Indoor vs. Sand, the challenges coaches and families face as the sand volleyball recruiting opportunities grow!
On Friday January 17th 2014, I attended a Sand Summit at Irvine Valley College, to learn about the growth of beach volleyball and the challenges that lay ahead for college coaches, junior college coaches, high school and club coaches as well as the student athletes and their families. Coach Tom Pestolesi, Athletic Director of IVC Keith Shackleford, USA National Team Coach Karch Kiraly, and Head Coach of USC Anna Collier were key speakers at the event. It was a great opportunity to bring the volleyball community together and discuss how we can support the athletes and provide consistency among all the different organizations. Many of the coaches were generous with their time and information about how they were successful in bringing the sport to their institution, and how others can do the same at all levels. We discussed budgeting, facilities, recruiting, rulebooks, game balls, and the events that CBVA, USA High Performance, the AVP, and NVL will be offering throughout the spring and summer.
Indoor and sand coaches were both able to share the challenges they face while some of the athletes are trying to juggle the indoor and sand schedules. As a college volleyball recruiting expert, I shared how many of my clients feel stressed about choosing one sport over the other. Many are pursuing both indoor and sand volleyball recruiting options, and trying to find a way to balance it all without upsetting a coach, or a teammate. This topic was a major discussion among the coaches that were present.
To the student athletes and the families who are experiencing this same challenge, it is best to have a meeting with your coaches and club directors to discuss the spring NOW! First, you need to sit down as a family to discuss any obstacles you faced last season, or if this is new to your family, what you believe you will encounter. You need to take a look at the schedules and plan ahead as much as possible, so these events can be discussed during your meeting. Do not wait until you are forced to make a decision to participate in one event or another! It’s not fair to the coaches, your teammates, or your family. Communication is key if you are going to try to make this work. Many of the schedules have already been posted, so you can look at your indoor tournament schedule, and compare with the sand tournament schedules to come up with a list of events you would like to participate in during the spring. If you are training with a sand club, which is different from your indoor club, you will want to share your indoor practice schedule to find a way to balance the sand schedule. This goes for the high school sand teams as well. You will need to communicate with your high school coaches to share your schedule as early as possible. There is going to be some discomfort for all parties involved, no doubt about it. To overcome the obstacles which lay ahead, communicating with your coaches is going to be a priority!
The scheduling conflicts are only the beginning of the obstacles that lay ahead. Sand volleyball is exploding throughout the country. Clubs are opening all over, and colleges are announcing sand programs as an addition to their varsity sports. Just last week, Texas Christian University announced they will be adding sand in the spring of 2015. Many, many, more will be announcing each year. To follow the growth of sand volleyball, take a look at CollegeSand.org. To learn more about college sand and indoor recruiting opportunities, schedule a free consultation with college volleyball recruiting expert Kara Hill of My Recruiting Solutions. You can email me at [email protected], or call 888-354-0052. My Recruiting Solutions is an educational resource for student athletes who want to play volleyball in college. We focus our efforts in helping student athletes find the “perfect fit” in a college institution.