1) Create highlight videos and/or keep videos updated.
Right now, video is all college coaches can go on to see your talent. It’s time to finally put together your highlight reel and skills video – no fancy effects or music necessary! Be sure it is clear which player you are. Coaches want to see highlights as well as game footage. If you’ve never contacted the school, consider video to be required.
2) Build your target list.
Instead of sending out mass emails with no direction, truly look at narrowing down your list to make the process less overwhelming and more suited for what you want in your future. Some questions you can ask yourself include: How far away from home do you want to go? Do you want to go to a big school or a smaller one? What level of play is realistic for you? (This question may be best answered by a coach. Do not rule out those other than Division I!) What academic profile am I looking for? Do they have my major or one I might be interested in? What type of atmosphere and college experience am I looking for?
3) Send e-mails.
All classes can do this right now, but college coaches can only respond to juniors and seniors (the 2020 and 2021 classes). Some important things to include in an e-mail: name, height, position, graduation year, GPA, SAT/ACT scores, and what club you play for. Don’t forget your video link and be sure to re-read your e-mail or have someone edit it before pressing “Send.”
4) Correspondence is “business as usual.”
One coach suggested that your communication with college coaches should be similar to how it was before events were cancelled and college coaches went into a dead period. In addition to sending emails full of highlight videos and statistics about yourself as an athlete, build your relationship with college coaches. They want to know who you are on a personal level to see if you’ll be a good fit for their program and you can begin answering if they have the right coaching personality for you, too. If you are serious about a school (and you’re a 2020 or 2021), pick up the phone and give the coach a call!
5) Keep club/high school coach in the loop.
Or, your recruiting coordinator, if you have one. Be sure to keep them updated with where you stand with college coaches, how you’ve been communicating, and any new information you’ve learned about your college search. If a recruiter were to call your coach about you, you want them to be on top of your process.
6) Research the university and take a virtual tour.
You might not be able to take an official or unofficial visit or even meet with admissions departments at this time, but you can see the campus and learn more about the university from the comfort of your home.
7) Focus on your academics.
One recruiting director said to make school your priority right now because you can’t play college volleyball without having the grades to get in.
8) Stay patient.
“Everyone is in the same boat,” said one coach. “We have assured our athletes not to panic because no athlete is playing and no college coach can go out and recruit right now. For the uncommitted 2020s, college coaches have to fill their open positions on their team and they will have to find a way to do so. It might be unconventional depending on the extent of our break, but it will happen.”
Be on the lookout for more recruiting topics as we navigate this unique time in athletics and the world beyond.