By Matt Sonnichsen, Director of Volleyball Relations for NCSA On my collegevolleyballcoach.com website, I receive many questions this time of the year from panicked parents about the college volleyball recruiting process. The parents are panicked because they have heard or been told or believe that all the college volleyball scholarships and opportunities, especially for Seniors in high school, are gone.
With technology and the assertive nature of college volleyball coaches, the recruiting process starts earlier than ever before. This early start results in more Prospective Student Athletes (PSAs) making their verbal commitment to a college/university sooner than before – It is not uncommon for Freshman to commit to a school, and quite common for Sophomores to have made their collegiate choice.
This early start and early commitment cycle can give the impression that by the time some uncommitted PSAs reach their Senior year, they won’t find a college volleyball opportunity (or scholarship).
Fortunately, this is not the case and I know this because of my 20 years of being a NCAA Division I coach, and my current role as the Director of Volleyball Relations for NCSA Athletic Recruiting. Either through NCSA or because of my volleyball coaching friendships, I receive constant inquiries about available Senior age athletes – NCAA DI through Junior Colleges are asking.
It is important to know that there are still many, many opportunities available for current high school seniors looking to play volleyball at the college level.
Some helpful notes:
- Now is one of the “slowest” times of the college volleyball recruiting process, because college coaches are in their prime playing season – They are concerned more about winning matches than recruiting.
- The recruiting tempo will increase come later November and into the new year.
- Most Important – Roster changes occur during the late November to January time frame because of coaching changes, injuries, players quitting or getting cut. This results in many, many opportunities that were not present in October!
- All levels of college volleyball will be actively scholarship recruiting current Seniors for next fall’s collegiate season. Sure, the NCAA DI top 25 teams may be done, but there are over 1,200 college volleyball programs!
- Critical Point – Volleyball families must reach out to the college programs consistently to promote their PSA. The Senior level recruiting process is fluid with opportunities opening/closing quickly. PSA’s cannot wait to be “found”, but have to put themselves digitally in front of college coaches.
For more junior volleyball recruiting education visit www.jvaonline.org