First, good luck in your high school season and have fun!!!Â We look forward to watching you develop and play and so are the colleges coaches you have been communicating with. Â They are very busy with their own seasons but they are also developing their prospect lists getting ready for the club season. Â Here are a few tips for the recruiting during the high school season:
Have Fun!Â -Â The number one thing you should be doing as a freshman is having fun playing the sport you love.
Focus on Academics – Start off your freshman year on the right foot academically by developing good study habits and time management skills.Â In order to play volleyball in college you have to be able to perform in the classroom as well as on the court. Simply put, the better your grades are the more opportunities you will have.
Play Club Volleyball – During your freshmen high school season, you should start researching club programs in your area and play on the best club team you can afford. Coaches very rarely recruit players this far in advance, but by playing volleyball all year around at a young age, players tend to develop stronger fundamental skills.
Get Good Training – Good coaching is also very important at this age because bad habits are really hard to break, so do your homework when determining which club program (and coach) is right for you.Â When making your decision, keep in mind there are significant differences in club programs both financially and competitively that you need to be aware of.Â Usually a club program is broken down into three levels: Local, Regional, and National, which range from least competitive to most competitive:
– Local Teams– a local team will likely be the least expensive option because teams travel to tournaments that are close to home and practice only one or two times per week. An emphasis is put on equal playing time, and social interaction.
– Regional Teams– Regional teams will be slightly more expensive than local teams. They likely will travel to local tournaments plus one maybe two large tournaments, where they will likely compete in the Club division (which is less competitive than the Open division).Â Practices will be two to three times per week, and more emphasis will be placed on the development of skills.Â Â Playing time will be shared, but not necessarily equal.
– National Teams– National teams will be the most expensive club option as players travel to numerous large national qualifying tournaments all over the country where they likely will compete in the Open division (the most competitive division).Â Practices will be two to five times per week, and they tend to be very structured and intense.Â The focus is learning to compete at the next level with the goal of pursuing a college scholarship. If you are interested in playing volleyball in college, playing on a National team will be your best option because you will be playing with, and competing against, other strong volleyball players.Â Plus as you get older, you will have the opportunity to be seen in person by college coaches much more often at the various National Qualifiers you attend.Â However, the financial constraints that come with club volleyball at this level are significant, so again just play on the best club team you can afford.
3. SOPHOMORE YEAR
Meet with a high school guidance counselor â€“ There are specific academic requirements, per the NCAA, that you need to meet in order to be eligible to play volleyball in college.Â Meet with your high school guidance counselor to make sure you are on track to graduate with all the required core classes.Â Visit the NCAA eligibility center to see a list of core requirements: http://eligibilitycenter.org
Play Club Volleyball â€“ The time in-between your sophomore winter to your junior winter is the time that tends have the biggest impact developmentally on female players.Â During this period, players will make their biggest strives in terms of height, strength, coordination, and volleyball skills.Â Players not receiving year around training at this level likely will fall behind players who are receiving year around training. Why? Well, by playing club volleyball you dramatically increase the number of touches you will have on the ball, which translates into better ball control, which leads to more consistency, which gives you more self-confidence, which leads to more aggressive plays, and ultimately a better volleyball player.Â Therefore, the player you were at the end of your sophomore high school season will be completely different than the better skilled athlete that you develop into by the end of your sophomore club season.Â It is also during this period when the men (or women!) are separated from the boys (or ladies!)?, so to speak.Â Meaning that on a 16â€™s (16 and Under) team there may be 4-5 players with DI potential, but by the time they reach their Junior year, there may only be 1-2 players with DI potential from that same team.Â Some players will get much, much better, while other players will stay roughly the same. If you are not playing club volleyball then itâ€™s almost impossible to improve at the same pace as the players who are.
