Well, we are here! 2021 has started and the club volleyball and recruiting season is upon us. It's actually weird for me to think back to last January and preparing for the 2020 club season and then, well, 2020 happened.
Regardless of what we think the recruiting season will look like, recruiting is still going to happen. We proved that this past summer and fall with the 2022 class starting their contact with college coaches on June 15th and then countless athletes committed, many of them without actually visiting campus. (Link to blog post)
There must be some reservation still with Qualifiers and bigger tournaments happening this Spring, especially since we aren't in that much of a different place in regards to COVID as we were last year at the height of qualifier season. Masks are going to happen; social distancing is going to happen; volleyball is going to happen. NCAA volleyball had a fall season with many schools starting their Championship segment this week. The AAU tournament that happened in Florida during a "peak" happened as well. I think in many ways that tournament is going to be the roadmap for tournaments this club season. (Link to Podcast with Hugh)
Regardless of the of the detours and roadblocks facing athletes and coaches this season, recruiting is still going to happen. For better or for worse, coaches will travel to bigger tournaments, even though they are in season; coaches will evaluate over film on livestream or they will go back and watch as much as possible. But, evaluations are going to happen. The notion that coaches will need to "see athletes live" is something we gave way to months ago. While many coaches will WANT that to be the case, in this new recruiting season and new recruiting world, what we want to happen and what has actually transpired have been, at times, seemingly on opposite ends of the spectrum.
So, as we start this New Year and as club volleyball season kicks into high gear, please remember that there is still a lot of work to be done. Emails still need to get sent, coaches still need to be contacted regularly and interest in a program still needs to be expressed. Those things, regardless of our current recruiting situation, in my opinion are going to be constants in the recruiting world.
I'm looking forward to seeing everyone out on the recruiting trail just as soon as you are able!
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