Whether you are committed already or you are currently navigating the recruiting process, I have got some insight for you! I know the recruiting process can be scary, overwhelming, intimidating, fun, exciting, adventurous, and CRAZY all at the same time! So I am here to help you on how to make the BEST decision possible for what you are looking for in a program and school.
Don’t get me wrong, there is no “universal check list” for what to look for in a school, but I can provide you with some simple tips to keep in mind when you are going on your unofficial visits or maybe even contacting the schools that you are interested in.
- There is no “right time/age” to commit to a school. I know that it seems like the girls who are committing these days are getting younger and younger. Just the other day there was a recruit on campus who was 12 years old, that seems a little young! Just because someone you know may commit at an extremely young age does not mean that they are any better for it. I did not commit until LATE in my junior year of high school. I was actually one of the last to commit on my club volleyball team!
- It is not always about how successful the program is right NOW. Keep in mind that the school you are getting recruited by right now may be in the final four, or even winning the national championship, but that does not mean they will always be that successful. In any given year, ANY SCHOOL can make the tournament or even win the national championship. Every year, each team graduates a senior class and this changes the entire dynamic of a team. This leads me to my next point…
- DO NOT choose a school based solely on how high they are in the rankings or how successful they are. When I was getting recruited, I wanted to go to the biggest and best school I could when it came to volleyball. I wanted to be in that national championship game, under the lights, and in front of a crowd of thousands of people. It’s every volleyball players dream! BUT, you must put aside that vision when you are getting recruited. It is not all about the end result. Your experience as a collegiate athlete comes from the hard work you put in each day, your teammates that you spend almost all of your time with, and lets not forget school!
- Location, Location, Location! I believe that the BEST advice I got when I was being recruited was, “if you ever had a career-ending injury, (God forbid) would you be happy with the location of your school?” If you were not playing sports, what would your dream school be? This is an important question to ask yourself; mainly because this is the school you should be trying to get into FIRST.
- Enjoy the process! I know, this is easier said than done, but there is a school for everyone out there. As long as you do not base your decision solely off of the previous success of the program or how big and fun the school looks, then you will do just fine! It never hurts to do your research. Ask people who went to the school how they liked it, and you can even ask the girls on the current team what they think about the school or what their favorite things are about the coaches! These are all great questions because you can usually tell what the team is really feeling about the program from their answer to these questions. Once again, do you research and have fun with it!
I will come up with more tips on the recruiting process and what to expect when going on visits, talking to coaches, etc. I hope this was informative and helpful! Feel free to ask any questions on topics you wish you knew more about when it comes to life of a student-athlete.