Questionnaires â€“ In the sophomore year, players will start receiving questionnaires in the mail from college programs.Â Again, be happy when you start receiving questionnaires, but also keep in mind this does not mean you are being actively recruited (you wonâ€™t know that until September 1st of your Junior year when coaches can legally contact you with specific recruiting information).Â However, just because coaches are not actively recruiting you (yet) does not mean you should ignore the questionnaires. In fact, it is VERY important for you to fill out and return these questionnaires in a timely manner (even if you donâ€™t have all the information yet like your SAT/ACT scores) because this is how coaches know to keep you in their databaseÂ of prospects. If you donâ€™t fill out the questionnaire, the coach may assume you are not interested and take you off their recruiting list
Consider Purchasing a Video Camera â€“ Your sophomore high school season is a great time to look into video cameras and TRIPODS for capturing match footage.Â Try getting a video camera that comes equipped with a wide-angle lens.Â Camcorders have come down in price over the years so you can buy a nice camera for $300 – $500.Â We recommend the Panasonic HDC-SD60 or the Canon Vixia HF M300, but many other brands have suitable options.Â It is highly recommended to also purchase a tripod because itâ€™s really the only way you are able to take steady match footage.
Alternatively, you can hire professional videographers, who attend many of the major tournaments including the National Qualifiers and Bid Tournaments.Â At this point in your volleyball career you should know that at some point you are going to have to submit video to college coaches. Why wait?Â The recruiting process (sadly) only gets faster with each recruiting class so be prepared with the equipment you need.Â Â By investing in this equipment early in the sophomore year, you give yourself time to become familiar with the camera/tripod and can practice shooting a few matches.
Get Match Footage â€“ Some high schools video-tape sporting events, including volleyball matches.Â If your high school is one of them, try to get that footage.Â If not, donâ€™t worry; you have plenty of opportunities to capture match footage during your sophomore club season.Â In fact, college coaches often prefer club footage because matches tend to be more competitive than high school matches.
Research Schools â€“ The Sophomore year is a good time to start thinking about what is important to YOU from a college experience. This is the perfect time to create your Target List of school.
Introduction Letters – The end of the sophomore club season (April â€“ July) is the time when coaches will (generally) be taking their first looks at the Sophomore recruiting class. Therefore, you want them to know about you before this time so they can watch you play in person!Â Â To do this, you first must determine a list (your Target List) of 20 â€“50 schools that you could see yourself attending.Â Then, send each program a brief introductory letter letting them know you are interested in their program.
It is extremely important to personalize your letter of interest.Â If your writing is neat, you might get even more mileage out of a handwritten letter.Â Make sure you spell the coachâ€™s name correctly, and include something specific about their program.Â Coaches can see right through a blast/form email, so donâ€™t do this!Â If you want coaches to spend five minutes looking at your profile, spend 5 minutes researching each program.
This introductory email should include some basic facts about you. For example, you play at this school, on this club team, you received these awards, you will attend these tournaments during the club season, your volleyball stats are this (height, jump touch etc.), your grades are this, this is how you contact me/my parents/my coaches etc.Â If possible, this email should link to your video (which is why you spent all that time gathering game footage!).
Example Introduction Letter
My name is _______________ .Â I am a 6 ft. Outside Hitter, currently playing club for Texas Advantage Volleyball, 16- Elite (#7) out of Dallas, Texas.Â I attend Carroll High School, and will be graduating in the spring of 2013.Â Last season, I was named to the All-Tournament Team at JNCs and was an All-American nominee.
I am beginning to explore my college options and am very interested attending and playing volleyball at the University of Texas.Â Â UT offers everything I am looking for in a college experience i.e. a University close to home, a world renowned business program, and most importantly an extremely competitive volleyball program with a winning tradition.Â Therefore, I wanted to introduce myself and give you some information about my background both athletically and academically so you can decide whether to add me to your list of potential student athletes.
Please click on the link below to access all of my information including contactinformation, coachâ€™s contact information, volleyball awards, travel schedule, volleyballstatistics, and academic information.Â You will also be able to watch my skills tape, highlight reel and an un-edited game from my Player Profile on VolleyballRecruits.net.
