Recruits, you should always be looking for ways to improve your scholarship and recruiting opportunities. Volleyball is one of the most popular college sports for females. This means that the volleyball recruiting process is tough. Competition in club teams, travel teams, and high school teams continues to grow and grow. In fact, for the 2011-2012 school year, there were approximately 15,900 volleyball players at the NCAA level for Divisions I, Division II and Division III. Can you imagine trying to compete against that many girls for a volleyball scholarship, let alone a spot on any college team? Well, many of you are.
Just like many other college sports, volleyball recruiting requires dedication, passion, and, of course, volleyball skill. Skill development in high school is very important as players start to specialize in their position. College volleyball coaches are looking for players who are efficient in their role and can contribute to the team’s overall play. Front row players should have a strong hitting percentage and be able to read the opponents for defense. Back row players need to be able to command their passing to be able to get it right to the setter every time.
If you don’t have access to consistent or accurate stats, find a parent or friend who can keep track for you. The most important stats are hitting percentage and passing, both of which can be learned easily. You should also include your approach touch height and your block touch height. But stats are just a small part of volleyball recruiting. Here are the 5 things that recruits should make sure that they have in order to earn a volleyball scholarship:
Dedication in Recruiting
Before you start the volleyball recruiting process, you have to make a commitment to yourself that you will work as hard as you can to find a volleyball scholarship or roster spot on a college team. Putting together a resume and highlight video, researching schools, contacting coaches, following up with them, and doing well in school. These are just a few of the things that it takes to find a volleyball scholarship so you need to be prepared to commit to the process.
College coaches are giving volleyball scholarships to players who have been exposed to better competition during their high school careers. Since most high school teams don’t see this type of competition, volleyball players rely on travel and club teams to amp up their development. Travel and club tournaments provide the higher level of training and development that is comparable to college volleyball, so the more experience you have in those circuits, the better chance you have at earning a volleyball scholarship.
When college volleyball coaches get contacted by PSAs, there is certain information they need to know is accurate and true before pursuing them as a recruit. For example, coaches can’t just assume that when an athlete claims they are a 5’10” outside hitter who can reach a block height of 9’4, that it’s true. It is a good idea for volleyball players (especially at the national elite levels) to get their information verified by a coach or a third party.
College coaches use the highlight video as a way to evaluate athletes that they have not seen play in person. So it is important to have a balanced video that demonstrates your skills both in your position, and the versatility that is required during matches. Make sure your highlights from matches show both offensive and defensive plays, as well as serving.
Volleyball players looking to earn a scholarship not only need to impress coaches with their playing skills, but they also need to be successful in the classroom. College coaches are more interested in athletes who get good grades and demonstrate strength in their education. Obviously, recruits need to meet all of the academic requirements set forth by the NCAA or NAIA if they want to be eligible to compete. Academics are crucial to your ability to earn a volleyball scholarship so don’t let them fall by the wayside.