Over the course of a few years, several college coaches have contacted Silver State Volleyball Club about players. As a result of those conversations, we have put together some important tips that will help you in the recruitment process.
1. All scholarships are not created equal
Colleges don't have unlimited budgets. Very few of them offer a traditional full ride scholarship. The vast majority of them will often offer what we call an "Institutional Scholarship" which is a combination of a partial scholarship and a financial aid package. An "Institutional Scholarship" may be the only way a coach get can get you (or your daughter) into that school. These are very similar to the traditional full ride scholarships. If the school looks like a good fit and they offer one of these "Institutional Scholarships", consider them the same way you would consider a traditional full ride scholarship. Additionally it is important to note that even the full ride scholarship does not mean that it is "all expenses paid." There will still be costs involved with college. Tuition only scholarships, like the Nevada Millennium Scholarship, do not cover the cost of books, housing or food. If you consider the cost of an apartment and food each month, a college that is offering an "institutional scholarship" and still ask you to pay $4,000 a year is still a better deal than going to UNR and receiving a Millennium Scholarship.
2. Always be on your best behavior
When you are playing in a tournament, it is imperative that you be on your best behavior. Let me explain. Coaches don't always come to see if you are a good player. If you are playing in the Open Division for example, they already know you are a good player; they are coming to see if you are a good teammate and have a winning attitude. Coaches are not interested in those who slap their legs, frown or show negative emotion when they make a mistake, they want the ones that remain positive and always encourage and work with their teammates, even when they are on the sidelines. Several players have had coaches walk away from their matches because of outward frustration. Others have had their stock go up because of a positive attitude.
3. Take advantage of every situation
Each team has a couple of players that will draw lots of college attention. When coaches come to watch those players, what else do they see? They see you as well!! Even though they did not originally come to watch you, if you play well, you could end up impressing that coach and they could have an interest in you later. This is what happened many years ago with a player of ours. This Division 1 coach came to watch Player A play. While she was watching Player A, she noticed Player B and was impressed. A few weeks later that coach had a middle decommit and needed to recruit one. She remembered Player B and signed her to play at their Division 1 university.
4. Never assume
Don't read into a situation. A coach may come to your match, watch for a couple of minutes and walk away. Don't assume they are not interested. They may have already made up their mind and are pressed to see another player. They may come back later or they may have seen what they need to see. Most coaches will evaluate your athletic abilities during warm ups or on video, when they come to watch you, they may just want to see how you interact with your teammates. You never know what they are thinking so don't assume.
5. Make decisions based on what is best for you
Make sure that your decision is not based on staying close to home or what your boyfriend wants or any other reason other than what is best for you. This is one of the most important decisions in your life and you need to do what is right for you and no one else. Your parents want what is best for you and they want you to make a decision on your future and not theirs. As for the boyfriend, if the relationship is solid, it won't be affected whether or not you are in New York and they are in Nevada. Don't let a boyfriend run your life; what happens if you break up? You will be living his life and not yours.
Remember, there are thousands of other players nationwide competing with you for college scholarships. The Silver State coaches know what these coaches are looking for and we are trying to pass that information on to you. You need to listen to what we have to say and take heed. We may be tough and pushy, but if you are interested in playing volleyball in college, follow our lead, communicate with our recruiting coordinator, Jim Saari and work hard, you may be able to reach your goal.