Stress and the unknown have been common themes on both ends of the recruiting process. The stress felt by the college coaches has been quite similar to stress felt by the prospective student athletes. It is important for club recruiting coordinators to guide and educate the athletes to understand what they can control and how to remain pro-active.
Division III programs have had some restrictions during this pandemic, including no on campus visits or in-person meetings, including camps. Even though there are limitations, there are still many ways for volleyball student athletes to connect to college coaches and find their dream school.
Here are 4 ways for 2021 and 2022 athletes to progress their recruiting process at the Division 3 level during the COVID-19 pandemic.
College coaches realize that many athletes do not have new film and won’t be seen at the various large tournaments this season. This is okay, creativity is key! Filming backyard workouts and any volleyball training sessions you’ve done during quarantine is a great way to send new film to a college coach.
Share Updates Through Email
Email is the normal conventional way to reach out to college coaches, and Division III schools have no age limitations on who they can communicate with. This is something volleyball athletes can use to their advantage. Emailing a college coach can be a daunting process. What do I say? How do I say it? The best thing you can do at this time is stay creative. Email is also a great way to connect with the college coach to show who you are and what you have been doing during this time of quarantine. Any new hobbies, activities or games? Share this with coaches. Yes, college coaches want to know how great of a volleyball player you are, but they also want to get to know you as a person.
Stay Connected Through FaceTime or Zoom
Division III coaches also don’t have many limitations on who they can talk to one the phone. This is another way to build a relationship with the coach of your dream school. Setting up a phone call can ensure you establish yourself to the college coach and the program. You can also find out if the college coach is willing to FaceTime or Zoom to stay connected. The face to face interaction could create a fun environment for you and the coach to build a relationship.
Create a List
Creating an established list of your top schools can help you further yourself in the recruiting process. Being able to pin point the type of college/university that you would like to attend can help you work to build relationships with those set schools and their programs. It can save you quality time and give you the insight for the future when you can visit these campuses. Doing your research during this time can also help you pick your school. Many schools have created virtual tours and meetings for prospective students. Research your potential major and look into if that school or department is doing virtual meetings or information sessions. This gives the college coach the notion that you are very interested in their school.
The recruiting process is hard and can be a tedious, long process. As college coaches we know this pandemic has changed the lives of so many. Take your time and stay patient. Coaches are also having to take the same approach during this pandemic. We are all in this together and you will find the right school soon enough.
For related reading and resources visit the COVID-19 Club Resources page.
About the Author
Brianna Jones is an Assistant Women’s Volleyball Coach at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. She helped guide the Eagles to a 2018 NCAA D3 National Championship, along with a 2019 NCAA D3 National Runner-Up finish.