High school is the time when volleyball players who are serious about a college career have to start focusing on particular tasks that will enable them to achieve this goal. Here are the basics you should keep in mind each year, courtesy of VolleyballRecruits.net’s Recruiting Timeline.
This year is pretty simple compared to the others. The main things you need to focus on are getting on a good club team so that you can get the highest level of training possible and getting a solid academic foundation in place.
Club teams come in all shapes and sizes, so research the clubs available to you and decide what level of financial commitment your parents are comfortable with. Strive to get on the best team that you can, because that will put you in the best position for future club and high school tryouts.
Of course you should keep playing club and high school volleyball at the highest level possible, and you should start investigating colleges that you might want to attend. Your high school guidance counselor can help you make sure you’re on track to meet all of the academic requirements setup by the NCAA.
Colleges may also start contacting you in the form of questionnaires, which you should be pleased about but should not take as a sign that you’re being actively recruited. College volleyball coaches won’t yet have decided who they are recruiting yet, but you should nonetheless fill out all the questionnaires that you receive with all the information that you have so that you’re still in these coaches’ databases of players they might come watch.
Now is the time to consider investing in a video camera and getting game and skills videos together. VolleyballRecruits has a great guide to getting usable volleyball video that your parents or whoever is taking video for you team may find useful.
Some high level programs secure verbal commitments at the end of the sophomore club season, but for most college volleyball programs the junior year is the most important. Be sure to have video and all your academic and volleyball information readily available, because coaches will be asking for it.
September 1 of your junior year marks the first day coaches can start contacting you directly with recruiting information, and if you haven’t gotten any inquiries by October you should take that as an indication that you’re not being actively recruited.
Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of time to make your college volleyball career happen! Make sure you contact all the programs you’re interested in by January 1 with your skills videos so that college coaches can put you on their list of players to come watch during the club season.
By the beginning of your senior year you should ideally be in frequent contact with 7-10 schools that you want to attend. If you’re unsure about where you stand with any of these schools, feel free to ask the coach point blank if s/he has filled your spot in the recruiting class.
Once you know which schools are your top choices you may want to make visits to the campus to help you decide. And after everything is finalized you may be asked to sign a letter of intent, which will legally obligate you to attend the school that issued it. There are two signing periods, one in the fall that lasts only a week or so and one in the spring that lasts for a couple of months.
Keep in mind that services like VolleyballRecruits.net can simplify this process greatly and help you on your way to a college volleyball career!
Photo courtesy of Flickr.
Full disclosure: This post is part of a paid series for VolleyballRecruits.net. I don’t report on products/services that I don’t support; their service is extremely valuable and I think it’s useful information for my readers.