There is a lot to do if you want to play NCAA volleyball. The sooner you start the easier it will be.
NCAA Guide for Athletes
Here is a checklist (from The Art of Coaching Volleyball)
HIGH SCHOOL SOPHOMORE CHECKLIST
- Continue to email college coaches who you might want to play for. Generally, emailing is better than calling because coaches are busy, but if you have something specific you want to discuss with a particular coach, calling is fine too. Most coaches prefer a call from you than a call from your mom or dad. It shows them that you can take initiative on your own. Remember, if college coaches don’t pick up, they can’t call you back; it’s best to set up a time and date to call so they’re ready to answer. (Sept. 1 of your junior year is when a coach can call back or initiate contact with you directly.)
- Respond to coaches who reach out to you. Show them that you’re on top of things and organized enough to get back to them in a timely manner.
- If coaches contact you from a school you’re not interested in, be polite and tell them no in a nice way. And be prompt. Getting back to people in a timely manner who reach out to you is a great habit, whether it’s related to volleyball, school or anything else in life.
- Revise the list you’ve made of schools that interest you. What division and level are you looking at? Division 1 provides full-rides or preferred walk-on positions with no aid. While reviewing your list, ask yourself these questions: What type of program do you want to play at – big, small, everything in-between? Do you need a scholarship, or would you consider being a walk-on if your dream school doesn’t have money for you? Do you want a chance to play right away, or are you good with redshirting and possibly not playing until your last 2 years? These are important conversations to have with college coaches as you shape your list to match your goals. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. College coaches are doing the same with their recruits.
- Work hard to continue improving your volleyball skills. Ask your coach for suggestions on how you can get better in certain areas of your game.
- Be assertive in asking the coaches at your favorite college where you are on their recruiting list.
- Become a great teammate by being positive and exuding energy. Don’t be an “eye-roller” or have bad body language when your teammates make a mistake. Be supportive. And be the type of player who bounces right back after a mistake. Coaches value a good attitude and good body language as much as good skills.
- Plan to go to more volleyball camps. At this point in your high school career, you should target camps at schools where you may want to play. This is a great way to show coaches you’re serious about their program and to get a better feel for what their program is like. If budget is an issue, you don’t necessarily have to go to the entire camp. If it’s a 4-day camp, consider going for 2 days, especially if you have others to attend. This makes it more affordable.