Let’s examine three myths that aim to detour the athletes from achieving maximum success in the recruiting process. The goal here is to uncover a few ‘facts’ that spur on not only athletes but also Club Directors and Recruiting Coordinators to heed the ‘call to action’. Action that leads to results.
I. CONTACTING COLLEGE COACHES
Myth: “I don’t have to reach out to coaches; they will get in touch with me if they are interested.”
FACT: Committed players contact an average of 15 schools.
OUR TAKE: Recruiting is an outbound process; not an inbound one! Outside of a very select group of players, the only way to ensure success in the recruiting process is to let coaches know you are interested. By reaching out to a broad range of schools, you are setting yourself up for success.
ACTION: Uncommitted athletes need to reach out to college coaches on a consistent basis, targeting schools that meet their academic goals as well as the right volleyball program for their level of skill. Club Directors need to provide a vehicle to enable their athletes to communicate with ease and target schools that meet their criteria. Recruiting Coordinators, come along side your athletes and teach them how to write an introductory letter in their own words, encourage them through the process of sharing who they are with college coaches and advise them on the level of schools to target.
MYTH: “I don’t need to worry about video, the coach will come see me play in person.”
FACT: Coaches are 11X more likely to send messages to players who make their video available.
OUR TAKE: While coaches will ultimately want to see you play in person, it’s getting them to see you that is the challenge often forgotten. Video acts as the vehicle to get a coach interested in coming to see you play live. Just because a coach may be at an event you are attending doesn’t mean they will see you. The best way to ensure they do is bringing your game to them before the event. Video is the key that can unlock the process and get your communication with a school started.
ACTION: If you are serious about playing at the next level a current video showcasing your skills is a must! With all of the video capabilities that are available through a multitude of social media applications, this can easily be achieved. Club Directors, this is an opportunity to offer your athletes a value added service. Partner with a video service that can offer athletes options from filming practices to match highlights.
III. TARGET LIST OF SCHOOLS
MYTH: “If I can’t play ‘big-time’ Division I volleyball, I can’t play anywhere.”
FACT: Committed players add an average of 28 schools to their target list.
OUR TAKE: It can be easy to get tunnel vision in the recruiting process; to think there are only a few options at the next level. This could not be more incorrect! Being proactive by contacting a broad range of college coaches not only increases your chances of being recruited, but it broadens your horizons to schools that you may not have been aware of.
ACTION: Athletes, cast your nets far. There are approximately 1780 schools from DI through NAIA that offer collegiate volleyball. Don’t focus on the division of the school – focus on the opportunity. To all of the Club Directors out there – research recruiting platforms that supply your athletes with tools that enable them to search out these opportunities. The potential for success is in your hands and your athletes are counting on you to lead the way. It is an investment that reaps great rewards!
In closing, I would like to thank VolleyballRecruits for their statistics that are based on proprietary data compiled from thousands of VolleyballRecruits members and for their assistance in providing content for this article.
To athletes & their families, Club Directors, and Recruiting Coordinators – it is in taking action that success is realized.
For more education on the volleyball recruiting process, click here.
About the Author
Patty Costlow is the Recruiting Coordinator for Munciana Volleyball Club in Yorktown, Indiana. Munciana is a member club of the JVA.