August 17, 2020

Not Playing High School Volleyball

 Hello Coach - We need your advice.

My daughter, a DS/L 2021, is likely going to be cut from her high school team this week.  This is a pretty big time high school program, with talent deep in her position, that the coach has the luxury of being able to play some favorites.  

Meanwhile, she is committed to a D3 program and she has been committed for awhile. 

But what does she tell the coach if she is cut from high school?  Is that going to raise red flags for the coach?  I am thinking that my daughter have a conf. call with the coach and just be very respectful and diplomatic and tell the truth, with no disparaging of the high school coach.  Should either me or my wife be on that video call, or should this be just my daughter and the college coach?   We hate to see the high school situation kill her college dream.   

It is largely due to your blog that she is committed to playing in college - we have used it as our "manual" for several years!  

Thank you, H.C.

Thank you for your email and the compliments on the site - Glad to hear that has helped your family!

When it comes to high school volleyball (and honestly, the odds of high school sports actually occurring this fall are not great because of COVID 19), college coaches are not overly concerned. Now, we say the right things about high school volleyball, as not to upset the high school coaches and seem like narcissistic jerks, but a recruit's success within the high school program is not a priority in our evaluation efforts.

We understand that high school volleyball is its own creature and that the combination of crazy players, crazy parents and crazy coaches can often make high school volleyball a trainwreck.  As a college coach, I only really wanted two things from my recruits when they played high school volleyball - Maximize the free touches (as opposed to the paid touches of club volleyball) and don't get hurt.

Because of the increased length of the club volleyball season, from November to July (if not even longer), club is the absolute driver of player development and recruiting.  When combined with the fact that high school and college volleyball competitive seasons are concurrent, college coaches don't have the time to focus on a recruit's high school results.

As to your question, I would not lend drama or energy to this situation with regards to the college coach.  College coaches are concerned about talent and specifically, does an incoming player have the ability to make their collegiate team better.  From the information in your email, it appears as if your daughter has impressed her future collegiate coach with her talent level.

I would suggest the following:
  • Your daughter sends the coach an email, letting her know that she will not be on the high school team.
  • Briefly explain it was a numbers situation, as it is a very large school and program, and this year's Senior class had an abundance of Libero/DS players.
  • Tell the coach that she will be doing private lessons/clinics with her club team this fall, as to get her repetitions and keep her skills sharp, as she transitions into the club season.
Also, keep in mind that as a D3 program, there is no athletic scholarship associated with your daughter - The coach has not invested or allocated a scholarship.  

Keep the email brief and to the point; if the college coach has any concerns, she will reach out for a follow-up.  As long as your daughter is getting touches this fall and is full go with club volleyball later this year, then it will be all good.


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