Some would argue that true luck is when preparation meets opportunity … and with the highly competitive nature of Collegiate level Volleyball, we encourage you to take both by the horns.
College volleyball is highly selective, highly competitive, and requires a high level of commitment, with only 4% of women’s high school volleyball players in the U.S. actually going on to compete in collegiate sports. Further still, only 1.1% of those athletes make the NCAA Division 1 volleyball cut…
This is why being prepared to go after the opportunity is crucial to success.
The Recruitment Process
The process for recruiting talent at the college level is meticulous and thorough. Players are evaluated based on their technical skills, athleticism, game intelligence, and character both on and off the court. Professional Sports Management recruiters will regularly go to tournaments, and sports clubs, review game tapes and highlight reels, and communicate with coaches looking for top talent.
After key athletes are identified, recruiters will also interview athletes and make on-campus evaluations to assess better their dedication, work ethic, and compatibility with our team’s values. After a thorough assessment, recruiters help athletes develop their professional repertoire, highlight reels, and resumes before pitching them to schools and coaches that most closely match athletic ability, team needs, and the player’s academic goals.
7 Tips for Players to Get Noticed
To get discovered by Volleyball coaches and to potentially earn scholarships, players need to really fire on all cylinders and be actively preparing and engaging with the recruitment process.
Here are StellaPop’s top seven tips for getting prepared and chasing opportunities:
1. A Killer Highlight Reel:
A well-edited highlight reel is critical for volleyball players, providing a short, concise, and visually compelling showcase of their skills, athleticism, and game intelligence. Coaches for top schools and teams get inundated with inquiries, so a well-curated highlight reel immediately captures their attention. It allows coaches to quickly assess a player’s abilities and potential, often deciding in the minute whether or not they’ll pursue further evaluation of that player.
In general, coaches look for technique and athleticism, so include clips of your agility, jump height, technical skills, and positional awareness to tip the scales in favor of getting an in-person evaluation from coaches.
2. Curate Your Stats Selection:
Volleyball is all about your height and verified stats. To catch the eye of coaches and recruiters, couple your highlight reel with a tidy set of statistics. Make sure to include your: vertical jump, standing reach, attack jump, approach jump, and block jump. Between your stats and highly curated highlight reel, you give coaches the best possible evaluation of your skills.
3. Expand Your Scope:
If you fall short of meeting D1 recruiting criteria for your desired position, consider exploring opportunities at D2, D3, NAIA, and junior college levels. College coaches often prioritize versatile players, so don’t limit yourself to a single role or a single level. Coaches may see potential in shifting middle hitters to the right side or converting setters into defensive specialists. The ability to excel in passing and defense is highly valuable, as it allows players to be seamlessly adaptable across various positions on the court and fill various needs of the team.
4. Showcase a Positive Attitude:
Volleyball demands mental resilience and a high level of team and volleyball IQ. Coaches value clear decision-making in high-pressure situations, so they are always assessing the player’s court awareness, strategic ball placement, coachability, and teamwork in addition to skills. Attitude, body language, and composure under pressure are critical, so be sure to display your athletic performance, positive attitude, and ability to support and lead the team.
Recruiters and coaches want to see that you’re cool, calm, and, above all, coachable in the heat of the moment.
5. Play on a High-Level Club Team:
Playing on a high-level volleyball club team is one of the key resources coaches lean into when they are looking for new talent.
Club volleyball offers college-bound players the opportunity to compete alongside equally skilled teammates and accelerate their development over the course of a year. By joining a club team, players stay active year-round and provide more chances for coaches to assess their collegiate potential. Create even more visibility by sharing your volleyball resume and highlight reel with coaches before each tournament and inviting them to watch!
6. Start Early:
To get noticed in college volleyball recruitment, players must actively prepare as early as middle school, which underscores the importance of early engagement and being prepared. By starting early, athletes can curate the development of their skills, build relationships with coaches and recruiters, and gain a heck of a lot more exposure over the years leading up to recruitment. Dedication to training, honing fundamental techniques, and participating in high-level competitions are essential to players positioning themselves in front of the right coaches.
7. Communicate with Coaches:
For pro-potential athletes, contacting college coaches early on is crucial in the recruitment process. Begin by researching the programs that align with your goals and playing style before crafting personalized emails that highlight your achievements, academic standing, and genuine interest in their program.
Include relevant game footage or a sports resume showcasing your skills, and attend college showcase events and camps where you can interact with coaches directly. Actively engage with coaches on social media platforms, but remember that professionalism and persistence are key.
Be proactive, follow up, and maintain open lines of communication to maximize your chances of catching the attention of college coaches.
And if you want to up your game even more, consider working with a professional recruitment team like StellaPop to maximize your network and your potential!