There’s plenty of competition. Do you want to get recruited? You may simply need to be noticed first.
In 2020, there were more than 477,000 female high school volleyball players in the United States. However, there were only 1,834 women’s college volleyball programs across the NCAA, the NAIA, junior colleges, and other schools. Add it all up and, if you want to play college volleyball, and perhaps even earn a scholarship to do so, you have to make yourself stand out on the court, and as a recruit. To do that, follow these steps:
Figure Out Where You Fit
When it comes to size, ability, and experience, most NCAA Division I volleyball coaches have ballpark numbers they look for in recruits. For instance, the majority of DI outside hitters are 6’0” or taller, have an average approach jump of 118”, and have played for the most competitive, open-level club teams. That said, remember that those numbers are just averages and you’re not automatically disqualified from competing in Division I or any college-level based on them.
To see how you measure up, look at college rosters from different teams and different divisions. Look for teams where the majority of players are closer to your height or high school experience. Then, concentrate your efforts on getting on a coaches’ radar at comparable colleges. Women’s college volleyball isn’t one-size-fits-all, but you’ll get more recruiting interest if you target coaches and schools where your size, ability, and experience fit best.
Play At The Highest Level Possible, As Soon As Possible
As women’s volleyball continues to grow, some college coaches begin evaluating recruits as early as their 9th or 10th-grade year. Even though they can’t offer a scholarship or even contact a recruit that early, evaluating younger players allows a coach to better project potential based on an athlete’s progress over time.
The upside for volleyball recruits is that they may have more opportunities to be seen by college coaches if they’re competing at higher levels. Therefore it’s important that you work hard to make a club team that competes at the highest level and travels to top-end tournaments early in the recruiting season. As an added bonus, additional time spent on a club team can add up to the club-level experience many coaches look for.
Have A Highlight Video That Leaps Off The Screen
Given the sheer number of players college coaches will consider in their recruiting lists, they may not be able to see them all in person. That’s why a recruiting highlight video is an important tool in getting noticed. Given that, make sure the first 15-25 seconds of your highlight video are stacked with your best moments on the court. Overall, your highlight video should showcase all your abilities over the course of three to five minutes. Given the sheer volume of videos coaches watch, what they see in the first few seconds can often make or break your chances of getting noticed.
Good Grades Will Get You Noticed Too
At the Division I level, women’s volleyball is a headcount sport, meaning a coach only has 12 full-ride scholarships per season. At other divisions, women’s volleyball is an equivalency sport and coaches can offer partial scholarships to many more athletes, so long as the total doesn’t exceed the maximum number of scholarships allowed. What that all means is, if you don’t get a full-ride scholarship, you’ll likely have to pay for some or all of your college expenses.
With good grades, however, you can also qualify for academic scholarships to cover more of your college expenses. Further, good grades show coaches that you won’t be a risk academically in college, while also allowing them to stretch their scholarship budget farther. Add it all up, and a high GPA and solid standardized test scores will not only get you noticed by college coaches, but they will make you a more attractive recruit as well.
As you can see, catching a college volleyball coach’s eye takes more than just big spikes. But, if you play your cards right on the court and in the classroom, you can get noticed, get recruited, and, hopefully, get a scholarship.
Did you enjoy the article ‘How To Get Noticed As A Women’s Volleyball Recruit ‘? If so, check out 3 Traits Every Volleyball Coach Wants In A Recruit or more of our articles HERE.