It is human nature to take what is basic and turn it into complexity. If a solution to a problem presents itself to be too easy to figure out…we doubt the answer or the methods in finding the answer. The following quotes are some of my favorites in regards to simplicity.

Simplicity is a great virtue but it requires hard work to achieve it and education to appreciate it. And to make matters worse: complexity sells better.
… Edsger W. Dijkstra

When the mathematician would solve a difficult problem, he first frees the equation of all encumbrances, and reduces it to its simplest terms. So simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real”
…Henry David Thoreau

Simply put, the recruiting process does not need to be complex; the recruiting process does not need any type of mathematical odds or formulas applied; the recruiting process does not need to be a burden on the student-athlete and simply stated, the recruiting process does not need to cost a family thousands of dollars. What it does take, is hard work and education!

Hard work by the athlete in the classroom and on the court. Education of the process by those that engage in it on a daily basis. Instituting a simple set of goals based upon attainable and real factors, clear academic, athletic and life goals.

Simplicity of the process and staying committed to hard work has brought great success to the Munciana program and athletes. As we begin, I require an initial athlete/parent meeting where we review our Recruiting 101 Principles.

We have simplified it into 4 key areas that we encourage our athletes to stay committed to.

1. Set up & Maintain Recruiting Profile

– Upload profile pic
– Complete volleyball/academic info
– VIDEO – key component

Note: We supply a software platform that is our main mode of communication that includes profiles that accommodate the above. All athletes that are engaged in the recruiting process maintain their profile with this information, which allows college coaches easy access to review.

2. Determining the level you can play at in college

– Be honest with yourself
– Talk to your coaches – ask them where they see you playing
– Determine your long term goals academically & match up with programs that you can compete at
– Don’t focus on the Division of the school; focus on the Opportunity

Note: This area requires transparency from all involved in the process from athlete/parent/coaches/recruiting coordinators. It is also fluid and as the athlete matures athletically, the target programs may change.

3. Send targeted introductory emails based upon your academic goals & athletic ability

– Introduce yourself (be brief) 

o Include your interest in finding out their needs
o Give them some info about what you are currently doing both academically and in regards to your current volleyball team/training and/or high school experience
o Include your profile (must have video)
o Ask to set up a time to talk if there is an opportunity
o Always give the coach a person to contact if they are not able to contact you directly

Note: We work to define target schools as the athlete matures both academically & athletically. Our athletes utilize their communication platform to do research on schools & to send communication. As the recruiting coordinator, I am copied on the correspondence which allows for easy follow up & communication flow from college coaches.

4. DO the research!

– Research the undergraduate programs
– Research the coaches’ bios
– Check out the current roster
– Research student life on campus

Note: All of this information is available on both a school’s main site and their athletic site. The student-athlete is encouraged to ‘do the research’ and reap the benefits of educating themselves on potential schools.

I ask our athletes to keep three things at the forefront as they maneuver through this process

• academic fit
• geographic fit
• athletic fit

My challenge to the Student-Athlete is to be committed to hard work and education. Don’t forget to keep it simple, keep it real and keep going!

“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines practiced every day” ~Jim Rohn

For related reading on the volleyball recruiting process click here. For more recruiting education click here.

About the Author

Patty Costlow is heading into her third 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 graduate of the University of Illinois.