Nike Elite Volleyball
parents

Memphis Metro Volleyball College Recruiting

 

The recruiting process can be an intimidating time for parents as well as players. Therefore, we must come up with a game plan from the very start. There are many questions that need to be answered, look deep inside and answer them as honestly as possible. YOU need to decide what is most important to you when you looking at potential schools. 

Is it the competitiveness of the volleyball program? 

Do I feel that I need to play right away? 

Is this school choice realistic in my search for a volleyball scholarship?

Is the geographic location important to me? 

Do the academic programs offer majors in my fields of interest? 

Would I want to attend this school if I weren't able to play volleyball due to injury?

 

Memphis Metro’s mission in the recruiting process is to help educate our players and their families about the recruiting process, create a game plan to help guide you through the recruiting journey, and to give you our honest advice and answers to your questions pertaining to your recruitment. For most of the process our coaches and especially Coach Jitka Okolicany will be your primary contact with college coaches. You can contact college coaches (by phone) at any time but prior to July after your Junior year they can’t call you.

Begin the recruiting process as a high school freshman. Make a file, start a folder. Keep a list of awards, honors, newspaper articles, etc... Start walking around potential college campuses informally, while at tournaments, or during your vacations. Once you have a general idea of 10-20 schools that fit what you are generally looking for you can concentrate your efforts on getting to know each school.  During your sophomore year you need to be doing your homework in regards to communication and visits. Most, if not all colleges have an admissions department that is willing to meet with you anytime and give you a first-hand look at their university. Colleges are impressed when you have done your homework and are educated about their programs. This is the time you can get to know the specifics about the school and decide if you are a match academically, athletically, and any other factors that matter to you and your family. You can make an unlimited number of unofficial visits. During your senior year you are allowed up to 5 official visits with colleges paying your expenses. Sophomore year is time to register for the NCAA Clearinghouse. Update this information annually and at the end of your senior year.

A great place to get information from is Rich Kerr Recruiting Registry.  Register and take advantage of this free service. Registration allows you to develop an athletic and academic resume that will be presented to college recruiters all over the country. Registered college recruiters can view the personalized website of each athlete that fits their search criteria. All of the services are free for both the athlete and the recruiter.

 

College coaches love to feel pursued by student athletes. Start with filling out the recruiting questionnaires, follow up with an email and phone call, send them the link to your recruiting video, and invite them to come watch you play in practice or at a tournament. College coaches don’t want to hear from the parents, e-mails should come from the player when inquiring about their program or introducing themselves. It is OK and encouraged for players to show some personality in your emails and interactions with the college coaches. Have your volleyball resume ready by your Junior year. Your resume needs to be only one page long and include your picture and jersey number.

There are typically two kinds of correspondence you may receive from colleges. Most often you receive a general letter with brief information about the university, athletic programs, and their upcoming volleyball camps at the college. Although it is great to receive this flattering letter from the university, is this true interest in you attending their university and playing volleyball? Only time will tell. Along with these mailings, many of you have been doing a great job emailing coaches to tell them of your interest in their schools and volleyball programs. Since coaches may not contact you they will email club coaches.  When we receive these emails and forward them to you, it is hard to judge the level of interest. They usually go something like this, “Dear XY, Thank you for your interest in our university. Currently we are evaluating the class of 20xx and we have you on our list of players to watch. Keep up the hard work and we look forward to hearing from you soon." At first glance this doesn't seem so bad. But we need to look further and ask the questions: 

Where am I on your list? 

Is a scholarship available in my class for my position? 

Where do you see me fitting in your volleyball program? 

What is your timeline to make a decision about that position? 

We will help you ask these tough questions and help you gauge where you are on the college coaches radar. 

Most of the time you will get a better feel of the coach and university from a few simple phone calls rather than a folder full of emails. We encourage you to call the coach often and always say Hello at the tournaments. We regularly organize college coaches clinics in our gym and invite coaches interested in our players. It does not matter if the coach from the school of your interest is present - talk to all of the coaches and get comfortable speaking about your interest in their college, team, and expectations about players and so on.Volleyball mastery is just one part of the puzzle. In order to play volleyball for the college of your dreams you have to fulfill the academic requirements of that college. Academic requirements differ among colleges and that’s one of the questions to ask the coach and admission office. Keep your GPA as high as possible and take the ACT test several times, to raise your subject scores. Don’t wait until your senior year to begin taking the tests. Some colleges may require the SAT test instead, do your research.