I hope you will have the opportunity to watch our team play this season.Â I believe I have the ability to be a part of your team, and contribute to its future success.
Thank you for your consideration.
Your Email Address
Your Phone Number
Link to your information and video
Keep coaches updated: If you or your team does something noteworthy (I was named to the All-Tournament team, I was selected as the team captain, our team took 3rd place at one of the National Qualifiers and secured a bid to Nationals etc.), simply keep coaches updated on your achievements.Â Per the NCAA rules, coaches wonâ€™t be allowed to respond to your email with any recruiting-related information until September 1st of your junior year. Therefore, youâ€™ll likely get a response (if at all) something like ?Thank you. We have received your information?.Â Donâ€™t be discouraged if you donâ€™t hear anything back, because coaches just simply are not allowed to talk to you yet.Â Just control what you can control, which is keeping coaches in the loop about you and your success throughout the season.
If your club team is going to participate in a late season tournament (Junior National Championships, AAUâ€™s, Volleyball Festival etc.) be sure to send all the coaches on your list an email with your tournament schedule so they can come see you play if they are recruiting at the tournament.Â At this point in the season, many coaches will have wrapped up their junior recruiting class and will be looking exclusively at the sophomores.
Summer Camps â€“ You will most likely be bombarded with summer camp information from schools across the country.Â Yes, summer camps are HUGE money makers for college programs, but they are also a way for coaches to get extra looks at PSAs. We recommend you choose a few schools you are interested in attending, and go to their summer camp.Â There are a few huge benefits in doing so:
– You are able to spend time getting to know the program.
– You have the opportunity to spend time on the schoolâ€™s campus.
– You are able to meet some players as often times current players will help coach camps.
– Coaches are able to spend time with you and can see what type of player you are.
– Going to a camp tells a coach you are interested in their program.
In Summary: The sophomore year you should focus on getting game footage, developing your volleyball skills, and introducing yourself to the college coaching community.
4. JUNIOR YEAR
The junior year is the most important time span in the recruiting process in the sense thatmany coaches are making decisions about who they are going to offer scholarships (or positions) to this year.Â There will be a few top DI programs who secured verbal commitments from players at the end of their Sophomore club season, and there will be many more programs (DII, DIII, NAIA, NJCAA) solidifying their players in their Senior year.Â Regardless of when you actually commit, you want to be prepared for this very important year by having your information AND VIDEO readily available because coaches are going to be asking for it!
Types of Video â€“ The types of video that coaches like to see varies from program to program. Therefore, you should be prepared to provide coaches with all types.Â These include a skills video, highlight reel, and unedited match footage from your best match or individual sets from the season.Â If you did a good job of taking match footage in your Sophomore year, then you will have plenty to choose from.Â If not, work on getting good footage during your high school season and the first one or two tournaments during the club season.
Skills Video – The skills video gives coaches an opportunity to see your form and consistency. You want to keep your skills video short and to the point. Coaches are professional evaluators and can get an idea of your capabilities from 3-5 attempts at each skill (or at each angle of the skill).Â Make sure your skills video pertains to your position. For example, if you are a Middle Blocker and never play defense in the back row, then donâ€™t show coaches your floor moves, or maybe lack thereof!Â Video is the vehicle you use to motivate coaches to come see you play in person, so show them the skills in which you excel. Itâ€™s also a good idea to show your skills from a couple different angles i.e. from behind and from the side. Also, make sure your skills video captures the result of the ball. Finally, the best person to help you with your skills video is your coach. He/she will be familiar with what coaches are looking for and will understand how to run a drill. Some club programs offer skills videotaping as an additional service/fee.Â If so, take advantage of this, otherwise simply ask if they would be willing to come in for an hour to help you.
