The early fall can be a confusing and frustrating time segment for families trying to manage the college volleyball recruiting process, especially those with rising Junior and/or Senior age daughters. Summer is over, high school season is starting up and the club volleyball recruiting season seems in the far distance.
For a number of families, a certain uneasiness can set in concerning recruiting. The club season is over, and rumors abound that “all” the scholarships are gone with Division I, or only walk on positions are available, etc. When families are still searching for that right fit, scholarship or roster opening, this uneasiness can quickly turn to panic. And this panic, can influence families into making hasty decisions which may not be the best for the player.
This is the time of the year, where college coaches can play possum; they tend to go quiet in the recruiting process. Part of this is to be expected because the collegiate season is beginning. This season start reflects a huge to do list with not a lot of support. For many programs, from NCAA Division I to Junior Colleges, the coaching staff may be one head coach and (if lucky) an assistant, which have a 100 things to get done before the first practice. Oh, and then practice and matches begins.
The other reason coaches go quiet, is they need to use the fall to determine exactly what recruiting needs they have for the next season. What returning player did not recover completely from surgery, what player did not pass that last summer school class for eligibility, what incoming player was has not met expectations, etc. All of these factors, and many others, will alter the recruiting needs for the next two years.
Because of this slow down by college coaches, families have got to be patient. Now is not the time to panic and take the ‘good enough’ scholarship or school. Rather, stay patient and use the fall to re-evaluate the situation. By being patient and re-evaluating, players can put themselves into the best possible position to achieve their recruiting goals in the winter/spring.
What to re-evaluate:
* What type/level of schools have been in communication with you.
* How many schools did you reach out to? Did they respond?
* Have your academic interests changed?
* Are you more open to different geographic locations?
* What skill sets can you improve upon during the fall, to become a more attractive recruit for the colleges?
* Will being open to various divisions yield more recruiting communication/options?
Since colleges are recruiting slow for the next 2+ months, families can use this time to recharge their recruiting battery, improve their volleyball abilities and physical conditioning, talk about what is desired in a school, then develop a large outreach list of programs to contact.
As you reach out to collegiate programs, make sure your videos are current and you have updated your NCSA Recruiting Profile. College coaches want to see your current skill sets, current grades/test scores, current contact information and if you know it, your club team for the upcoming club season.
As college coaches reengage in active recruiting, a program that said no in the spring, may now say yes because their needs have changed. The families that are patient and use this slower period in a positive manner, will place themselves into the best position to secure their recruiting goals come the winter.