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Recruiting

What Level Should I Target in My Recruiting Search?

Hi All! 

Another question I get a lot is “where do I fit?” Or, “where should I target my time and effort to have the best chance at getting an offer?”

That question is a tough one because, as mentioned in an earlier post, there is a lot of variation even within the D-I, D-II, and D-III ranks.  That said, there are some stats available on averages at each level. So here are some typical qualifications for athletes at each level (most of this is borrowed from NCSA’s recruiting guidelines).

Note that not all athletes fit these guidelines. In general, though, if you do not fit the "build" or "athletic" guidelines for a given level, you'll have to make up for it in another area.  For example, a hitter who only touches 9' 8" may be able to contribute to a Top 100 school at the DI level if she attacks at an exceptional velocity, or has outstanding ball control. These numbers are useful as a starting point, though: 

NCAA DI - Top 100 Schools:

High School Experience:

  • 3-4 Year Varsity Starter
  • Team Captain
  • High School or VB Magazine All-Americans

Club Experience:

  • 5+ Years on a national-level club team
  • High finishes at the Open level in Qualifiers
  • All-American or National All-Tournament Recognition

Average Characteristics by Position:

Position

Height Range

Recruiting Rules

Hi Cobb Atlantans! 

One of the more complicated parts of the recruiting process is all of the rules. Who can contact me? Who can’t contact me? Who can I contact and when? 

It can get be a little overwhelming at first, but there are really only a few big things you need to worry about from the student-athlete’s perspective: 

1) The main thing to know is this: The recruiting rules restrict what college coaches can do, NOT what players or club coaches can do.  As a player, you can contact a coach almost any time (just don’t walk up to them at a tournament, because they have to uncomfortably turn you away).  But feel free to email or call coaches all you want.  

2) There are two times you can almost always legally have a conversation with college coaches no matter what age you are: (1) If you call a coach and they answer they are ALWAYS allowed to talk, and (2) if you are on their campus they are almost always allowed to talk. If you’re a freshman or sophomore and you really want to impress a coach, call their office during the work day. As long as they pick up, you can ask them all the questions you want. You can also email them and try to set up an unofficial visit to their campus (a visit that you pay for), where you can meet the coaches face-to-face and get to know each other as people. The only time you can't have that meeting on their campus is during what the NCAA calls a "dead period," but coaches won't set up visits during dead periods, so make sure they know you're coming -- don't just pop onto their campus and hope to chat :). 

3) Even if a coach can’t legally contact you, they CAN legally contact your coach or me. If you are a freshman or sophomore, include your coach’s contact info and/or my contact info on any communication you send out. If the college coach wants to respond, they’ll reach out to us and we can pass it on to you. 

4) At NAIA schools, there are almost no rules. It’s worth it to learn which schools in Georgia are NAIA schools: Brenau, Brewton-Parker, Coastal Georgia, Dalton State, Emmanuel, Life, Middle Georgia, Point, Reinhardt, and Truett-McConnell.  It’s worth learning because you can contact those coaches and they can contact you at literally any time (as freshmen, at tournaments, whenever). You can also visit those schools and practice with the team while you're still in high school, unlike at NCAA schools. (A list of the other schools in Georgia and their divisions is here.)  

What do NCAA, NAIA, and Division I, II, and III mean?

One of the most common comments I hear is “I don’t even know what these DI, DII, DIII, and NAIA things are.” If you’re one of the people who have had that thought, this post is for you! (If you know what they are, but want to know which schools are in which category, skip down to Item 3.)

1) The difference between the NCAA and NAIA: The NCAA and NAIA can best be thought of as two different governing organizations over collegiate athletics in the US. Universities choose which one they want to belong to.  In general, NAIA schools are smaller (< 3,000 students), while NCAA schools tend to be a little bigger, but that’s just the trend. You do see some slightly larger NAIA schools and some smaller NCAA schools.

The NCAA and NAIA have different rule sets for both recruiting and for playing the game, but we'll talk about those in another post.

2) The difference between NCAA D-I, D-II, and D-III. Division I, II, and III schools are all under the NCAA umbrella. The major thing that separates them is the way scholarships work. 

At fully funded D-I schools, they get 12 full scholarships (tuition, room, board, books) that they CANNOT divide (i.e., fully funded DI schools are not allowed to give partial scholarships).  The way D-I schools get around that is they may offer students scholarships for one or two years out of four. A “one-for-four” or “two-for-four” would be a D-I school’s way of giving a 25% scholarship or a 50% scholarship. 

