SportStars Magazine

Go To School: Tips On Making Yourself More Recruitable

The fall season can be an emotional rollercoaster for an unsigned/uncommitted senior volleyball athlete (and for juniors in the same situation). As the author of, I receive numerous emails from volleyball families who are a bit panicked because college coaches are telling them they are done recruiting, or not responding at all.

Families must remember that this is the most important time of the year for college volleyball coaches; the collegiate playing season. College coaches are trying to not get fired, to secure a raise, get a contract, or pushing for a great record so they have the opportunity to move up the job ranks, etc. While recruiting never ends, the coach’s focus is almost exclusively on the players in the gym and achieving the best possible season right now.

As the collegiate playing season comes to a close, the collegiate recruiting season starts.  College volleyball programs will have immediate roster spots and scholarship positions to fill for seniors and juniors. From NCAA Division I to junior colleges, injuries, academics, homesickness, playing-time issues or job changes can all create immediate roster spots and 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. Make sure you are ready to be recruited.

Be registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center and have your NCAA ID 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 window of time between the end of high school volleyball and the start of club volleyball to address any injuries or physical issues. Rest does not fix problems, it only masks them.

As a senior, you need to be at the top of your game early in the club season. College coaches are looking to make immediate recruiting decisions on seniors, so you don’t have time to play your way into shape.

Use practice to improve your weaknesses, but always play to your strengths in early tournaments: Show your best skills to watching college coaches.

Re-examine your list of outreach schools. If you have been contacting a certain level of program and no school is getting back to you, then it is time to adjust. Responses or lack of responses from a grouping of schools, provides valuable feedback.

Create a five-minute highlight or skills video of your most recent court time to have available for collegiate coaches. Don’t show clips/repetitions from September of your high school season, as 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 will be occurring all through the holidays. Even though you may have already written a school, college coaches don’t go back through all of their emails when they have an opening, they respond to the next incoming email.

There is still time on the recruiting clock for seniors (and definitely juniors), but no more time to let slip by. Use these next couple of weeks to prepare for the opening of the collegiate recruiting season.  

— Matt Sonnichsen for NCVA

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