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SILVER STATE VOLLEYBALL CLUB RECRUITING GUIDE 2014-2015 | Written by Jim Saari, College Recruiting Director | (775) 250-1755

Wednesday Feb 18, 2015

THE BASICS OF VOLLEYBALL RECRUITING

Terms to Know

NCAA Clearinghouse or Eligibility Center (eligibilitycenter.org) – is the NCAA office that certifies a student-athletes academic credentials to be eligible for Division I and II athletics. You cannot make an official visit to a DI or DII school without being at least registered with the clearinghouse.

NCAA Division I – 325 Volleyball teams at some of the most well known schools (Stanford, Nevada,Texas, North Carolina, Penn State, etc). Division I schools are permitted to offer scholarships to up to 12 student athletes for volleyball. Schools that are "fully funded" will only offer full scholarships. Partially funded programs will split scholarships and stack with academic and need based aid money to make you an offer. Note: The Ivy League is Division 1 but does not offer athletic scholarships. The season is August and into December, with off-season training through the spring and even summer months at many schools. This is the highest level of college athletics, and is the most demanding.

NCAA Division II – 250ish Volleyball teams at lesser known schools (Felician, Wingate, Tampa, Lemoyne, Mercy, etc). Division II schools are permitted to divide the value of 8 full scholarships among a larger number of student athletes. Many DII schools only have between 1-3 scholarships, which they divide and stack with academic and need based aid, but seldom is it a full package. The season lasts from August through November, with either a limited spring training season, or they have recently approved the addition of sand volleyball as a spring sport which some schools may be adding soon.

NCAA Division III – 425 Volleyball teams at a variety of schools (Washington U of St Louis, NYU, Chicago, Johns Hopkins, Smith, etc). Division III schools CANNOT offer athletic scholarships, but they do often have academic scholarships available for qualified students. The season lasts from late August and into November. The spring season is limited to 16 days over 4 weeks, however some schools do not have an offseason, either for academic or financial reasons.

NAIA, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (naia.org) – (Concordia CA, Southern Oregon, Missouri Baptist, Fresno Pacific, Vanguard, etc). A rival organization to the NCAA made up of mostly religious based institutions but does have some public schools. Their recruiting rules are simpler, but the schools are typically low profile. A player who is not an academic qualifier with the NCAA out of high school can go to an NAIA school for a year, get good grades and transfer to an NCAA school and be eligible.

NJCAA, National Junior College Athletic Association (njcaa.org) – is an association of 2 year colleges NJCAA is divided into Divisions I, II and III. Most Division I schools have 8-12 full scholarships, and are typically located in Florida, Alabama, Arizona or the plains states. Division II can offer tuition only scholarships. Note: California members of the NJCAA do not offer athletic scholarships but are very reasonably priced.

YEAR BY YEAR RECRUITING GUIDE

Freshman Year
  • Meet with your high school guidance counselor to create a 4-year educational plan to include all 16 NCAA core course requirements.
  • Enjoy volleyball
  • Improve your skill
Recruit "to do" list:

Sophomore Year (preliminary recruiting year for Elite level sophomores who stand out b/c of skill, athleticism or height)

  • Register with University Athlete www.universityathlete.com (free) and keep your information updated.
  • Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center www.ncaaeligibilitycenter.org and receive a pin number to begin your eligibility process.
  • Meet with your high school guidance counselor to assure you are on track with the 16 NCAA core course requirements.
  • Compile a concise athletic resume which includes: name, address, phone number, email address, coaches’ contact info, height, weight, jump reach, grade point average etc.
  • Write an initial letter of interest to the colleges you are considering. Be brief. Be personal. Proof read your email, be careful if you cut and paste that you get the name of the coach correct with the name of their school!
  • Put together a skills/game footage tape to upload to YouTube. Include this link in your introduction emails. DON’T SEND JUST SEND A HIGHLIGHT REEL, they want real time play action (including your mistakes and what you do off the ball). However, NEVER send a video of yourself that is below your "B" level, even if they are begging for it. A "sweet spot" video is one that has a skills session of you at your best and a 2-5 minute unedited match section where you make a variety of good plays (say 3 kills, 2 blocks, 2 digs, and an ace serve).
  • Think before you sign up to a recruiting service, it is very easy to put video onto YouTube, it is FREE, AND COLLEGE COACHES PREFER A SIMPLE VIDEO LINK. (Recruiting services often have an inconvenient and time consuming sign up and login process for coaches – so they simply delete emails from or through these services!)
  • It is not too early to take unofficial visits to college campuses that you may be interested in.
    • Call the volleyball coaching staff to communicate your interest – remember if they cannot call you back if you leave a voicemail, so tell them when you plan to call again. You can always use the Recruiting Coordinator or your coach as the "middle man" in these communications.
    • Attending summer camps at your top schools is ideal!
    • See a team practice; speak with the team, have questions prepared for the players; have questions prepared for the coaches. If you get an opportunity watch the team play, observe the coach/player interaction.
    • TAKE NOTES, what you liked and what you didn’t. Do this right at the end of the visit, because after you’ve taken a few visits they will begin to blur together and you’ll forget which one had great food and which had poor academic support.
  • Enjoy volleyball
  • Improve your skill
NCAA RULES for:

