall and limited or developing abilities, or you are shorter with good abilities, then your recruiting efforts would start later. If you are short with limited abilities, then golf might be your better sport!
For those blessed players which are tall at a young age (and tall in volleyball means 6'+ in 8th grade) and talented (which means playing up in age groups or clearly the best player on the court for her age) the recruiting management efforts can start in 8th grade. While the NCAA has enacted recruiting rules meant to limit college coaches from recruiting younger players, it is still going to occur.
Those athletes which are average sized and average talent for their age (when I say average, I mean normal or traditional which has zero negative connotations), the recruiting management process will move forward in their sophomore and/or junior year.
As to your questions:
- If she is going to play Middle Blocker for Florida State University, then she needs to be 6'3"+; the shortest Middle Blocker on the spring roster is 6'2" and we don't know if that is a walk-on player or scholarship.
- As a setter, she has a bit more leeway with height - Taller is better but coaches will trade a few inches for great hands and brains. But, no amount of talent can grab a roster sport at FSU if you are a 5'5" setter.
- In addition to height, she needs ability - Florida State is recruiting the same athletes as other Power Conference programs, so her ability needs to be at a Power Conference level.
- She should determine what position she wants to play in college.
- Two types of video is best - One video should be a skills or highlight video, where a college coach can do a quick look to get a snapshot of a player's abilities - 5 minutes max on the video and this can be pulled from practice or games or a dedicated video shoot. The second video should be a game video; don't edit the play, but take out the down time (timeouts, side changes, substitutions, etc) so the video is easy to watch by the college coach.
- If your daughter has the height and skill appropriate for the FSU level, then start sending out video in January of her freshman year of club volleyball (obviously, the 2020 club season is a bit scrambled right now....).
- When emailing a college coach, do not be fancy - Coaches just need to know your grad year, your club information, your position and how they can contact you. Too many families try to write the next great novel when contacting a college coach.
Thank you for the email and the world famous collegevolleyballcoach.com is coming back to full speed!