We've been talking to top NCAA coaches across divisions to get an inside perspective and hear their tips (and things to avoid!) when it comes to recruiting top high school players. We found that many had similar advice! Check out our top 5 insider tips from college coaches below:
1. Put your favorite plays first in your highlight video! Do you like to run a really fast offense? Are you proud of your jump serve? Do kills off of an overpass get you hyped? Include 3-5 really impressive plays that will catch the coach's attention and share in your email why you are proud of them. This showcases your personality as an athlete, so the coach can get to know YOU!
2. NCAA coaches shared some of their key characteristics of a recruitable student-athlete:
A good teammate
Respectful of coaches and family
Competitor in the gym
Keep in mind that coaches are watching more than how well you play. They want to see how you interact with your families, coaches and teammates. One coach even said that they learn a lot watching a recruit during a loss to see how athletes respond to a loss! The recruiting process is a lot more than just an evaluation of skill. It is about finding who you are as a person too and whether you're a good fit for the program.
3. Once you begin truly building a relationship with a coach, be sure to communicate around every 10-14 days with volleyball, academic and extracurricular activity updates. A coach may feel like you’re losing interest in their program if you go too long without talking to them (1 month +). Remember, you can give coaches an update on:
What tournaments are coming up and then follow up with film from the tournament
A skill that you are specifically working on and then highlights of improvements
A specific set that you played particularly well in
Receiving an accolade or academic award at school
Something interesting you're doing outside of volleyball - a hobby or extracurricular
Commenting on something you saw on their Instagram or congratulating them on a win or award
Get creative! As your relationship progresses, these updates can be more informal with a text or DM on Instagram. Email is usually the first mode of communication with a coach, but as the process goes on, many top recruits will communicate with the coaches more over text.
4. Do your homework before making any decisions. Make sure you will enjoy the school academically and socially - this decision is not just about volleyball! You can learn about a school and volleyball program by:
Conversations with the coaching staff and current members of the team
A visit to campus or virtual visit during these COVID times!
Watching game film to see the level of play, team culture, etc. (Not enough athletes do this. Definitely watch the team play if you're interested in the program!)
Following them on social media platforms to see what their day to day operation
5. Stay true to yourself throughout the recruiting process! In order to find the best fit for you, you must be genuine and transparent. This process is much more than finding the best, top program that you can play at. It is about finding your future home for the next 4 years.
Please check out our Recruiting Guide for more tips! If you are a current NEVBC athlete interested in exploring the college recruiting process, you can set up a meeting with Cat and Kelsey here to learn more!