Over the past few club seasons, I have had the privilege of traveling across the country to meet with parents and present sessions that were designed to give them and their athletes tools to navigate the ‘Recruiting Journey’. It quickly became evident after talking with hundreds of parents that their ‘perspectives’ on the recruiting process had been skewed by mountains of misinformation due to the unknown expectations of college coaches as well as what their own roles should be in the process.
Just 10 years ago, college coaches were watching the top recruits in the country during their sophomore year. The players spent their junior year visiting campuses, attending college camps and looking for the best fit. That calendar, at least for the top and mid-major tier student athletes, has all but disappeared. The shift in the recruiting timeline has had some unfavorable effects on the junior volleyball club directors, coaches, players and even college coaches. Let's examine some of those concerns and suggestions that have been discussed.
Although many areas still lack opportunities for boys volleyball, there has been a recent push to grow the sport. It's exciting to see colleges add mens volleyball, as witnessed with the recent NCAA Division III explosion. As more junior volleyball clubs attempt to add boys volleyball, the next step is to educate the players about the college options that are available for them to continue their careers beyond high school. Here's a look at the boys volleyball recruiting timeline and what college coaches are looking for in a recruitable student athlete.
Two years ago, for the first time ever, the number of high school girls playing volleyball (432,176) surpassed basketball (429,504). Currently, Division I schools are limited to 15 volleyball scholarships (12 for indoor, three for beach), the same limit as basketball. As the sport's popularity soars, volleyball coaches are offering scholarships to talented players earlier and earlier, which begs the question: Will it someday get out of control like boys' basketball?
Beach Volleyball is the NCAA's fastest-growing sport, starting with 15 Division I programs in 2012 and projected to top 100 collegiate programs by 2020, which means a huge influx of opportunities and scholarships for female student-athletes. Below is a brief explanation of and game plan to begin the recruiting process for girls interested in playing beach volleyball at the collegiate level. This is by no means comprehensive but should give you a good start to the process as well as some valuable information to guide your journey.
We are just a few short months away from the beginning of the 2017 Collegiate Volleyball season. Each high school recruiting class is going through it's range of emotions, concerns and stressors, especially the uncommitted athletes. For the purpose of calming all of your fears, to induce hope and clarify the reality of the recruiting landscape, I am going to address each graduating year.
The regular season of club volleyball has ended, and while many teams are still training in preparation for the national championships, summer is rapidly approaching. With summer, comes summer camps and unofficial visit opportunities. Here is some advice to help players and families decipher whether to attend a camp for the training opportunity and fun experience, or to attend the camp as a potential recruiting opportunity.
One of the KEY components in the recruiting process is getting a college coaches’ attention. With all of the correspondence college coaches and recruiting coordinators receive on a weekly basis (at all levels) it is mind boggling to figure out how they sort through it all. There is an abundance of talented athletes out there and from a practical standpoint, one must surmise that college coaches need a speedy and effective way to evaluate them. Hence the ‘highlight video’ or the ‘edited match’ video. What better way to find out if the athlete that is reaching out to program has what it takes or has the potential to be an athletic fit?
With the ever increasing number of talented high school age volleyball players, combined with the constant in college volleyball programs, it has created a situation where many families are considering 'walking on' to a college volleyball team. For many talented walk on players, who were the best on their high school or club team, this can be a tough transition.
I am passionate about helping young women navigate their way through recruiting, and passionate about guiding parents through the very murky waters of releasing their daughters to the world to fend for themselves. But, what I am most passionate about is teaching student-athletes that there is a great need in their life to learn the skills to manage 'stress' and to understand why 'stress' can be the catalyst in propelling them to their greatest victories – especially in the recruiting process.
When I was a freshman in high school, I (unknowingly) began the recruiting process. I had never really thought far enough ahead to even consider playing volleyball in college, but before we knew it I was getting contacted by schools from all over the country- some I had never even heard of!
Being a 15-year-old girl who's parents never went through the recruiting process, we had no idea where to even begin. That was where my club coach stepped in.
This time of year, the sports media attention is focused on March Madness and NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championships. A couple of months ago, it was the Bowl Season. NCAA Division I athletics have become synonymous with collegiate sports; so many student-athletes and families are raised upon DI sports and understandably feel DI is the best choice for being a collegiate athlete. Let's shine a light on why Division II, III and NAIA are also excellent options for junior volleyball athletes.
Over the past year, I have been leading 'Recruiting Sessions' for parents whose athletes attended various college showcases. As I was planning these sessions, my goal was to simplify the process and give parents 'real tools' to pass on to their athletes. Below is an outline that I use to begin each session, I like to call it 'Recruiting 101'.
Recently, the AVCA published an article in its blog regarding proposed legislation that could directly affect how PSA’s are recruited. With over 85% of collegiate volleyball athletes being recruited at the club level, the proposed legislation is a call to action for clubs in the area of education. This article is not meant to incite, divide or propose that the legislation is detrimental to the PSA’s future in collegiate sports…but to propose that the systematic ‘education’ of parents, PSA’s, club directors and recruiting coordinators could be a starting point for change.
