Don't Push the Recruiting Panic Button


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This time of the year can be emotionally challenging for seniors who are still engaged in the recruiting process. Here is some reassurance that there is still a lot of time on the recruiting clock.

Each year I have many senior families approach me with understandable panic in their eyes because they feel there there are no more opportunities. They have been in communication with programs in the past but have been told that another player accepted the offer, the program is done recruiting that class, that their position is not being recruited, etc.

I begin to inform these senior families of the particulars of recruiting during these fall months:

  • This is one of the slowest times for recruiting because college coaches are focused on their own season and their current players.

  • When the collegiate season finishes up, the recruiting season will start up again.

  • There are a number of college coaches who have a scholarship they are keeping in their pocket in hopes of obtaining a transfer player, an international player, or they are waiting until they get further into their collegiate season to determine exactly what they need.

  • Many of those coaches who say they are done recruiting, will have an unexpected scholarship open up during or after the season.

  • Injuries, academics, transfers, job changes, hiring/firing all affect the roster/scholarship openings, and these situations tend to occur toward the end of the fall semester and into the spring semester.

So, what is a senior family to do?

  • Enjoy your senior year of high school volleyball - This is a special time, so savor it!

  • Use the opportunity of high school volleyball practice to work on your weaknesses and polish up your strengths before the start of the club volleyball season.

  • Review your recruiting outreach results. If you have been writing the Big 10 (who has 14 members) or the Big 12 (who has 10 members) and you have received 24 "no thank you's", then the power conference programs may be beyond your abilities. You want to reach high, but you also need to be realistic about what level you are able to compete at.

  • After Thanksgiving, have a fresh skills/game video link to send to collegiate programs that are a good academic/athletic fit.

  • The collegiate program that said "no" in May or June, may well say "yes" in December because of the roster changes that always occur after the season. Again, just make sure you are reaching out to the appropriate level.

  • Stay patient and consistent in your outreach and communication. Some coaches 'check out' for a few weeks after the season, some go on vacation with their families and some are interviewing for other jobs. Don't panic if your outreach response is limited through to the New Year; it is the Holidays.

In closing, don't push the panic button. Prepare for the start of the recruiting season after Thanksgiving!

For related reading on the volleyball recruiting process, click here.

About the Author

Matt Sonnichsen is the Director of Volleyball and National Speaker for NCSA Athletic Recruiting, the Official Recruiting Services provider of the JVA. Matt has over 20 years of experience coaching volleyball at the collegiate level.


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