At D-II schools, they have 8 athletic scholarships that they can divide any way they want.  So at D-IIs, that’s where you see players getting 50% scholarships, or “full tuition” scholarships where tuition is covered but the player is still responsible for books, fees, room, and board.  (NAIA schools operate like NCAA D-II schools for scholarships. NAIA schools also have 8 to divide any way they want.)

At D-III schools, they are not allowed to give athletic scholarships of any kind.  D-III schools can only give academic scholarships. Some D-IIIs are able to work things out so athletes are able to “find” a little more academic money, but that really depends on the school. 

Due to these scholarship rules, what you TEND to see is that D-I schools are the most competitive athletically (because they can pay the most), D-III schools are the least competitive, and NAIA and D-II schools fall somewhere in between. BUT, there is a lot of overlap. For example, Emory University is D-III, so none of their players are on athletic scholarships, but I would bet at the moment Emory would beat 3 or 4 of the 7 D-I schools in the state of Georgia. Even though they are D-III, they are a very, very good volleyball (and academic!) school. 

Setting Up University Athlete

Every high school volleyball player who wants to play in college should make sure they have an up-to-date profile on University Athlete. UA is a free service that college coaches use to track recruits.  As a Cobb Atlanta player, you already have a profile set up. You need to request access to your profile, though, in order to edit your info and make sure it is complete and up to date.  

To get into your UA profile:

1) Go to www.universityathlete.com

2) Click on “register”

3) Fill in in the registration form. It will ask for your USAV number. If you don’t know it, you can find it on your team’s roster page of the SRVA website (SRVA.org --> Clubs --> Juniors --> Cobb Atlanta --> Your team name).

4) After you fill out that form, you should get an email with info about how to log in.

5) Once you get that email, fill in all of the info that you are willing to share with college coaches. At a minimum, I would put your parents'/guardians' names, your email address, your coaches’ email addresses, and my email address (kimfletcher@cobbatlanta.com) on there. It wouldn’t hurt to put your cell# and address down too, though.

That’s it for right now! As always, let me know if you have any questions or problems!

Kim

P.S. If you have a Sports Recruits profile and you haven't started "favoriting" schools, do that now! Ideally, every CAJ player should have at least 20 schools tagged. 

 

How To: Wite an Email to College Coaches

How To: Wite an Email to College Coaches

Original article: https://sportsrecruits.com/blog/2015/05/02/how-to-write-an-email-to-coll...

 

As a high school student athlete, one of the first ways to get on the radar of a college coach in the recruiting process is by sending them a Letter of Interest – or, more aptly titled, an Introductory Email.

The email serves as a starting point of your correspondence with that coach and school, while also highlighting your interest in the program. This is an essential step, as being proactive is the only way to ensure a coach is aware of you and your interest
in their program.

Where to start when writing these notes? While there is no “right” answer, there are some things to be cognizant of when writing.

Here are some “Do’s” and “Do Not’s” to consider. While by no means a comprehensive list, using them as guidelines should put you on the right track.

 

DO

Spell Check Everything, Twice

Spell check and fact check everything. Then, do it again. While this may seem like common sense, the number of instances college coaches have mentioned where spelling or grammatical errors occur would come as a shock to most.

Recruiting Update 4/11

Hello All!

This is just a quick reminder that the Regional Championship will be a great place to be seen by local college coaches.  If you are interested in any schools in this general area (Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, the Carolinas, or Florida), reach out to them soon and let them know you're interested in their school and you'll be playing next weekend!

As always, remember to include:

1) Your name
2) Your graduation year.
3) Your position and height (if you're a setter or attacker)
4) Your full club team name (whatever they will need in order to find your team on AES).
5) A link to video!!!
6) Freshmen and sophomores, include contact information for your coaches and/or me so the college coaches have someone they can legally contact.

If you don't have any video yet, (a) jump on that! and (b) that's OK, send out the information anyway and let them know of your interest. Tell them you'll send some video later, then do that.

Freshmen and sophomores, for those of you who haven't really started your process yet, now is the time! As this recruiting season winds down toward the end of the year, coaches start to take a look at younger classes to see who may be coming up.  Get your name on their list early so they know who you are as they start to narrow down what they're looking for!

As always, if you all need anything, please feel free to reach out.

Thanks!

Coach Kim
kimfletcher@cobbatlanta.com

Finding a College Home

Hi Cobb Atlantans!

I hope you all enjoyed your winter break and are ready to hit the ground running again. This week's message is going to be short, because I want to make sure it gets driven home: Players find a volleyball home when they do their research and reach out to schools. That's it.

VBR has thousands of athletes on the site, so they've been able to collect a ton of data on who ultimately commits to a school and who doesn't.  They've found that the biggest correlates with finding a home are: # of schools a player has "favorited," and # of schools a player has contacted.  That's it.  Not vertical jump, 40-yard dash, position, or club name.  If you want to find a school, you've got to do your research, and you've got to put your name out there.