Here are some suggestions, for each position, to consider when making your skills video:
– Liberos/Defensive Specialists: coaches want to see if you can pass/dig consistently to target. Therefore, have someone standing in target catching your balls.Â Most players at this level can dig a roll-shot so be sure you are challenging yourself by passing/digging the hardest-driven ball you can, while still controlling
it with consistency.
– Outsides/Right Sides: coaches want to see how well you hit down the line and
cross court, how well you transition from passing to attacking, your serve receive consistency and good hand contact.
– Middle Blockers: coaches want to see the result of all your sets i.e. the 1, 3, 6, slide and all your different shots i.e deep corners! Coaches also need to see your blocking footwork and penetration.Â If possible, block a live hitter and always move back to base position in-between sets.
– Setters: show coaches how well you can set when the ball is off target, when moving from defense, and attacking the overpass, and setter dump. Be sure to have a person catching your sets so coaches can see where your sets are landing.
– All positions: The point of a skills video is to show your consistency – how well can I perform the exact same skill 3-5 times IN A ROW.Â Therefore, work on each skill in a 5-ball series.Â For example, hit 5 balls in a row and then stop.Â If you are happy with the series move on, otherwise try it again until you are happy.Â Also, the drill should be as game-like as possible. If you are serve-receiving, be sure itâ€™s off a live serve (coming from behind the end line).Â If you are blocking, block a live hitter and move from base position.Â If you are hitting, you can hit some off the toss, but also show yourself hitting off a live setter etc.Â If you are digging, then itâ€™s ok for the balls to be coach initiated because without a block, itâ€™s really difficult to read.Â When setting, show setting off a real passer.
Highlight Reelâ€“ Again, the whole goal of sending video to coaches is to motivate them to come watch you play in person.Â The best way to do that is by giving coaches a 4-5 minute highlight reel.Â A highlight reel is a compilation of your best plays taken from your match footage. The highlight reel shows coaches your potential.Â Obviously the more match footage you have to choose from the stronger your highlight reel will be.Â Â This is the exact reason why you should not wait for coaches to ask for video before you start taking match footage. Be prepared by starting early.
Unedited Match Footage â€“ see ?Get Match Footage? in the Sophomore year section.
Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center â€“ You must register with the NCAA
Eligibility Center before you are eligible to attend a NCAA program as a student athlete. You can register online by going to http://eligibilitycenter.org.Â Your high school guidance counselor also should have the appropriate forms.
Standardized Testing â€“ Register for the SAT / ACT standardized tests.Â Most students take these tests at least twice. Try to schedule a winter date that wonâ€™t conflict with high school or club season. Request that your ACT / SAT test scores be sent to the NCAA Eligibility Center (there is a box on the application form that you check for this).
September 1st â€“ This is the first day, per NCAA rules, that college coaches are allowed to send letters and or email players about anything recruiting related.Â The purpose of these letters is to inform the player that the school is interested in that player for their program.Â You can get genuinely excited about this type of contact because this means a coach is now ?actively recruiting? you.Â However, keep in mind the coach is probably also ?actively recruiting? hundreds of other players.Â From here, coaches use a ranking system to determine which recruits they are going after first, second, third etc. If you do not/have not receive(d) recruiting letters from coaches by October of your Junior year, this is a good indication that you are not actively being recruited.Â There is no need to panic because there is still a lot of time, but you need to put a plan together and start reaching out to college programs immediately. A good rule of thumb is to getÂ all your information and video to your Target List of schools by January 1st.Â Â Why?Â Â Because almost all college programs will be finished with their season by mid
December, so coaches will have a little bit of time off to evaluate players.Â Then, over the month coaches will begin generating their list of recruits, and they will have identified the players they want to see play in person by early February. You want to be on that list!
It is also important to understand that Division I programs recruit on a faster rate than Division II, Division III, NAIA and NJCAA programs.Â Likewise, different positions are recruited on a different timeline. Traditionally, Outside Hitters and Middle Blockers are the first to be recruited followed by Setters, and finally Liberos / Defensive Specialists. Being contacted by October is a goal; however use these dates as a general guide. The most important aspect is to not wait and reach out to your desired schools.Â Get ontheir radar!
