16, 17, and ATL Tryout Results


Our Recruiting Philosophy

Through our conversations with college coaches (and from coaching ourselves), we’ve learned there are four major things colleges look for in potential student-athletes:

             1.       Do you have the volleyball skill set and athleticism to help their team on the volleyball court?

2.       Do you fit in with the culture they’re trying to create on their team?

3.       Do you really want to go to their school?

4.       Are you mature enough to handle the demands of college athletics and academics?

Questions 2-4 drive our overriding philosophy, which is that because coaches need to be able to get to know you, the player, you need to be the one to reach out to schools yourself.  College coaches can’t evaluate #s 2-4 if they’re hearing from us at the club or from your parents (and if they are hearing from your parents, they’re probably going to assume the answers to #s 3 and 4 are “no,” and they won’t recruit you anyway). That said, we want to be there to guide you through the process.

All four questions combined drive the second part of our philosophy, which is that we as a club want to put you in the best position possible to be seen. As long as you’re willing to do the work contacting coaches and getting your name out there, we want to provide you with the tools to do that work efficiently and effectively.  To that end, here are some of the resources available to Cobb Atlanta players:  

1.       All CAJ players should feel free at any time to contact our recruiting coordinator, Kim Fletcher.  Kim played at Notre Dame, was an assistant at South Dakota State, and is currently an assistant at Kennesaw State, so she has experience with the recruiting process from both sides. She will send e-blasts to high school aged students with general recruiting information, will talk with coaches on your behalf, and she’s there to answer any and all question you have about how to navigate your recruiting process.

2.       One of the best services we offer is our partnership with sportsrecruits.net.  (Just to be clear, the club does not make anything financially off of this partnership and it is free to most 15+ CAJ players, so this isn’t a sales pitch!) Sports Recruits is a platform that allows you to keep an online profile; post video; search schools by region, academic selectivity, and athletic division; easily access coaches’ contact information; and keep track of who is viewing your videos and profile, and who is writing to you.  It’s a very easy to use one-stop shop for recruiting, which college coaches also love because (unlike many other online recruiting platforms) it doesn’t require them to create a login J. One of the biggest advantages of the tool from the club’s perspective is that it allows us to also get a general snapshot of your recruiting activity. We can tag schools that might be a good fit for you, and we can see what schools you are interested in without having to sit down and interview every player individually. If you have “favorited” a particular school and we see those coaches at a tournament, we can speak to them and tell them of your interest, even though you can’t legally have that contact in many instances. It’s really very handy for both players and coaches in the recruiting process, and we recommend that all players who are interested in competing at the next level sign up for it.

3.       If you need help making a skills video, we’re here for you.  That said, though, highlight videos are usually much more powerful than skills videos.  They show not only your ability to perform the skill, but your ability to do it in a live situation where you have to read the game in addition to performing the skill. If you want help creating a skills video, or have questions about what to include in a highlight video or how to use video editing software, we’d be happy to walk you through the process.

4.       If you’re not sure what to tell a coach or what to ask, we can help you with making initial contact and what information to include. 

5.       For those who are not yet juniors, some coaches can’t legally contact you back if you write to them.  If you copy a coach or Kim Fletcher (kimfletcher@cobbatlanta.com) on your email, though, those coaches CAN legally talk to us, and they can get you information through us.

Kim and the rest of the coaches at CAJ are here to answer any questions, comments, or concerns. We firmly believe that if it is your goal to play in college there’s a place for you. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get an offer to play at Penn State, but if you’re at Cobb Atlanta and you want to play at the next level, there is a school that wants you.  We’ll help you find them.

Kim Fletcher
Recruiting Coordinator


Years Coaching: 16

Years at Cobb Atlanta: 7

I started playing volleyball in 2nd grade because my older sister's team didn't have enough players to legally compete. It turns out my sister isn't very athletic (she'd be the first to admit that), so I think I fell in love with the game because it was the first thing I could beat her at :). I played club and high school ball in St. Louis, and went on to compete at the University of Notre Dame where we won a few conference championships and played in the NCAA tournament all four years. While I was still in school I started assisting my mom, Karen Fletcher, as she coached my younger brother's club team. Coaching boys is a whole different experience, but it was with that team that I realized that coaching could be just as fun as--and a whole lot more rewarding than--playing. I loved being there for a kid's first serve over the net, then their first ace. But that was nothing compared to helping them figure out how to manage their first loss, or getting them through that moment when they really don't think they're EVER going to figure out how to dive, jump serve, direct a 5-1, run a quick attack...whatever their challenge may be.

