Understanding the college volleyball recruiting timeline during the club season is necessary to best guide your student athlete through the process!
As a college volleyball recruiting expert, I am often asked when athletes should get started in the recruiting process and how often the student athlete should remain in contact with the programs throughout the club season. Getting started early is key! Sophomore year is best! The reality is, your son or daughter needs time to figure out what they want in their college experience! This is not something that happens overnight. You need to set up campus tours at a variety of different schools to get an idea of where your student athlete feels most comfortable. Some athletes see themselves in a large setting, and others prefer a smaller more intimate setting. Regardless of the athletic ability of your athlete, you can find a program that fit’s their needs.
January is the beginning of the club volleyball season in the United States. You need to film, edit, and upload video footage of your student athlete onto YouTube before you can begin the recruiting process. Never email a college coach without current video!
To begin, I would recommend doing a college search on College Board. By using the search filters, you will be able to generate a list of several schools that fit your student athlete’s interests. The challenge will be to determine whether the colleges are an athletic fit. If you choose to work with My Recruiting Solutions, we will do an athletic evaluation, and create a prospective list of college programs that are an academic and athletic fit for you.
You also need to create a profile on the University Athlete website if you have not done so already. If you have created a profile, you need to login and make sure all the information is to up to date. Click here to see my video on the importance of having a University Athlete recruiting profile.
Use Excel to list your prospective college programs. You will create a column for the name of the school, location, size of enrollment, coach and mascot. Our lists include much more for our clients, such as the average SAT/ACT score, average GPA, tuition etc. Your list does not need to be as detailed unless you want it to be. I like using Excel because you are able to color coordinate which colleges have responded, who is/is not interested, and who you are no longer interested in as you go through the process.
Another very helpful application to help keep you organized is Evernote! Evernote is free, and I recommend creating notebooks for each college who is recruiting you. Each time you correspond with a coach, you create a note for the college program’s notebook. Over time, you will have a collection of notes of all your conversations with the coach. This application sync’s to every device you own!
By the end of the month of January, you will have completed the following tasks: create a general interest letter, built a prospective list of college programs, created a University Athlete profile, and emailed the coaches with video footage from either your high school or club season, and a tournament schedule. As college coaches respond, you will schedule phone calls to learn more about their programs, and keep notes in Excel and Evernote to keep you organized.
During the month of February, there are many competitive volleyball tournaments that college coaches travel to recruit. The biggest is the Las Vegas Classic Tournament. You will need to send at least 1 video and 2 email updates about how your team is doing thus far! Whatever you do, do not email a coach without video! You are wasting your time, and there’s, as they are unable to continue to evaluate you as a recruit.
By March, you should have made significant progress in building relationships with college coaches and their program. You will have made multiple phone calls, shared at least 3 videos of your club season, and begun coordinating campus visits. You will need to compare your tournament schedule, to the NCAA Recruiting Calendar, to ensure you avoid planning a visit during a “dead period” or tournament weekend. It’s likely your campus visits will conflict with your high school schedule, so communication with your high school teachers will be very important.
April is the best month to visit colleges because you need to visit while classes are in session. Please try to avoid visiting colleges in the summer! Your athlete cannot get an idea of what the college life is like when classes are not in session. You want them to experience life on campus as it would be if they were attending school. I have seen athletes who visited a college in the summer and say they hate it, and visit the same school in the fall or spring and say it’s the perfect fit.
During May and June your season is wrapping up! You will need to share 1 highlight video per month, to show a college coach how you are progressing, and to stand out from the competition. The end of year tournaments are a time when college coaches may be narrowing down their list of recruits, and determining which athletes they want to offer. You will receive a ton of camp invitations, and if you have followed my timeline closely, your student athlete may be narrowing down to a few programs.
If you are trying to navigate through the recruiting process on your own, you can expect to spend at least 300 hours during the club season, not including college visits. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, confused and even frustrated. It’s not necessary to navigate through this process all on your own. If you feel you need help with the recruiting process, send me an email at Kara@myrecruitingsolutions.com or call me at 888-354-0052. I host a series of online recruiting classes that simplify this process, or work with student athletes individually. My team spends over 100 hours with each athlete, between the college counseling, video editing, and coordinating visits. We have a 100% success rate. To see a list of our services, click here. To register for our online recruiting classes click here.