I do a lot of "myth-busting" when it comes to recruiting. There is a lot of misinformation out there and it comes in all shapes and sizes. Often times it comes from sources you might not expect. I already shared a few weeks ago about a parent that got some really bad advice from a very large online recruiting service, you can read about that one HERE. A second example is just the notion that recruiting in the sport of volleyball is the same as football or baseball. This is one that I actually have to spend a ton of time explaining to parents and it's not their fault really, it's usually what they see and hear a lot about. Or lets take the idea that D1 is "All or Nothing" when it comes to scholarships. This one is debunked easily and often by yours truly. What is most difficult about misinformation when it comes to recruiting is we often times just don't know or aren't being given all of the information. That is what leads to so many road blocks and detours during the process.
Take for instance this example from Prepvolleyball.com. Here is a quote from an email:
Don't miss out on the opportunity to be SEEN by college coaches! That's right, college coaches will be in attendance for our two remaining unsigned showcases in Las Vegas and Louisville.
First, I want to say that I don't think PrepVolleyball is attempting to mislead anyone. They certainly aren't going to take the time and space in an email about coming to a showcase explaining everything that has happened in the last year. Even in a year without a pandemic going on, they would want you to come to the showcase. But where it gets tricky for me is in how I might take this statement if I didn't know what was going on generally in the world of recruiting. So here we go:
First, the statement of, "don't miss out on the opportunity to be SEEN by college coaches" is a huge red flag for me. This is the same issue I have with sites like NCSA and NSR that say things like, "put your film here, so college coaches can find you." When in reality, a majority of athletes don't get "found" using these sites. The majority of their traffic comes from the athletes doing the work and sending emails. It also begs the question, "Why haven't you been SEEN before hand?" You could have sent emails to college coaches with your film links, ballerTV links before right? The implication presented where there was nothing you could have done before this to be SEEN is certainly misleading. Also, being SEEN is only about half of it, or maybe even less than half of it. You have to be good enough; you have to be the right position they are looking for; you have to be interested in that school; they have to be recruiting someone in your class; and there is always the question about scholarship. Being SEEN is sometimes the easiest part and extremely often, that is just the beginning.
Second, which college coaches are we talking about here? One would assume that NO college coaches have been at their prior showcases (I have no idea how true this is, just going off of the info given). Why not? Well college coaches have been on a dead-period, so they haven't been out recruiting...right? Nope. Only D1 coaches have been on a dead-period. But D2, D3, NAIA and JuCo coaches have been out recruiting since January and many coaches here in Texas were out recruiting during the high school season this past fall. Similarly, I was asked multiple times throughout COVID why their daughter should send emails to coaches when a coach couldn't respond because of the dead-period. Now as a parent I'm thinking that I MUST get my daughter in front of all of these college coaches because it's the first opportunity for college coaches to watch her in over a year! Meanwhile, they aren't sending emails or trying to connect with schools at all. I'm not a fan of drive-by recruiting. I can certainly admit that it happens, but I certainly don't want any of the families that I work with to hope on that happening.
Go to a showcase and get seen! (by some coaches that may or may not be recruiting my position or be from a school that has my major)
Go to a 3rd party camp! (and get trained by some great coaches that aren't recruiting my position or my class at the moment)
There's just more to it than that. Remember, you're talking about less than 4% of HS volleyball athletes play in NCAA D1, 2 or 3. For the majority of volleyball athletes, the recruiting process is not an easy one. College volleyball is not for everyone and that's okay!
Be careful what you read and who you listen to. Again, I don't think this email was meant to deceive anyone. It's just that sitting where I have been sitting the last 3 years, I could understand multiple parents taking this the wrong way, simply because they don't have all of the information or context to what is going on. Now, some of you might be thinking that I might not always be right either. You would be correct there for sure. I'm sure that at times something I said or wrote in this blog could have been misconstrued by someone. I hope not and I openly invite people to ask me questions or let me know if they are confused about something I post. I will say that the majority of my readers in this blog and on my podcast are college coaches. If I'm saying something that is incorrect or something that they feel is misleading, I hope they would tell me. Several have. I am more than happy to add-to or explain further something in my blog as needed. MY goal in all of this is to help educate parents about the recruiting process. The more knowledge you have about this process, the more prepared and confident you will be about your recruiting.
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