High School Freshman and Sophomores, (Year 9 & 10)

Written:
College coaches may only send you a questionnaire, an explanatory rules letter, a referral to admissions, and a camp brochure. You may write to college coaches as often as you like.
Telephone:
College coaches may not telephone you at all. Not even to return a call from either you or your parents. You may call college coaches as often as you would like.
Evaluations:
College coaches may watch you play a limited number of times (7) during the academic year. They may watch you play an unlimited number of times during the summer.
Off-Campus Contact:
College coaches may not have any off-campus contact with you or your parents other than a civil exchange of greeting.
On-Campus Contact:
You may visit college campuses as often as you like at your own expense. When you are on a college campus you may meet with the coach.
E-Mail:
E-mails are treated the same as written correspondence. College coaches can’t send you any e-mails or faxes, except a questionnaire, camp brochure or explanatory rules letter, such as this.
Text Messages:
Forbidden!
Recruit "to do" list:

Junior Year (important recruiting year for all levels of athletes)

  • Narrow your top college considerations to a manageable number – more than 10 can be quite difficult. Every time someone new comes into the picture – remove someone else from your list.
  • Keep regular and open dialog (email / mail and calls placed by you) with the coaches of those schools if you are interested in them.
    • Make sure they have updated YouTube footage, updated physical stats and your club schedule.
    • Send a note to coaches you remove from your list (they appreciate a "no thanks" so they can move on to people who are interested).
  • Inform your club coach & recruiting coordinator of your interests, and any information you would like them to share with coaches who inquire about you.
  • Schedule your SAT/ACT’s, make sure to enter codes to have your test scores sent to schools you are considering as well as the NCAA Eligibility Center.
  • Meet with your guidance counselor to ensure you are on track with the 16 NCAA core course requirements AND o Get a scanned copy of your current transcripts to send to your top choices.
  • Take unofficial campus visits to your top three to five schools during this year, finances permitting. IT IS NOT ADVISABLE TO COMMIT TO A SCHOOL BEFORE SEEING THE CAMPUS AND MEETING THE TEAM AND COACHES.
    • Attending summer camp at your top schools is ideal!
    • See a team practice; speak with the team, have questions prepared for the players; have questions prepared for the coaches. If you get an opportunity watch the team play, observe the coach/player interaction.
    • TAKE NOTES, what you liked and what you didn’t. Do this right at the end of the visit, because after you’ve taken a few visits they will begin to blur together and you’ll forget which one had great food and which had poor academic support.
  • When you make a decision call all of the coaches of your final schools, not just the one you to whom you have committed. It is tough to do this but it is also a courtesy to that coach and his/her program.
  • Enjoy volleyball.
  • Improve your skill.
NCAA RULES for:

High School Juniors, (Year 11)

