With school getting out across the country, and club volleyball seasons either in their last championship events or finished, high school volleyball families must adjust their recruiting tempo.
Except for a couple of weeks coinciding with the national championships in club volleyball, this is one of the slowest recruiting periods of the calendar and will continue throughout the summer.
There are many reasons for this gear down:
- Club Volleyball tournaments have almost finished.
- College Volleyball coaches are out of budget money.
- Any spring season openings (college players transferring, not recovering from injuries, bad grades) have already sorted themselves out.
- Collegiate academic year is over, so college coaches are trying to escape the office for as long as possible.
If you are a current/graduated senior and still trying to find a school, then Junior Colleges will be your best opportunity. Make no mistake, JC’s are a great option because it allows you to continue your skill development, garner collegiate playing time and get a number of college credits under your belt, while getting ready to move into a 4 year school after a year or two.
For the remaining high school ages, you have to slow down and be patient. The recruiting season is slow right now, so you can slow down, catch your breath and prepare for the next step.
- Review where you are in the recruiting process – What schools are you interacting with? Have you been invited on any visits? What playing level have you had the most response from (DI/DII/DII/NAIA or JC)? Re-generate your collegiate outreach list based upon your review.
- Refine your skills – Since college coaches are going to slow play their recruiting efforts during the summer (general statement), now is a great time to improve your skill sets. If you listened to your club coaches, you should know which skill sets you can and must make better. Always remember, your talent will determine your opportunity.
- Recovery – Too often, young athletes don’t think theyneed recovery time and this is incorrect. Now is the time of the year to let your body rest a bit, to let your mind rest a bit. You need time to recharge your physical and mental battery. You will not ‘fall behind’ if you take a week or two off from volleyball and physical training.
- Physicality – Volleyball is a dynamic game, but understand your big physical gains will not occur until your early collegiate years. Staying in shape, eating healthy, getting a good workout in a few times a week, will increase your physicality in a healthy way. Avoid multiple dynamic/power/explosive programs; one is great while four will eventually cause some concerns.
The slow season of college volleyball recruiting will continue through the early fall. College coaches always get a recruiting wake up call during their collegiate season. Many coaches think they are done with a certain class, but then stuff happens; players get hurt, report out of shape, develop a terrible attitude, become academically ineligible, etc. All of these instances will create roster and scholarship openings for the next season and beyond.
Slow down the recruiting tempo now; rest your body/mind, review your situation and redevelop your collegiate outreach.
This article was written by Matt Sonnichsen, Director of Volleyball Relations for the National Collegiate Scouting Association. NCSA is the Official Educational Partner of the JVA. For more junior volleyball recruiting education click here.