 

Recruiting Guides

The following websites are simple recruiting guides for families to use.

CBound- A Recruiting Guide for Athletes & Parents

College Board

College Volleyball Update

NCAA

Club Volleyball Information

These websites provide a database in which players can post their volleyball biography and coaches can search these biographies. Some of them allow you to post your videos and stats from your matches.

Rich Kern's Recruiting Registry

BeRecruited

University Athlete

CaptainU

Athletic Scholarships for Dummies - A book available on Amazon about athletic scholarships.

 

Below is the time line to help you take important steps on your way through high school to a college scholarship (based on collected information from different web sites):

 

Freshman (9th grade)

Settle into the high school environment. Get to work developing good classroom and home study habits. Learn to manage your time. Work hard on the junior high/high school team. Try to stay after with the coach to learn new skills or perfect basics. Play the best and most competitive spring/summer club volleyball that is available to you. Play with the best teams, at the best tournaments, against the best competition possible. Attend one or two comprehensive college summer camps.

Sophomore (10th grade)

Continue to study hard. You’ve probably heard it before, but it is very true. Your athletic ability means nothing if you can’t do the class work! If you can’t qualify for college academically, your talent and efforts will be wasted. Meet with your high school guidance counselor -- tell him/her of your desire to play college volleyball. You want to be on track with the NCAA required core courses. Play as much club volleyball as possible ... the more you play, the more experience you will get…and the more you should improve. Attend as many college summer camps as you can afford. This gives you a chance to learn new techniques, see different coaching styles and see many campuses. You will begin to find what things are important to you in a future school. Send out your first contact letters – include your club schedule and your junior year high school schedule. College coaches are not permitted to write back yet except to notify you they received your letter and to invite you to their summer camp. But you will get your name out in front of the coaches you want to play for. Plan Visits! Before your senior year, all of these visits are unofficial. This means that the college can’t pay for any part of the visit. These are done on your own. Call the coach and ask to meet with them, an academic advisor, and a professor in the major you care to pursue. Ask if you can attend a practice or match and meet the team afterwards. You will be starting to narrow down your college choices, so be thorough on this visit. You may be asked to make a decision before you will be allowed by the NCAA to take an official visit! 

Junior (11th grade)

SEPTEMBER 1st - Phone contact from college coaches is permissible.

Register with the NCAA Initial - Eligibility Clearinghouse (your high school guidance counselor should have these forms). Register for the fall ACT / SAT standardized tests. Most students take these tests at least twice. Try to schedule a winter date that won’t conflict with your club season. Request that your ACT/SAT test scores be sent to the NCAA Clearinghouse (there is a box on the application form that you check for this). Prepare a video clip to be sent out when requested. Ask for help from club coaches, parents, and club teammates. Continue club ball – but be selfish! If college ball is your ultimate goal, you need to play on a team with a lot of exposure. Play is the other concern. If you are on the club’s number one team, but never play, you won’t be noticed. Ask to move to the number two team where you can compete more often. As difficult as it may be, you will get the exposure you want. Focus this summer should be on attending camps of the schools you are really interested in. In this environment you will be able to gauge yourself against some of the best players, at each camp. The college coaches will be able to do the same.

Senior (12th grade)

DO NOT LET UP ACADEMICALLY - it may cost you your eligibility. Review core academic requirements with your guidance counselor. Make sure you are on track. Send out your club schedule. The first day of class for your senior year is the first day you may attend an official visit. If you haven’t already verbally committed take those visits ASAP! If you are offered an official visit -- prepare for your visit with a list of questions written down. (You’ll be amazed how nervous you will get – and you’ll forget what you wanted to ask!) Be prepared for any questions the college may have for you.

Early signing period dates vary slightly from year to year - it is usually in the middle of November. Check the NCAA website for the current dates.

© 2010 - 2015 Memphis Metro Volleyball

Back to Top