The College Prep Combine: Know Where Your Players Stand

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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 questions increases: Do they want me? What position is best for me in college? How do I measure up in terms of jump, speed, arm swing? Will I fit in with the coach and team?

As a club director you are looked to for advice and help in making these decisions. You know better than most that the first set of questions has easy-to-find objective answers, whereas the second set is a lot more difficult. This is especially true for players who aspire to play in college but are not 'automatic predictors.' Since this is most of the pool, we have developed some tools to help you, your players and their parents.

The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), along with a group of partners is engaged in a multi-year, multi-level research project to gather and share objective information on volleyball players. We have tested almost 500 current college players, from elite Division I to substitutes on NAIA teams, so we can tell you a lot about their physical metrics: how hard they hit; how high they attack; their vertical jumps, arm swing speed, and acceleration. We have put these metrics into a composite score called the Volleyball Performance Index (avcaVPI):

Because we know their numbers, we can tell you how your players stack up. The AVCA/NCVA College Prep Combine, powered by Under Armour, will be held on Friday night, April 3rd in Houston prior to the JVA World Challenge. We will calculate your player's avcaVPI and review it with you and their parents. For a look at the data from our California combine, click here.

We will also shoot a short video clip of your player performing position-specific skills, allowing college recruiters to assess your player's current technique in a standardized format. And, we will evaluate her temperament and learning style through our Athlete Behavioral Profile (avcaABP), giving you and her unique insights into the best environments for her development as a player and student.

This isn't for everyone. As I mentioned, those players who are already weighting multiple college offers don't need further exposure. The College Prep Combine is for those bubble players, good athletes still working on skill development, good skill players who are overshadowed by 'predictors', or those players/parents wanting a realistic assessment of where their daughter stands in comparison to others her age and to current college players. All data are stored in a searchable database, accessible to you for free as an AVCA/JVA member.

This objective, independently-validated information will help you advise your players and you can add value to their club experience by assisting them with improving their scores. The AVCA/NCSA College Prep Combine is our only Texas event in 2014. Participation is limited. Send this link to your players and have them Register today!

For more education on junior volleyball and the recruiting process click here.

For more information on the JVA World Challenge click here.


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