As a recruiting coordinator that works with the youth of today (GEN Z), it is imperative that I understand who they are, how they operate and what motivates and drives them. This generation is highly unique for many reasons, so let's take a look at some interesting facts about GEN Z.
As High School seasons start to wind down across the country, the excitement and buzz of the club season is all around us. In turn, the age old question from athletes (at least those competing in club volleyball) returns. Does changing clubs in order to play for a 1's team have an affect on a player's recruiting process?
Perceived value is the worth that a product or service has in the mind of the consumer. In regards to Recruiting Programs at volleyball clubs, perceived value is currently a hot topic. A plethora of questions, discussions and reassessment of current services are trending topics. Let's take a look some key components of a high-level Recruiting Program.
The late summer and early fall can be a slower time for recruiting by the collegiate programs. College coaches are in their competitive season, focused on the success of their team and they are managing a thousand details during the early part of the season. While recruiting is always on the minds of coaches, it is not at the forefront now. Here are some ways you can stay pro-active and engaged in your recruiting process.
I say the 'W' word and the silence on the other end of the line is deafening. What?? You want me to do what? Wait? How can that be when thousands (slight exaggeration here) of athletes in my class are committing all around me?
The odds of a female high school athlete playing at a DI school are 82:1, the odds of a female athlete playing in any Division at the collegiate level are 16:1. Now, let's see what that looks like in terms of overall participation and percentages. There are 5 keys of success to help you Beat the Odds.
Transferring in college volleyball is becoming more of a common practice. While roster changes from injury, change of academic interests, relationships, burn out, etc. are common, we are seeing a noticeable rise in the number of players who are transferring for volleyball reasons.
A junior volleyball club director and coach can have a great impact on a student athlete's recruiting process and ultimate commitment. Here are ways in which junior volleyball clubs can help players truly find the right college fit.
Now that I have your attention, let me clarify this seemingly crazy statement.
Junior high and high school volleyball players who participate in club volleyball can be training almost year round. The transition from school volleyball immediately to club volleyball, then into summer volleyball camps, clinics, high performance teams and then right back into school volleyball translates into thousands upon thousands of repetitive impacts upon the body. There are three important tips high school players and families should know.
There is no pulling a commitment out of a hat...there is no amount of abra cadabras that will get you an offer from the college of your dreams. No concoction of # of calls + # of emails + # of times you hit, set or pass a ball that turns into the 'magic formula' that brings the magical commitment. So how does a college commitment happen? Here are a few ways.
As illustrated by a recent espnW article, early recruiting in women's sports is not limited to volleyball. For a variety of reasons, the recruiting cycle now begins as early as Junior High, and this trend will most likely continue until rules and regulations are adjusted for NCAA Division I volleyball programs, which is where the majority of early recruiting is noted. Many collegiate volleyball coaches are offering and receiving scholarship commitments from players who have yet to spend one day in high school.
Let's examine three myths that aim to detour the athletes from achieving maximum success in the recruiting process. The goal here is to uncover a few 'facts' that spur on not only athletes but also Club Directors and Recruiting Coordinators to heed the 'call to action'. Action that leads to results.
In 2015, there were 432,000 high school girls participating in high school volleyball. If every NCAA/NAIA school was fully funded, there'd be less than 6,000 athletic scholarships available. We all know that a large portion of our parents/players are hopeful to obtain one of those, but the demand exceeds the supply. As club directors, we serve as some of the first mentors for families that are new to youth sports. No one wants to be the bearer of bad news and tell families that the odds are stacked against getting an athletic scholarship. However, it's important to set realistic expectations for your families.
Recently, I felt compelled to pen a letter to our athletes that are struggling to find perspective as they traverse the recruiting journey. It was meant to be a ‘call to persevere’ and a ‘call to be set free’ from the self-imposed pressures of recruiting. As well, my intention was to share candid feedback and refocus their perspective. These young student-athletes have such great potential and have amazing opportunities in front of them, but can occasionally be blinded by chasing the ‘offer’ and chasing ‘perfection’ which they deem equals success.
Today's club volleyball world has grown to proportions which are staggering. Who knew 25 years ago that there would be clubs sponsoring 75+ teams, entire convention centers packed wall to wall with courts and hundreds of college coaches descending upon these events to recruit? With the professionalism of club volleyball and the amount of money families pay to participate, there can be certain spoken or unspoken expectations of the coach's role.
What differentiates high performers from the average? Now, I know all you coaches out there have spewed this question out to your athletes in many different forms with the goal of motivating them to ‘give it all they have’, because we all know ‘high performers’ never give up, work harder than anyone else and could never see themselves as ‘average’. So what is the key ingredient in a high performer?
Back in the day, when I was a young, handsome Division I volleyball head coach, I would receive hundreds of emails a week from recruits. Unfortunately, a significant percentage of these emails were from players who did not have the ability to make my team better. It is important for high school players wanting to play at the collegiate level to have realistic expectations of what level they can play. Only one percent of high school volleyball players will go on to play NCAA Division I college volleyball. If a player does not have realistic expectations the recruiting process might pass by and the student athlete could miss out on a chance to find the right fit.
As a young athlete begins the 'Recruiting Journey' and begins to navigate the winding roads of the process, it becomes clear early on that 'communication' is the key factor in finding success. Communication channels between (1) the Athlete and the Club Recruiting Coordinator, (2) the Athlete and his/her Parent(s), (3) the College Coach and Recruiting Coordinator, (4) and the Club Coach and the College Coach are all essential to the process. Communication in regards to recruiting must be CLEAR, CONSISTENT, CANDID AND CONSTRUCTIVE – THE 4 C'S! Let's look at how the 4 C'S aid in negating 'telephone game' results and some candid feedback from athletes/parents that are currently engaged in the recruiting process.
When I was beginning my NCAA Division I head coaching career, about the time that Star Wars Episode I was released, many recruiting services left much to be desired. With the advances in technology and communication, volleyball recruiting services have become more professional and competent. As volleyball recruiting services have matured, there are 5 key points which all families must understand.
Travelling through the backroads of recruiting can be adventuresome, exciting, packed with twists and turns and can sometimes look like Candyland the board game. You start out by crossing your fingers hoping to draw a card that catapults you to the Rainbow Trail.
The 'crazy' time of college volleyball is quickly coming upon us. It is not the playoffs and it is not the rapidly approaching recruiting season; it is the time frame from now until early February.
As club programs are selecting their players and families are trying to decide which club/team to join, there is a common concern of which team to choose, a 1’s team at one club or a 2’s team at another club, and whether or not this decision affects a player’s college volleyball recruiting process.
We all know her! That wide-eyed little girl with the covers pulled up to her chin. She closes her eyes hoping when she reopens them, the MONSTERS in the closet are gone. She hears them rumbling around, moving her well organized life into disarray. “Okay” she tells herself, “I am tough, I am a strong athlete, and I can do this, what is there to be afraid of?” This is what I see in the eyes of the young athlete when I ask the somewhat misleading question “what is your role in the recruiting process?”. The silence is quite loud, the wheels are turning, the search for the right answer is populating in her mind.
Happy Monday! We’re back again with another post in our series on social media optimization. In case you missed it, last week we talked about how to improve your Twitter profile so that it’s more appealing to both other Twitter users and Twitter’s search engine.
Today we’ll take the same approach: not only will these tips help improve your visibility in Facebook’s Graph Search, they’ll help Facebook users find out more about you easily and quickly.
The early fall can be a confusing and frustrating time segment for families trying to manage the college volleyball recruiting process, especially those with rising Junior and/or Senior age daughters. Summer is over, high school season is starting up and the club volleyball recruiting season seems in the far distance.
By Lina Taylor, 2x Olympian in Beach Volleyball
With transfer rates reaching epidemic proportions among student athletes in collegiate sports, a natural question arises: are coaches and athletes doing enough on the front end to ensure a good fit? To answer
With school getting out across the country, and club volleyball seasons either in their last championship events or finished, high school volleyball families must adjust their recruiting tempo.
Except for a couple of weeks coinciding with the national
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This is a critical time in the recruiting process for all high school age volleyball players - Preparing for the start of the Recruiting Season! The MLK Weekend traditionally begins the current year's recruiting cycle. Per NCAA Rules, NCAA Division I
November is the start of the National Letter of Intent season! Especially pay attention to the early signing periods. Read more about signing the NLI and scholarships.
November is the start of the National Letter of Intent season! Especially pay attention to the early signing periods that start November 12th and end November 19th.
By Matt Sonnichsen, Director of Volleyball Relations for NCSA On my collegevolleyballcoach.com website, I receive many questions this time of the year from panicked parents about the college volleyball recruiting process. The parents are panicked because they
June - NCAA Volleyball Recruiting UpdateBrought to you by NCSA Athletic Recruiting and the Junior Volleyball Association With recent changes in NCAA recruiting contact rules, the month of June has become important for families managing the Volleyball
With the month of May upon the Club Volleyball world, the college volleyball recruiting tempo tends to slow down. NCAA Division I Volleyball is in a Quiet Period from May 1st to May 23rd; meaning DI coaches cannot go 'off campus' to recruit. Even though non-DI
Recruiting education brought to you by NCSA Athletic Recruiting,
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The landscape of social media is continuously changing, and it seems as though a new form of social media catches on every few months. The NCAA watches social
When a student and her parents start thinking about college there are lots of questions: how far from home? What size school? What to study? How much will it cost? What GPA and test scores are required? When you put volleyball in the mix the number of
By Matt Sonnichsen, NCSA Director of Volleyball Relations
I was an NCAA Division I Head Volleyball Coach for almost 15 years, and have coached NCAA volleyball for close to 20. In my experience, recruiting is the most important aspect of a college coach's