If the coaches from your Target List of schools already have your information and video, and you have not heard anything form them in return, then now is also the time to expand your criteria and reach out to new programs. Consider different conferences, different size schools, maybe DII, D III, NAIA or NJCAA programs, and get your information and video to those coaches as quickly as possible.
Telephone & E-Mail Contact – After you e-mail your Target List of schools, it is
important for you to maintain periodic telephone and or e-mail contact with the schoolâ€™s coaching staff.Â This will let the coach know that your interest is strong and sincere.Â It will also give you an opportunity to evaluate where you stand on their recruiting depth chart.
Make sure you have a purpose to each contact with a coach or school.Â For example, you can inform the coach of a tournament you are attending, ask questions about the program, request information about the school that cannot be found from published sources, or find out if the coach would like to see your highlight reel.Â Remember, itâ€™s illegal for NCAA coaches to call you or to return your phone calls until July 1st the summer before your Senior year, so again donâ€™t be discouraged if they are not returningÂ your phone call.
You are permitted to phone and e-mail the coach as many times as you like, at any timeÂ through the recruiting process, so take advantage of this!Â Just use common sense. The last thing you want to do is annoy a coach by calling or e-mailing too often.
Players should be the ones placing the phone calls, not parents.Â This will demonstrate that you are a mature and responsible young adult who can speak on his or her own behalf.Â Calling a coach for the first time can be intimidating, so remember to relax and be confident. Coaches understand that teenagers may be nervous to get on the telephone and speak with them, but a smooth telephone conversation shows a coach that a player is mature, does his/her homework and is proactive.
Questions to have answers to:
– Why are you interested in our school?
– Is there a program or major that you are interested in?
– Do you think you are ready to compete at the Division ___ level? Why?
– What type of classes are you taking this year?
– How have you balanced your athletic and academic obligations?
– When do you plan on taking the SATs/ACTs? Have you taken any SAT 2s?
– Are you comfortable with attending a school far away from/close to home?
– Are you involved with any community service?
– What do you do in your free time?
We also suggest doing some research on the institution, specific academic programsÂ and the volleyball program so you can ask questions that you may have for the coach.
– What is the out of season training regiment?
– How many matches do you play in the Fall?/Spring?
– Are you recruiting my position in the year 20__ ?
– Have you had a chance to see me play? Your thoughts?
– If so, where do I stand on your list of potential recruits?
– What do you need from me throughout the recruiting process?
– How do your players balance school and volleyball?
– What type of academic support is available? Advisers, Tutors?
– How competitive is your school in the ______________ conference?
Going on campus visitsâ€“ Campus visits primarily happen in your junior year.Â This is the time to really start thinking about if you want to attend this school.Â Do you like the campus? Are the people friendly? Do you like the location of the school? This is also the prime time to get to know the people you will be spending a lot of time with such as the players on the team, the coaches, the athletic trainers, the athletic support staff, etc. Remember to take a notebook with you to take down notes about each school, so you can better compare them later.
Unofficial Visitsâ€“ There are two types of unofficial visits: those that the players and parents set up, and those that coaches invite players on.Â When a coach extends an unofficial visit invitation, this means you are among their top recruits and they want to bring you to campus so they can get to know you better and promote their schoolâ€™s best features.Â If a coach invites you on an unofficial visit, donâ€™t be surprised if they offer you a scholarship or position at their program.Â As the recruiting process speeds up, it is not uncommon for a player to verbally commit during their Junior (sometimes even Sophomore) year.
A verbal commitment is the phrase used to describe a college-bound student-athlete’s commitment to a school before he or she signs (or is able to sign) a National Letter of Intent. A college-bound student-athlete can announce a verbal commitment at any time. This “commitment” is not binding on either the college-bound student-athlete or the school; however these commitments are RARELY broken, especially by the program.
