For our first interview, I am pleased to share with you the insights of a NCAA Division 1 Volleyball Coach. This coach is at one of the major universities whose name you would recognize. The coach has asked not to be mentioned by name, but was still willing to give us some incredible insight into NCAA Division 1 recruiting.
If you are considering NCAA Division 1 athletics read on. This interview is full of priceless information!
Bryan: When do you begin looking at players?
Coach: As soon as 8th grade in some cases.
Bryan: What would a timeline look like for your recruiting of a typical player? What kind of communication do you send out and when?
Coach: Recruiting depends on the age and time of year. If they are multiple years away we will give them some time but if they are being recruited for the next season we normally need to know as soon as possible. The timeline depends on the player, position and situation our program is in.
We try to communicate with our top recruits on a weekly basis at least. Due to NCAA rules we can communicate in certain ways with certain age players. A lot of communication these days goes through club or high school coaches.
Bryan: What can or should high school athletes do from their end to get on your radar screen?
Coach: Send an e-mail with video to introduce themselves. Look at the roster to make sure you position is needed. Have your coaches call or e-mail the recruiting coordinator on staff.
Bryan: At what point is your recruiting class done? (When is it too late for a player to be thinking they will be recruited by a D1 program)?
Coach: We are never done recruiting if the athlete is the right fit for our program and a good athlete that we think can help us. Sometimes we may not have money for four years and sometimes we have money to give. It never hurts to ask!
Bryan: You get 12 full scholarships correct?
Coach: Yes, you are either on full aide or no athletic aide. We don’t have a set number of players by position on money or not on money. It depends on our needs for each year.
Bryan: How many players are typically on your roster and how does this affect how much each player receives?
Coach: We like to carry around 16 players but have up to 20 at any given time. We like to keep the number around 16 so we can give the players the reps they need to contribute. Depending upon the year we can have up to 20. If we have a big class graduating we will bring a big class in to replace them.
Bryan: What happens to an athletic scholarship of an injured player?
Coach: We would medical red shirt the athlete if it is a career ending injury. If it is just a season injury we would just rehab them and get them going again for the next year.
Bryan: Do you use player’s recruiting videos? On YouTube?
Coach: I appreciate players that send video, I can watch it in almost any format!
Bryan: What are your thoughts about how helpful third party recruiting companies like Captain U or BeRecruited are?
Coach: I try and watch the video if they have one!
Bryan: What does an official D1 visit look like?
Coach: We tour all facilities and campus as well as have them stay with a player and hang out so they can get a feel for the team and our program. We like to bring the player in for a match if possible and/or to see another sport play so they can see the atmosphere.
Bryan: What is the role of the parent in the recruiting process?
Coach: It is big for us because we have a family atmosphere in our gym. We want the family to know that their athlete is going to be taken care of and ready to go out into the real world when they are done with our program.
Bryan: What does the offseason, spring season and summer look like for a D1 volleyball player?
Coach: We are allowed a certain number of days a year after the fall season. We can use the days we have left. Spring is in two different seasons. Part of spring is 8 hour weeks of mostly strength and conditioning and two hours of Volleyball. Then 20 hour weeks start and we do volleyball every day and strength and conditioning 3-4 times a week. We also have four play dates in the spring. The summer consists of voluntary work outs and open gym run by players, we can’t do any training with the team.
Bryan: How do academics and athletics fit together?
Coach: We believe that school is the most important part of college because you will not be playing volleyball forever. We are willing to work around any major so the student athlete can do the career that is meant for them.
Bryan: What are the challenges? Talk about how players can or are successful in the classroom.
Coach: We are lucky to have a full time athletic advisor to help keep our athletes on track not only for the semester but for their whole career at our school. It is a balance, but it is all about time management. Once you have that down you will be successful!
Bryan: Respond to this statement with regards to Division 1 volleyball, “But for every starter, there are an equal number, and up to twice as many, players on the bench.”
Coach: We are a team sport and only as good as the players in our gym. If you work hard and put the time in you will see playing time on our court.
For more information to help you along toward playing NCAA Division 1, check out the following three articles: