The Recruiting Timeline
The Freshmen year should be about having fun, getting on a good track academically and locking in solid fundamental volleyball skills.
The Junior year is the most important year. Be prepared to give coaches all your information and video, and be very active throughout the recruiting process by emailing and calling coaches, and going on campus visits.
The sophomore year you should focus on getting game footage, developing your volleyball skills, and introducing yourself to the college coaching community.
Your senior year is the time to go on official visits and or evaluate your situation. If you feel good about where you are in the recruiting process, great! If not, you need to immediately and aggressively reach out to as many (realistic) schools as possible, and be very direct with college coaches when asking questions about 46 opportunities at their school.
The Recruiting Time - 4 most important point
Work hard in the classroom and study hard for the SATs / ACTs. The better your grades are and the higher your board scores are, the more schools that can recruit you. The more schools that can recruit you, the more options you have. The more options you have, the less stressful the recruiting process will be.
Be realistic about your ability. The number of players that play at the top Division 1 schools is a very small percentage of the number of college volleyball players across Division I, Division II, Division III, NAIA, and NJCAA. Being realistic about your ability from the beginning will make the recruiting process a lot less stressful and ultimately more rewarding.
Do not pick a college just because you can play volleyball there. Choose a college or university that is a good fit for you academically as well as athletically. Use volleyball as a vehicle to get you into the best college possible.
BE PROACTIVE IN THE RECRUITING PROCESS. Just like anything else, the harder you work, the better your results will be. Create a profile on VolleyballRecruits.net and send your profile to every school you are interested in. Call the schools you are interested in. The more you put into the recruiting process, the more you will get out of it.
Poor Decision on Social Media Can Cost You a Scholarship
Every year more and more potential college athletes are making a big mistake, including volleyball recruits from the DFW area. Many colleges now have a social media monitor whose sole responsibility is to do exactly that -- monitor the social tweets, posts and pics from potential recruits. Click here for an article on this subject.
Communicating with Coaches
Manners matter in college recruiting. And how prospects communicate with college coaches is at the top of the list.
Coaches are busy people and their time is extremely valuable. So when they decide that a high school prospect might match their roster needs, coaches don’t hesitate to make initial contact via texts, private messages or emails. They still send formal letters early on in the process, but those are becoming fewer and farther between, not to mention less important in the overall recruiting picture. Communicating directly and rapidly is now the tool of choice.
A college prospect reaching that level of interest has gone through an initial, silent process. It’s a background check of sorts. Coaches have taken the time to look deeper to uncover how an athlete stands in terms of grades, character and family. And when prospects hit on all three, coaches fire up their recruiting engines.
Prospects and parents need to understand this – college coaches only reach out to prospects they are genuinely interested in pursuing.
Scholarship offers are not easy to come by. College coaches consider offers as rare gifts, only presenting them to prospects they have fully vetted. And it is no longer a prerequisite to have seen an athlete in person. With digitized video available online, coaches can scout a prospect on a laptop or phone, in or out of their offices. A major reason college coaches use NSR is that as the nation’s largest scouting organization, their scouts do evaluate and interview each prospect in person.
The stumbling block in the process? Families typically want their athletes to stay close to home.
Today, that is an unrealistic expectation. College coaches are recruiting nationally and internationally as well as regionally. Scan any college roster in any sport. The evidence is clear – coaches want and will recruit the best athlete they can land regardless of where they live.
That puts athletes expecting to stay local at a distinct disadvantage. They are competing not just against other athletes in their own state and region, but also from across America and, in some cases, foreign countries.
Knowing that coaches search for recruits around the globe, families must seize every opportunity which presents itself. Opportunities evolve into options only when genuinely embraced.
Here is our best advice on how to effectively respond to college coaches and turn opportunities into options:
These are precious chances to build relationships with college coaches. When taking a call, be respectful and interested. Use it as a fact-finding mission. Learn as much as possible about the schools, the coaches, and the programs. Missed a coach’s call? Return the call as soon as possible, but absolutely wait no longer than 24 hours to get back to a coach.
Prospects can communicate with college coaches via text and coaches can too! So, prospects should jump at the chance to quickly return texts. But a coach is not your BFF. Think about how you want to come across. The image you project is very important, even in the words you text. Project yourself as a college student.
Coaches are permitted to look at your social media pages and they can send you private messages. However, they are not permitted to follow you or post on your site. Return all PMs promptly, but keep in mind that the person you are messaging holds the key to a scholarship offer. Be smart in how you communicate with college coaches.
While coaches don’t use these as much as in previous years, many still prefer them to texts and social media messaging. College coaches see them as a more secure and formal way to reach out to you. Check your email account every few days and respond at once. When communicating via email, write to your very best ability. Many coaches, particularly those whose schools have high academic standards, use this method to see if you can fit into that selective environment.
Unless obviously written to a prospect by a head or assistant coach, most initial recruiting letters are sent to hundreds, if not thousands, of prospects. Many are invitations to on-campus camps. Most ask prospects to go online and fill out a recruiting form. Especially when received from large universities with huge recruiting budgets, few are meaningful. Still, prospects should fill out and submit the recruiting forms as a formality and follow any other directions or requests. On the other hand, if a letter is written specifically about coming to the school for a junior day, unofficial or official visit, respond without delay. Coaches are opening their doors and it only makes good sense to walk through them.
The recruiting process is more competitive than ever before. When coaches are communicating with you, it’s important that you’re doing everything right. Every detail matters to ensure that you will be the prospect that receives an offer. Take our advice, it will get you that much closer to your dream. Contact NSR if you have any questions about the recruiting process or how to communicate with college coaches.