If you are offered a scholarship and position during your visit, remember that you are in the driving seat at this point and you should not verbally commit or accept any offers until you are completely comfortably making this decision.Â Letâ€™s be honest, itâ€™s one of the biggest decisions you will ever make! If you are not being invited to go on any unofficial visits in your junior year, then you should be proactive and express the desire to visit the campus in an email or telephoneÂ call to the coaches from your Target List of schools.Â Once on campus, you are able to speak with the coach about whatever you would like and vice-versa so you will leave understanding where you stand of their list of recruits.
Regardless, of who initiates the visit, going on campus is an outstanding opportunity for you to evaluate everything about the college and determine if the school and team would be a good fit for you.
For your unofficial visit, call the admissions office at least two weeks in advance to let them know you are coming to campus, unless the coach has already done this for you. An admissions counselor can tell you the dates and times for campus tours, information sessions, and open houses.
The counselor can also recommend classes to observe, help schedule individual meetings with faculty and coaches, and provide a campus map and information on nearby lodging.Â Admissions departments keep track of visits. An admissions information session and guided campus tour shows your interest in the institution. On your visit you should:
– Schedule time for an information session and a campus tour
– Sit in on a class
– Check out the dorms
– Eat in the cafeteria
– Meet with the coach and players
– See the athletic facilities
– Ask a lot of questions
Summer Camps â€“ The Junior summer is your last chance to impress coaches at one of their camps.Â If you have not already verbally committed (or are not feeling great about the coaches who are still actively recruiting you), this is a great opportunity to get some extra exposure.Â Also, summer camps give you hours of coaching usually individualized per position at the ?Elite Camp? or ?Select Camp? level, so itâ€™s great way to hone in on your skills and improve.
In Summary: The Junior year is the most important year.Â Be prepared to give coaches all your information and video, and be very active throughout the recruiting process by emailing and calling coaches, and going on campus visits.
Â 5.Â Senior Year
The Senior year is ?crunch time? and itâ€™s time to seriously evaluate your recruiting situation.Â If you are happy with the list of schools who are still actively recruiting you, then you are in a good position. A good rule of thumb is you want to be in frequent contact with at least 5-10 schools at this point.Â If you are unsure of where you stand on some programs recruiting list, you need to have a direct conversation with those coaches and just ask: Have you filled my position for this recruiting class?Â Where do I fall in your list of potential recruits? Coaches are good people and will be honest with you on where you stand.
If you are not in contact with at least 5 schools, then you need to immediately get your information and video out to a new realistic set of programs.Â By realistic, I mean programs that do not compete in the top NCAA DI conferences (Big 12, Big 10 etc.) At this point in the recruiting time-line, 95% of those schools have secured their incoming recruiting class, or are very close.Â Therefore, reaching out to those coaches is not a wise use of your time.Â Instead focus on the lower DI, DII, DIII, NAIA or NCJAA schools. The recruiting process in these divisions tends to be slower and where you will have the most opportunities.
July 1st â€“ (as a Rising Senior, or the summer before your senior year) Coaches are now allowed per the NCAA to call/return phone calls from a prospective student athlete, once per week.Â If you have coaches calling you, then you are among their list of top recruits. If you are not in contact with any college coaches, you should consider reaching out to more programs.
Official Visit â€“ Official visits are becoming more of a formality with the acceleration of the recruiting process as more and more prospects are verbally committing before their Senior year even begins. For those players, the official visit has become an opportunity for them to visit the campus on the school’s dime while meeting current team members.
However, if you have not already verbally committed then go on as many official visits as you can. They tend to be a lot of fun and it is the one chance you will have to get an honest feel for the school and more importantly if it is the school for you!
Before a college may invite you on an official visit, you will have to provide the college with a copy of your high school transcript (Division I only) and SAT, ACT or PLAN score and register with the NCAA Eligibility Center.
1.Have your parent(s) accompany you on the visit – they will see things that you may miss with regards to facilities, classes, campus safety, etc.
Per NCAA rules, the host school cannot pay for the transportation of your parents (unless the family drives together), but once your folks are there, the school is allowed to cover everything for them.
2. Ask to stay with a member of the team in a Freshman Residence Hall.
That super nice dorm room the program showed you, could be just forÂ Juniors and Seniors. You need to know exactly the type of room you willÂ be staying in the next two years.
3. When you go out to eat, make sure you eat WHATEVER looks good to you! Don’t be shy – the program has a specific recruiting budget and that budget is allocated to try and convince you to attend their school. Also, have at least a lunch or dinner in the school cafeteria; this is the only way to see the quality of the meals and how many healthy eating options are available.
4. While it may be fun to see a match, it is more important to see a practiceÂ (not a pre-game serve and pass, but a normal practice). A volleyball practice will show you just how that program operates. Is the coach positive or negative in a training environment, how much technical instruction is presented, are the drills play oriented or repetition oriented, do the players work hard with a good attitude or are they just going through the motions – these are all things that a match will not illustrate completely.
5. Schedule an academic meeting with the person who is in charge of academics for the Athletic Department. If you are fortunate enough to know what you want to study, make sure that this discipline is available and have the staff member lay-out the process for you to graduate with that degree. Should you have a general idea or two about what possible degree excites you, make sure that school has those academic majors available. I know of too many transfer situations where the PSA choose the school for athletic reasons and not academic reasons.
6. Research the next year’s roster and ask specific questions about where you fit in. If you are an outside hitter and the team has three starting sophomores who are also outside hitters, the reality is you may not be seeing a lot of playing time as a freshman. Conversely, if the team is currently laden with senior outside hitters, are you going to be expected to be an impact player your freshman year?
7. Ask about Team Policies – While the Athletic Department may have certain guidelines about player-team conduct, each program is usually left to determine their own conduct rules. What is the alcohol policy? Are there food-diet restrictions? Is there a dress code for home or away matches?
Are the players supposed to live together? Are players allowed to live off campus? Ask these questions now, because you will be living with the answers for a number of years.
8. Attend a non-volleyball event. Get a feel for the general student body by seeing something other than volleyball. There is much more to college than volleyball.
9. Find out about summer school and 5th year funding. Each school determines how it handles these two topics and unfortunately, the answers vary by sport. You must find out this information because it will have a big impact upon your summer plans and the financial obligation beyond the offered scholarship.
10. Spend as much time as possible with the younger players on the team.
These are the people you will be interacting with on a very personal level for the next few years. By watching a training session and asking specific questions during your meetings, you can get a good feel for the ‘adults’ at the school. If you like the players that you spend time with, then you are already on your way to having a good college experience. If the Official Visit does not allow you to spend quality time with the younger players, this should be a concern.
Signing Periods – Once you have made your decision on which school you want to attend, there are two time periods when you are allowed to sign the National Letter of Intent.Â The National Letter of Intent is a document which legally obligates the player to the school and the school to the player.
– The fall (or early) signing period is always in mid November, and lasts for about a week.
– The spring (or late) signing period goes from mid April to the beginning of August, so a window of about 4.5 months.Â However, during the spring signing period, once the National Letter of Intent has been issued, the player must signÂ and date the document within 2 weeks.
All National Letters of Intent must be signed during these time frames.Â While
extremely rare, the National Letter of Intent can be broken, as long as both the player and the coach/school agree to sign a release of obligation document.
Once you have signed the National Letter of Intent, your recruiting process in officially over! CONGRATULATIONS!
In Summary â€“ Your senior year is the time to go on official visits and or evaluate your situation.Â If you feel good about where you are in the recruiting process, great!Â If not, you need to immediately and aggressively reach out to as many (realistic) schools as possible, and be very direct with college coaches when asking questions about opportunities at their school.