Take Your Game to The Next Level
Looking to take your game to the collegiate level? Do you think you have what it takes? I’ll give you some key pointers on getting a college volleyball scholarship and things to consider when making recruiting decisions.
Just Like Applying for a Job
There are multiple aspects to becoming a collegiate athlete. I like comparing recruiting to applying for a job. When looking for a job not only is the individual searching for the perfect fit; but more importantly they are selling themselves on how they will better the employer.This is the same for college coaches. It is ideal to market yourself because a coach will only look at you for maybe three points of a match.
First Impressions Matter
Think of first impressions. Recruiting is all about first impressions, the coach either likes and wants you or is off to find another player. You can impress a coach and turn their head as quick as they can move to another court.
Procuring a scholarship is a numbers game, therefore you must be aggressive. Depending on your desired level of play this will affect how competitive attaining a scholarship will be.
Have several back-up schools and oversell yourself! Never sell yourself short in any aspect of your game.
Target Specific Schools
There is a lot of groundwork and research prior to beginning the known “recruiting process”. This work entails soul searching and research because every player wants something different.
A crucial decision is selecting the target category of school whether it be NCAA D I, II, III, or NAIA. The thing to realize about the four different levels of schools is the scholarship amount will vary from full to nothing besides academic. Grades and academics are important wherever you go, so strive to be the best student you can be!
Make a List, Check it Twice
For starters, to narrow down your desired school/level, I suggest making a checklist of important things the school must have academically, athletically, socially, geographically, etc. This will help you select your target audience and personal attributes that you want to emphasize.
For example, personally I wanted to play NCAA Division I at a middle to large size school, that had strong academics, athletics and geographically was close to the beach. I utilized the NCAA website to research all the D I schools and then sorted through them according to personal preference. The site helped me narrow down the prospective school and then I moved onto the next step. Once you have targeted your audience then you must put together your marketing.
Marketing as I mentioned will be a maker or breaker for you. I cannot emphasize enough that first impression is everything!!
What You Need to do
Put together a nice cover letter and sell yourself. Inside this package you will need two types of playing DVDs. One is raw footage. If you’re unaware with the term “raw”, this means an entire match from start to finish, which is never stopped.
In video two, you will want to include a skills tape. A skills tape is your time to emphasize your strengths and positioning. Personally, I showed myself in every position because most coaches like to see a player’s versatility and weakness. I would recommend you do the same.
The skills tape can be edited and make sure to introduce yourself to the coaches at the beginning. Also, inside you will include an athletic resume along with coaches’ letter of recommendation. Do not stretch the truth in any circumstance but make yourself sound the best you can. The part that comes after marketing is something exceptionally important!
Desire, Drive and Determination
Lastly, there is something that is embedded deep down in every player, which I call the 3 D’s. The 3 D’s consist of desire, drive, and determination.
Desire-The desire to want to play collegiate volleyball, the desire to be a certain role model to your team, the desire to be the best you can be.
Drive-The drive to never give up until you achieve what you want; the drive to know that you are capable of anything you set your mind to; and the drive to play volleyball.
Determination-The determination that you will touch every ball; the determination that you will attempt to make yourself technically perfect, which will better yourself as a player; the determination that you’re going to better every play and lastly, the determination to have more heart than the girl across the net from you.
Recruiting is Like a Treasure Map
When it comes to recruiting and attaining a college scholarship it is like a treasure map. Once you have drawn your map out and set yourself up for success, you have to go out and find your hidden treasure. There is a school and a program for every player; it is just a matter of finding your ideal school.