Junior Nationals (JN’s) and AAU’s are around the corner, are you prepared? This is a crazy time of year for everyone! As we approach these major recruiting tournaments at the end of the season, this is the time of year you need to re-evaluate. I would highly recommend you review all of the emails you have received from college coaches throughout the season. Did you miss anything? Certainly you are receiving camp invites, however is there anything more personal written?
It’s natural to feel overwhelmed and confused by the process. It’s not always clear where you stand with a coach or college program. Below I have outlined how to prepare before Nationals by age group.
At this point, a strategy should become clear on where you should focus your energy. Are you making progress in Division 1, 2, 3, or NAIA? If you have not begun visiting college campuses, I would highly recommend you get on the ball now! It’s important for you to define what kind of environment you feel you will succeed. For example, do you envision a small campus, or large campus? It’s impossible to define what your needs are without visiting college campuses.
You also need to consider the volleyball program, and coaching staff. If none of the schools are exciting to you, it will be important to cast a wider net to expand your search. Do not get caught up in the “name game.” Just because you have not heard of a school, doesn’t mean it’s not the right fit. The only way to know is to define what you are looking for in your college experience, and see how it matches up.
Phone calls leading up to Nationals are a critical part of the process! College coaches will only receive a few calls per week, so this is something than can be a differentiator. It’s also more likely to lead to an evaluation.
Depending on how much exposure you have received this season, you could be pretty close to making a commitment. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, confused and nervous this time of year for juniors. It’s important that you do not give up, and focus on the positive. The majority of athletes do not get picked up until there senior year. It’s not too late to get recruited!
Sophomores and Freshman:
If you have not begun the process, you need to do so now! I would highly recommend developing a prospective list of college programs, and a highlight reel. It’s critical you get this out before Nationals or AAU’s. The goal should be to make contact at least 3 times for these tournaments. As this point, you are casting a wide net to see where you make some traction. In other words, who is showing interest in you?
Next week, I will provide guidance on creating a prospective list of college programs. For guidance on where to begin the recruiting process, email [email protected] and we can set up a consultation. I’d be happy to point you in the right direction and get you started on the right foot.