Make Yourself More Recruitable — Professional Tips To Help Volleyball Juniors And Seniors Put Their Best Foot Forward •
The recruiting season can be an emotional rollercoaster for an unsigned/uncommitted senior volleyball athlete (and for juniors in the same situation).
As the author of CollegeVolleyballCoach.com, I receive numerous emails from volleyball families who are a bit panicked. College coaches are telling them they are done recruiting, or not responding at all.
Before resorting to the panic button, here are some tips to make yourself more recruitable.
Families must remember that the fall season is the most important time of the year for college volleyball coaches; the collegiate playing season. College coaches are trying to avoid being fired, to secure a raise, get a contract or pushing for a great record.
While recruiting never ends, the coach’s focus is almost exclusively on his current players and achieving the best possible season.
As the collegiate playing season comes to a close, the collegiate recruiting season starts.
College volleyball programs have immediate roster spots and scholarship positions to fill for seniors and juniors. From NCAA Division I to junior colleges, roster spots open in a variety of ways. Injuries, academics, homesickness, playing-time issues or job changes can all create immediate openings.
That means scholarship opportunities which may not have been available one month ago.
The active collegiate recruiting season begins in late November. When the collegiate seasons come to a close. Be ready to be recruited.
The first step in making yourself more recruitable is getting registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center. Have your NCAA I.D. number listed on all your recruiting literature/profile.
If you are a junior or a senior, have a current copy of your high school transcript and ACT/SAT test score ready to send to colleges.
Use the small gap between the end of high school volleyball and the start of club volleyball to address injuries or physical issues. Rest does not fix problems, it only masks them.
As a senior, making yourself more recruitable means being at the top of your game early in the club season. College coaches are looking to make immediate recruiting decisions on seniors. You don’t have time to play your way into shape.
Use practice to improve your weaknesses. Play to your strengths in early tournaments. Show your best skills to watching college coaches.
Re-examine your list of outreach schools. If you’ve been contacting a certain level of program and no school is getting back to you, it’s time to adjust. Responses or lack of responses provides valuable feedback.
Create a five-minute highlight or skills video of your most recent court time. Have it at the ready for collegiate coaches. Don’t show clips/repetitions from September of your high school season. It will be too old. Film the last matches of high school, or better yet, film the first few club volleyball practices.
Stay active in your outreach to colleges and communication. Roster openings occur throughout the holidays. Even though you may have already written a school, college coaches don’t go back through all of their old emails. When they have an opening, they respond to the next incoming email.
The major recruiting window for the 2019 college season may be about closed. Regardless, use the next couple weeks to create a checklist of some of these things. Take note of the things you can do NOW to make yourself more recruitable moving forward.
— Matt Sonnichsen for NCVA