Focus on grades and ACT/SAT scores
Getting recruited to play college volleyball starts with having a good ACT score and GPA. To get recruited to college and earn a scholarship, grades are a very important factor. Achieving good grades can reflect your self-discipline and how coachable you are. Another important factor is that with a strong ACT and GPA you can receive additional scholarships at many institutions which increase your chances of recruitment. Taking ACT and SAT test prep courses and receiving high scores on your college entrance exams will also be beneficial.
Play Club Volleyball
If you want to play in college and receive a scholarship, then improving your skills by playing all year-round is a necessity. Find a competitive club that travels and provides excellent training, such as at Team Momentum. Make sure your club has knowledgeable coaches who understand the recruiting process and have college contacts.
Compete in National Qualifiers
Pick a club team that travels to National Qualifiers. Qualifiers will be held monthly in different regions of the country. Hundreds of college coaches and recruiters attend these qualifiers. Remember most college coaches are not looking at what level your team is competing at, they are looking at specific players and anyone else who catches there attention. So playing at a level that is competitive and winnable can be more beneficial than playing at a level that your team can’t win at. The more games you play the more opportunities the coaches have to see you.
Every Qualifier there is a try out for USA Volleyball high performance teams. College coaches get a list of players who try out. Several coaches will look at this list throughout the tournament and this at least puts you on their radar.
Stay competitive in the Summer
If you do happen to make the High Performance team you will attend a two-week camp during the summer.
There are also several summer skill clinics that will refine your skills. PlyoCity St. Louis offers several excellent programs over the summer. You can do private lessons to work on specific skills, small groups for more individualized but less expensive training, Elite Reps for more touches, or group classes and clinics to sharpen skills.
Many of the Universities that you are interested in offer camps and this is a great way to meet the coaches and let them work with you to see what you can do. Most of the current college players work these camps so it’s a great opportunity for you to bond with the team and see if you’re a good fit for the program.
Do Physical Training
Elite athletes must be in excellent physical condition. Even the most skilled player needs to be able to jump high, have quick feet and move explosively on the court. Performance training will help an athlete play better, play longer and avoid injuries and muscle imbalances. Team Momentum includes plyometric training with regular practices. PlyoCity offers speed and agility training throughout the year.
Once you sign with a college it is still advisable to keep training. Showing up to the first week of college practice in shape is a great way to start for your college playing career and stand out in a positive way.
Be a Good Role Model
College coaches typically have a lot of talent to choose from. In addition to looking for great athletes coaches look for great people. Coaches have been known to pay attention to what players do between plays and before and after matches. Are you enthusiastic, encouraging and positive? Are you a team player with a good attitude?
Coaches will often ask for HS and Club coach as well as personal references. Other sources of background information are Facebook and other social media sites. Increase your chances for being recruited by being a well rounded player with a strong work ethic and good leadership skills.
Be Open-minded and Communicate with Coaches
It is ok to want to play at the #1 program at the Division I level. If you have the grades and the talent then absolutely pursue that school. While trying to get recruited by that top program you also want to apply to several other programs at all different levels. Be broad in you scope of schools. Many Division II and NAIA programs are as athletically and academically comparable to some Division I programs.
When pursuing these schools always email the head coach, first assistant, and second assistant and recruiting coordinator. Also don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call all the coaches. You want to stay fresh on all of their minds.
NCAA Eligibility Center: http://web1.ncaa.org/ECWR2/NCAA_EMS/NCAA.jsp
NCAA Clearinghouse (NCAA DI & DII bound athletes) https://web1.ncaa.org/eligibilitycenter/common/index.html
NAIA Eligibility Center: http://www.playnaia.org/page/eligibility.php
Directory of Colleges/Universities that offer Volleyball and their divisions http://volleyball.org/college/index.html
Gateway Volleyball: http://www.gatewayvb.org/j-recruittools.html
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