Written:
Starting September 1st of your junior year in high school, college coaches may begin to send you recruiting letters/emails and information on the school and the volleyball program. You should check your email DAILY.
Telephone:
College coaches may not telephone you at all. Not even to return a call from you or your parents. After July 1st of your junior year, college coaches may call you once per week. You may call college coaches as often as you would like.
Evaluations:
College coaches may watch you play a limited number of times (7) during the academic year. They may watch you play an unlimited number of times during the summer.
Off-Campus Contact:
College coaches may not have any off-campus contact with you or your parents other than a civil exchange of greeting.
On-Campus Contact:
You may visit college campuses as often as you would like at your own expense. When you are on a college campus you may meet the coach.
E-Mail:
E-mails are treated the same as written correspondence. Starting September 1st of your junior year in high school college coaches may send you e-mails as often as they would like.
Text Messages:
Forbidden!
Recruit "to do" list:

Senior Year (both if you have committed or not)

  • If you remained undecided, narrow your top college considerations even further – you are permitted by the NCAA 5 official visits, so no more than that.
    • You must be registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center, have an SAT or ACT score and an updated high school transcript on file with them before you may take a paid official visit.
    • See a team practice; speak with the team, have questions prepared for the players; have questions prepared for the coaches. If you get an opportunity watch the team play, observe the coach/player interaction.
    • TAKE NOTES, what you liked and what you didn’t. Do this right at the end of the visit, because after you’ve taken a few visits they will begin to blur together and you’ll forget which one had great food and which had poor academic support.
  • Keep regular and open dialog (email / mail and now coaches may also call you once per week) with the coaches of those schools if you are interested in them.
    • Make sure they have updated YouTube footage, updated physical stats and your club schedule. CHECK EMAIL EVERY DAY!
    • Send a note to coaches you remove from your list (they appreciate a "no thanks" so they can move on to people who are interested).
  • Inform your club coach & recruiting coordinator of your interests, and any information you would like them to share with coaches who inquire about you.
  • If you did not score well the first time around, schedule and retake your SAT/ACT’s, make sure to enter codes to have your test scores sent to schools you are considering as well as the NCAA Eligibility Center.
  • Meet with your guidance counselor to ensure you are on track with the 16 NCAA core course requirements, graduation AND
    • Have them send an official copy of your transcript to the NCAA Eligibility Center and to you top 5 schools.
  • Check the application deadlines of your top 5, make sure you complete your applications in time. Research financial aid available to you, you must have your federal financial aid application in by February of your senior year – go to www.fafsa.ed.gov.
    • Be proactive in applying for local, state and national scholarships.
    • If you receive an athletic scholarship from your school, you may still keep any non-athletic related awards you win – so it doesn’t hurt to apply. You also may keep any federal Pell Grant award, and use federal loans. If you commit to a school, and are offered a scholarship – you can sign a National Letter of Intent (NLI) and Financial Aid Agreement in one of two signing periods (November and again in April)
    • If you sign an NLI, you are bound to that school (not that coach!) for your first year of college
  • If you commit to a school and you are a walk-on, you will not sign an NLI, but can be announced on signing day if you have been accepted to the university and paid a tuition deposit
  • When you make a verbal commitment, call all of the coaches of your final schools to inform them yourself, not just the one you to whom you have committed. It is tough to do this but it is also a courtesy to that coach and his/her program.
  • Enjoy volleyball
  • Improve your skill (yes, you still need to get better if you signed)
NCAA RULES for:

High School Seniors, (Year 12)

Written:
College coaches may continue to send you recruiting letters and information on the school and the volleyball program.
Telephone:
Beginning July 1 prior to your senior year in high school, college coaches may telephone you or your parents one time per week. You may call college coaches as often as you would like.
Evaluations:
College coaches may watch you play a limited number of times (7) during the academic year. They may watch you play an unlimited number of times during the summer.
Off-Campus Contact:
You may visit college campuses as often as you would like at your own expense. When you are on a college campus you may meet with the coach. These visits are termed; "Unofficial".
Official Visits:
Beginning the first day of class of your senior year in high school you may visit a total of 5 institutions on official visits. An official visit is a visit where the school pays all or part of your expenses. You may only take one official visit per school.
E-Mails:
E-mails are treated the same as written correspondence. College coaches may send you e-mails as often as they would like.
Text Messages:
The rules on texting between prospects and recruiters have changed 3 times since 2012. As of August 1, 2014: "Coaches can send the following directly to a prospect and their parents/legal guardians: emails, fax, text messages, instant messages, g-chat messages, direct Facebook and Twitter messages".