For high school volleyball players who intend to play in college, fall can be a time of apprehension. Why has Coach Jones from University College not replied to my email or call?
The answer is easy—it's their season, too! Coach Jones and the rest of the 1,538 college volleyball coaches around the country are worried about their own teams.
Make no mistake—college coaches are still interested in prospective student-athletes; but there are just so many hours in a day, and only part of the day involves recruiting.
Larger schools in premiere conferences may have a dedicated staff member who does 75 to 80 percent recruiting and only 25-20 percent of team dealings. Schools with smaller staffs and budgets may be right around 50/50 in sharing time, and still others are at 30/70 recruiting to team management.
Reaching Out to Coaches
If you're a junior or senior and a top recruit, a prospective coach might be in touch with email updates about his or her team or send quick "Good Luck" texts before a tournament or match. But if you're not yet on the coach's A-list, it's time to reach out. Follow a team's social media accounts to get to know the team a little better and become familiar with the programs you're interested in. Then make sure to contact coaches via email, even though they may seem pretty busy.
Simple, to-the-point emails, along with clear, memorable videos are key. Coaches only have a few minutes to spend on new prospects. If they are interested, they will respond and do some background checks (i.e., call high school coaches, search Google and social media sites, etc.)
But don't be surprised if the coach doesn't rush out to see you this time of year. College volleyball recruiting coaches seem to live on the road in the spring and summer months. From August to December, their travel plans are a little different. Coaches may drive to see players who live in their region. But it's rare for them to miss a team practice to see a high school match unless their college program is in a premiere conference and has a large staff and budget.
Sometimes NCAA rules do not permit coaches to contact a prospect. In this case, depending on the school's interest level, they may contact a prospect's coach or a recruiting service, or simply put the prospect in a "watch" file to look at again in a year or two.
What Recruiters Look For
Recruiters know that at this point in the season prospective recruits are not quite in sync with teams and their systems. They recognize that passing and setter-hitter relationships may not be quite up to par. What they do want, however, is interaction with coaches, teammates, parents, referees and even the concession stand guy. They want to see that recruits are competitive, that they're good teammates, and that they'll represent the team and the university in the best light.
High Point University head coach Jason Oliver says, "You can see physicality on video. I want to see what happens when it gets tough. I want to see the mental side and if the player has what it takes. It's not easy at any level—it's a balance, and I want players who will continually add something to our program."
RELATED: Recruiting with Florida Volleyball
Find out if you have what it takes to play at the next level. Click on the link below to access the "BeastMeter App." It will score your last 12 months of athletic accomplishments and project your college playing level. Your recruiting starts with understanding where you are. http://www.btbrecruiting.com/btb/stack.
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