If you've been waiting to do either of those things, get started!!  If you need help, you know where to find me!

Kim

Volleyball Recruiting Advice - 2005 Coach of the Year Jon Wallace

By Chad Zimmerman

Volleyball Magazine’s award as 2005 National Coach of the Year solidified Jon Wallace’s rep as one of the nation’s finest. Besides leading the Santa Clara women’s team to the NCAA playoffs in each of his eight years as head coach, Wallace took the Broncos to the Final Four in 2005. Powered by some of the nation’s top recruiting classes, Santa Clara has averaged more than 20 wins per season during Wallace’s tenure.

Here, the coaching superstar speaks on the recruiting criteria he uses to produce one of the most consistent programs in collegiate volleyball.

How important is academic performance?

JW: Academics are very important at Santa Clara. We look at SAT numbers and GPAs to determine work ethic and desire to get a college degree. I’ll take the kid with a good GPA but low SATs any day of the week, because I feel she’ll give you effort in the classroom. With the opposite—a high SAT but lower GPA—that’s a red flag of a smart athlete who might not put the time and effort into homework, which says she has a poor work ethic.

You recruit for certain positions in certain years. Is that something a player needs to research?

JW: Without a doubt. A school’s [positional needs] are among the first things the athlete needs to research. In certain years, we don’t look for a hitter; instead we look for a middle blocker or setter. Ask the coach, or go online and look at rosters—see who’s graduating and who’s incoming. Communicating with the coach through email or a direct phone call is really the best way to find out, though. 

How do you find potential Bronco volleyball players?

JW: Definitely through club volleyball. I can go to one high school match and see 12 kids play or one club tournament and see 1,000 kids play. Also, clubs usually have a higher level of play; you can compare players against others who are as good or better. Recruiting services that rate student-athletes are also helpful. They list sophomore and junior players who they think are good. We also recruit from USA development squads.

What qualities can really hurt an athlete’s chances?

JW: Attitude is a big thing. You can be your team’s best player, but are you their leader? I look for that for when times are tough in a match. I look at character to find out if she helps her team get better, or just makes herself better. Any time I hear a kid has drinking or drug problems, another red flag goes up. If those are problems in high school, they will be in college, too.

Do you have any advice about Facebook and [twitter]?

Recruiting Media Guide Form

 

 

 


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Action Items

1. MAKE A TARGET LIST
 
One of the first, and more essential, steps in the recruiting process is to make a Target List of schools you are interested in.  This will help you narrow down schools to contact and give you a sense of direction when deciding where you want to attend college.  When beginning your Target List you want to consider some of these questions, as well as others.  How big or a small of a school do I want to attend? What state or region of the country? How academically selective?
 
We encourage all players to keep an open mind and be realistic when selecting their list of schools. For example, if you are a 5’8” Middle Blocker, with a jump touch of 9’3”, coaches from top DI programs (Stanford, Penn State, Nebraska, etc.) are not going to pay you much attention.  However, this player may be the perfect fit for a DIII program.  If you don’t know what programs might be a good fit for you athletically, ask for some feedback from your coaches.  They have seen hundreds of players go on to play at the various levels, and they will be able to offer you good insight.
 
2. APPLY TO STRONG ACADEMIC SCHOOLS
 
As you might suspect, college coaches frequently work with admission officers to get student-athletes admitted who might otherwise not qualify academically or are “on the bubble.”  Of course, this does not mean a student whose academic profile is significantly below the school’s minimums will be accepted simply at the coach’s request.
 
However, if you are within a reasonable distance of a school’s SAT/ACT and grade requirements, and are an athlete the coach is seeking to add to his squad, the coach probably has a good shot at getting you into his/her school if he pushes hard enough. However, there are limits to what a coach can do. By working as hard as you can in the classroom and on the SAT / ACT exams, you greatly increase your odds.
 
At some schools, admission requirements may not be as stringent for recruits as they are for non-athletes.  Ivy League or NESCAC schools may require a student to possess at least a 3.6 GPA and 2200 SAT, yet a sought-after athletic recruit may only need to have a 3.3 GPA and 1950 SAT. Every situation is different though. Be prepared by working hard in the classroom and taking pride in your academics.
 
Remember, coaches at strong academic D-III schools seek good athletes just like their counterparts at the top D-I programs.  Their sports programs have every bit as much tradition and history, sometimes even more than the big D-I schools.  And when you graduate, you have an excellent chance of obtaining a great job or being admitted to a graduate school of your choice.

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