Women’s volleyball is one of the most popular sports in middle school and high school. In fact, volleyball beat out baseball to rank second in team sports participation in the United States (2011). That means there is high competition among high school volleyball players who want to get recruited to play in college.
There are thousands of collegiate volleyball programs throughout the country in NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA divisions. That means there is an abundance of opportunities to find a team to play on. You just need to know the recruiting game.
The recruiting process for volleyball can be an overwhelming experience because the demand for elite players is so high. Colleges are fighting against each other to recruit the best players to their team. The pressure to find the best team for you and the best academic environment can take its toll on high school volleyball players. Earning a volleyball scholarship can be difficult too since the competition is so high.
But the Recruiting Process is Not the Same For Every Single Player
Some girls might find an opportunity right away and know exactly where they want to go. Others might work for months and months, talking to coaches, taking official and unofficial visits, and debating over their final decision. Either way, you should make the process work for you and put everything you can into finding the best opportunity for you, both academically and athletically.
So What Should You Expect From the Recruiting Process?
First, you will need to commit yourself to finding a school. If this is truly your ultimate goal,then be proactive. Nobody else is going to get you recruited except you.
Kyley Reed, a high school senior from Connecticut, talks about her recruiting process as a blog feature on the ESPN High School Volleyball website. In her intro video, she talks about how “crazy” the process was and offers great advice to those looking to start on the “recruiting road.” She discusses the highs and lows of her experience, the “emotional roller-coaster ride full of excitement, fear, anxiety, and hope.”
Her feature is divided into nine parts, each section offering a different tidbit of advice and how she learned it from her experience. Here are some of the pieces of advice she offers:
- Don’t Stress Out: There are some things that are out of your control, and you can’t let yourself get consumed with the process, especially if you let it affect your school work and performance.
- Stay Organized: Keep letters, e-mails, and notes about each school organized in a binder. This will help keep track of which schools you like and help assign priorities.
- Take Care of Yourself: Play hard, rest up, and stay healthy. You need to be able to maintain maximum performance in school and in volleyball.
- Honest Communication with Coaches: It will only hurt you to lead a coach on feigning interest in their school or giving them false information. Be honest with all coaches you speak with.
- Recruiting Video: It helps get you closer to college coaches by allowing them to see you play without travel.
- Unofficial/Official Visits: Trips to the school offer valuable peeks into college life at that school. Take advantage of a visit if you can.
If you want to get a good glimpse into what the volleyball recruiting process might be like, take a glance at Kyley’s feature on ESPN. Even if your experience is nothing like hers, you can still gain some valuable advice.