Volleyball is one of the nation’s most popular scholastic sports with nearly 450,000 students playing competively at the high school level. But with only 7500 college scholarships available for women and 400 for men, students must begin early to attract the attention of college recruiters.
Players hoping to be recruited to play college volleyball must begin preparing early for serious scholarship consideration. Playing on club teams and attending volleyball training camps are excellent ways to develop and hone the skills that coaches look for. Recruiters attend these camps, and also scout for players at regional tournaments, national qualifiers, and Junior Olympic Tournaments.
College coaches evaluate athletes on a number of skills. Hitting, setting, serving, passing and digging, and blocking are skills players should master before reaching the college level. Other traits such as team play, strong work ethic, ability and willingness to learn, and physical conditioning are also important.
Understand the Recruiting Process
Athletes hoping to play volleyball in college should understand the NCAA recruiting guidelines. A good place to start is by obtaining a copy of the “College-Bound Student-Athlete Guide” located at NCAA.org. This guide covers everything the student-athlete must know, including eligibility standards, academic requirements, and the recruiting process.
Athletes must also register with the NCAA Prospective Student-Athlete Eligibility Center. This site provides an excellent guide to recruitment preparation beginning as early as the ninth grade. There is no time requirement, but it’s a good idea to register by at least the junior year of high school. High school guidance counselors are also a good scholarship information resource.
High school seniors should forward a volleyball resume’ package to prospective college coaches. It should contain a cover letter, printed resume’, and a video or DVD. The resume’ should give a detailed history from club participation to tournament play, and should include any camps attended. The video should show every aspect of play, highlighting defensive and offensive skills and abilities.