Playing volleyball at the collegiate level requires dedication and hard work. Aspiring athletes have a variety of opportunities for joining college teams, ranging from athletic scholarships to open tryouts for walk-ons.
However, the recruitment process is complex, and the high school experience is important for success.
This article will explore the athletic opportunities, recruiting process, and high school experience for those who wish to play volleyball in college.
Athletic opportunities for college-level volleyball include the potential to join a team on scholarship, to be recruited without a scholarship, or to try out as a walk-on. Scholarships are available at all levels of college volleyball, although most are reserved for Division I programs. Lower-tier schools may still offer recruitment and scholarship opportunities to students who demonstrate high skill levels and dedication. Even without an athletic scholarship, it is possible to make a college team through open tryouts or by convincing a coach that you have the necessary talent and drive to contribute to the team.
Increasing exposure to college coaches and recruiters is important to increase the chances of being recruited or accepted as a walk-on. Attending volleyball camps or clinics is a great way to do this, and identifying college programs that host such events is key. It is also possible to hire a personal volleyball trainer in order to improve skills and increase exposure.
High school experience is beneficial but not always necessary to make a college team. Flexibility in college choice, natural athleticism, physical attributes, and playing other sports can compensate for a lack of high school experience. Additionally, club volleyball experience can help make up for a lack of high school experience, as club teams may be more successful. However, it is important to be aware of the potential drawbacks of skipping the high school team, such as less experience and limited connections.
Overall, it is important to remember that playing on a college volleyball team requires dedication and hard work. While only about 1% of high school volleyball players go on to play with an athletic scholarship, this does not mean that everyone else is out of luck. Taking initiative in the recruiting process, starting early, and increasing chances of exposure are all key to success.
Recruiting to collegiate programs is not as simple as portrayed in media, and athletes must take initiative in order to increase the chances of being recognized by college coaches and recruiters.
Starting the process early is recommended, with Next College Student Athlete (NCSA) being a popular platform to reach out to potential coaches. Attending volleyball camps or clinics can also help athletes gain exposure to coaches and recruiters. Hiring a personal volleyball trainer is another option, and can provide valuable feedback and tips on improving skills.
Open tryouts for walk-ons can also be considered, though this may be a difficult route if the athlete has not had much high school experience. While natural athleticism and physical attributes can compensate, playing other sports or participating in club volleyball is encouraged to increase the chances of being recruited.
It is important to note that potential drawbacks exist for skipping the high school team, such as limited connections and less experience compared to athletes who participate in both club and school seasons.
High School Experience
The importance of the high school experience for volleyball players should not be underestimated, as it can greatly increase the chances of being recruited to a college program. High school provides an opportunity to develop skills and learn team dynamics that cannot be replicated in club or open tryouts. Coaches and recruiters generally look for athletes who have participated in both the school and club seasons, as it shows a dedication to the sport and a commitment to becoming the best player possible.
Playing other sports can also contribute to success, as it demonstrates a larger level of athleticism.
For players who have not had the opportunity to participate in high school volleyball, club teams may be the best bet. These programs may provide the necessary experience to make up for the lack of high school involvement. Additionally, attending volleyball camps or clinics can increase the chances of being seen by recruiters and coaches.
Ultimately, a successful transition to college volleyball requires effort and dedication.