Over the past few months there has been much conjecture regarding the decision to exclude Freshman/Sophomore volleyball recruits from taking unofficial visits to Division I programs until September 1 of their Junior year of High School. As a Recruiting Coordinator at Munciana VBC, we have kept it business as usual and continue to focus on simplifying the process for our prospective student athletes.
We did not experience hyperventilation incidents by prospective student-athletes’ (PSAs), parents taking out mortgages to rush their offspring to schools across the universe prior to April 25th, and certainly from my perspective no panic to change what or how to carry out our roles in the process.
The focus for the past four years has been on educating athletes and parents on how to manage the recruiting experience in a healthy manner by embracing an intentional process, building a focused list of priorities, transparency and above all PATIENCE!
Simplifying is the key! Adhering to that key and embracing the achievement of success through patience, and work ethic is elemental as the PSA navigates the rigors of one of the most pivotal decisions they will ever make for their future.
Keys of Success:
2. Action Steps
Education can be defined as ‘the process of giving or receiving systematic instruction’ or ‘an enlightening experience‘. My belief is it has to be both. Keep it simple and put time and energy into education that matters!
- Maintaining solid academic path in high school!
- Research schools based upon your long-term academic/athletic goals
- Know the rules! Whether it’s NCAA/NAIA/NJCAA, this information is readily available with a few keystrokes
- Get on campus and discover student life, academic offerings, campus culture*
*Freshman/Sophomores can schedule Campus Tours/Academic visits through Admissions at any level. NCAA DI rules prohibit contact with athletic departments while they are on campus until September 1, Junior Year. In NCAA DI, a freshman/sophomore can attend institutional camps but recruiting activity is also prohibited. Please Note: High School players must check with their State High School Association regarding eligibility to attend collegiate camps while they are in their contest season.
Action is defined as ‘the fact or process of doing something typically to achieve an aim.’ ‘Steps is defined as ‘the distance covered by a step which is basically the movement of putting one foot in front of the other.’ Targeted Intentional Movement towards Success!
- Take time to get to know who you are as a prospective student-athlete – be PATIENT this comes with maturity and experience
- Focus on athletic skill improvement and seek counsel on where your ability is trending.
- Understand what ‘communication’ is outside of social media with the focus on verbal and written skills
- Development of focused list of school prospects
- Put one foot in front of the other with the intention of success…requires a strong countenance and work ethic
Commitment is ‘the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause or activity’. It isn’t a singular action; dedicated is being devoted to a task or purpose. The PSA must be steadfast, resolute and unwavering to their long-term goals.
- Know it takes time to achieve success, whether academic or athletic
- Focus on your individual journey – stay the course
- Do the work that is needed in regards to communication
- Flexibility – focus on opportunities
- Be engaged in your future! Your decisions must be your decisions!
With recruiting at any level, the commitment to success is available to all PSA’s regardless of governing body legislations. The PSA and their families can be assured that opportunities will not be lost and the PSA will still be the master of their destiny. Time is not an enemy to their success of playing at the collegiate level, as well time can be a component of success by:
- Gaining a clearer picture of academics
- Stronger understanding of levels of programs that meet the PSA’s long-term career goals
- Extended time to build relationships with coaching staffs
- Enhanced self-confidence through maturity on and off the court
- Empowering their decision making
If you make the choice to pursue the prosperity of Education, Action & Commitment, they will be your partners of success beyond the court!
About the Author
Patty Costlow is heading into her fourth year as the Recruiting Coordinator for Munciana Volleyball, a long time JVA member club located in Muncie, Indiana. She has been involved in the sport of volleyball at various levels for over 30 years (club coach, program director, program development, semi-pro beach and indoor player). Utilizing her 30+ years of experience in both playing and coaching/teaching the sport of volleyball, it was a natural progression for her to transition into the recruiting arena. Patty brings her passion for developing leaders and helping young athletes pursue their life goals to all aspects of her responsibilities as the Recruiting Coordinator for one of the top clubs in the country. She developed a comprehensive program for Munciana VBC and speaks on a national level to parents/athletes in regards to collegiate recruiting. In addition, Patty consults with volleyball clubs on building their recruiting programs. Patty is a mother of four and resides in Carmel, Indiana with her husband, Chris. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois.