Division I volleyball programs have been in a recruiting Dead Period since March 13, 2020
, which means that College Coaches have not been able to evaluate prospective student athletes in person or have face to face interaction with PSA’s on or off campus. In mid-April the Council announced that beginning June 1 all Division I sports can resume their normal recruiting calendar. For volleyball, however, this does not mean the Evaluation Period begins June 1.
Here are a few facts to help ease the transition from Dead Period to Evaluation Period:
Quiet Down Please
According to the 2020-2021 Division I Volleyball recruiting calendar, the Quiet Period is through June 3rd. This means that it is permissible to make in-person recruiting contacts on the member institution’s campus (official and unofficial visit, camp, etc). However, no in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts or evaluations may be made during the quiet period (showcase, club practice, tournament). After waiting over 14 months to recruit in person, many College Coaches are jumping at the bit to get into club practices. Make sure to wait until June 4th, otherwise you will be committing a recruiting violation.
Division II, Division III, NAIA and Junior College programs are picking up momentum with recruiting as well, since they have a more clear idea of what their recruiting needs are for 2022 and 2023.
Practice Practice Practice
College Coaches have already started reaching out to Club Directors and Recruiting Coordinators to find out the practice schedules in June. To make it easier on college coaches, list your teams’ practice schedules on your website and make the information easy to find. If your athletes are of recruitable age, do not feel pressure to change your practice schedule for a College Coach’s availability. Consistency in your schedule will help your athletes understand that it is just like any other week of training. It will also help avoid miscommunication, mixed up dates and conflicts for your athletes.
If College Coaches are attending practice, keep in mind that they need to see the athletes receive as many opportunities to perform their skills as possible. Keep the ball in play and plan drills that are game-like to showcase the athletes’ abilities.
Who’s the Go To?
Between practices, travel to and from tournaments, camps, and college visits, June is going to be a very busy month for athletes, Directors, Recruiting Coordinators, and Coaches. Make sure your club has a contact or two for College Coaches if they have questions or need clarification on anything related to schedules or prospective student athletes. The contact(s) need to be accessible and responsive, checking their texts, emails and phone calls as much as possible. They may feel like a concierge or operator at times, but with the long awaited Evaluation Period upon us, everyone is eager to find the best student athletes to fit their programs’ needs.
Now more than ever, the clubs and college coaches need to work together to maintain a positive recruiting experience for the prospective student athletes. The junior volleyball athletes have been through so much change and uncertainty this past year. It’s imperative that we create a smooth transition back to normal for everyone’s benefit.
More Recruiting Education
This article was written by JVA Director of Marketing and Education, Briana Schunzel, in collaboration with Recruiting Education Committee Chair Glenna Bianchin from Carolina UVC.