After college I took a couple of years to serve in the Peace Corps (as a teacher in The Gambia, West Africa), and then started working on my MA at Western Kentucky University. At Western, I got the chance to start coaching for what is now BRAVO, but at the time was Vette City. I also met a guy who wound up getting a job as a professor at Kennesaw State University, which brought me to Atlanta. My first summer in Atlanta I went back to Notre Dame to work their summer camp, where I met Nana Allison-Brewer, who was then an assistant at Dartmouth. We had a lot of the same ideas about both how the game should be taught and what should be taught through the game, so when she was hired as the head coach at South Dakota State, she asked if I would join her. Never one to turn down an adventure, I jumped on board. One of the things that came up in every player meeting Nana held was the idea that the girls needed to be "comfortable being uncomfortable." If they had a dream, or even just an "I wonder," they should pursue it and see what happens. At that point, my "I wonder" was "I wonder if I could have played in Europe." I was 27 at the time, and I knew if I didn't try then I wasn't going to. I also knew I was being disingenuous by sitting and telling the players they needed to pursue these ideas and not doing it myself. So after a season at SDSU, I flew over to Europe to try out, and wound up getting picked up for a season with the Sparkasse Wildcats out of Klagenfurt, Austria. To be honest, there's really nothing like getting paid to travel Europe and play a kids' game! I'm so, so glad I went, but I had also left that guy (Peter -- I guess he can have a name ;) ) from earlier in the story alone back in Atlanta, so after that year I returned to Kennesaw to try to settle down a little. When I came back I started working in Decatur, so I coached for a season with Tsunami Dekalb, but then in 2010 I began working on a PhD at KSU. At that point, I really wanted to keep coaching, but I didn't think I would have the time to take a full travel team, so Jessica (in the way that only she can) worked out a plan. We would have one team, that she called an ATL team, that would only practice once per week, and would only play in one-day tournaments. It would give 10 more kids the opportunity to play, but without the time, travel, and financial commitment required of the travel teams. I loved it. The players knew that they wouldn't get the same number of hours of instruction as the others, so they soaked up the time we had together. The parents were never in a gym for an entire weekend, and as a coach, it freed me up to not go completely insane while working, coaching, and going to school.

The next year, the "ATLs" went from being one team to being a program, and it keeps growing. In January of 2013, Kennesaw State hired Keith Schunzel to take the helm. Schunzel is also a St. Louis native, so after he was hired, I went into his office just to say hello and officially introduce myself. What with one thing and another, that July I was brought on as an assistant coach. I love every part of my job at KSU, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. One of the many great things about the KSU job is it allows me to continue directing the ATL program at Cobb Atlanta. Last year the ATLs expanded to 11 teams, and I would imagine they will keep growing for the foreseeable future. There seems to be a great demand for competitive teams that allow players to be multi-sport athletes, or involved in drama, band, choir, or other outside activities, and I'm so, so excited that Cobb Atlanta is able to provide that option to local families. And so, here's to a great '17-'18 season at Cobb Atlanta and with the ATLs!

Why do you love coaching at Cobb Atlanta?
I love coaching at Cobb Atlanta because the club's philosophy on athletics is in-line with my own. We both understand that sports, in and of themselves, can be used both in positive and negative directions. It is up to the club and the coaches within it to direct the experience in a way that it has a positive influence on the girls. You can see Cobb Atlanta's commitment to the well-being of their athletes in every decision they make, and I'm proud to be part of an organization that is determined to operate with the players' best interests at the fore.

Favorite Sports Quote:
"None of us is good enough...yet" - Head Coach Karch Kiraly to the U.S. Women's National Team in 2013