The following are some time tested proven tips that have helped countless prep volleyball players get recruited.
1. MAKE A LIST OF COLLEGES OF INTEREST: Make a list of your colleges of interest. In making your list, academics should be the primary criteria in compiling your list of schools. Be realistic as to the schools that may accept and recruit you.
2. PUT TOGETHER YOUR VOLLEYBALL PLAYER PROFILE: Write your Volleyball Player Profile for sending to college coaches listing your experience, training, awards, and references. List the position(s) you play, your dominant hand, height, standing reach, block jump, approach jump, your high school, graduation year and G.P.A. Make sure that you list your club and/or high school coach's telephone numbers and email addresses.
3. MAKE A VIDEO OF YOURSELF PLAYING VOLLEYBALL: Shoot a short video of yourself playing in an actual set. The video can also include clips of drills, i.e. passing, setting, hitting, blocking serving . . . etc. You can upload the video to YouTube for private viewing. Do not include music and fancy graphics as this mostly annoys the coaches because they are only interested in seeing you play volleyball.
4. WRITE TO THE COLLEGES ON YOUR LIST: Email the coaches of the colleges of your interest with your player profile and link to your video. Emails are great because the coaches will instantly get it and they can instantly click a link to see you play. Let the coaches know why you want to play for them. You should also go to the colleges' websites and fill out the "Recruit Profiles" form to let the coaches know that you are interested in playing for that college. The coach will then typically send you a volleyball camp brochure and will likely put you on a list of players to track. If you are participating in the combine, we highly recommend emailing coaches you want to play for as these coaches will watch you play at the combine.
5. BE REALISTIC AS TO WHAT LEVEL OF VOLLEYBALL YOU CAN PLAY: You might be a starter or an all-star player on your high school team, but the fact is that LESS THAN 1% of student athletes earn a DI full-ride. In fact, more than 81% of college athletic programs are outside of DI. Therefore, do not overlook playing for DII, III, NAIA or JUCO schools as there are more opportunities at these schools.
6. BE REALISTIC ABOUT WHAT POSITION YOU CAN PLAY IN COLLEGE: At 5'9 you may be the star hitter on your high school team, but you may be too short to play outside hitter at a DI school. On the other hand, you could play outsider hitter on a DII, III, NAIA or JUCO school. A DI team may want you to play Libero for them and therefore to enhance your "stock" you should also get some Libero training and playing experience. You need to be realistic as to what positions you can play in college depending upon what level of college volleyball you desire to play.
7. RESEARCH THE NEEDS OF THE COLLEGES: You may want to be recruited as a Setter for a certain college, but they may not need a setter for the years that you will be in college. Therefore, you might not want to spend time writing to schools that have no need for your position unless you really want to go to that school. Simply look up the rosters for your colleges of interest and you can get an idea of what their needs may be during the years you will be in college.
8. LET THE COLLEGE COACHES KNOW WHERE THEY CAN SEE YOU PLAY: If your club or school team is traveling to the mainland to play in a tournament, email your schools of interest and invite the coaches to come and watch you play at mainland tournaments. If the coaches will be at tournaments you are playing in, they most often will come and watch you play.
9. REGISTER WITH THE NCAA: If you plan to play Division I or Division II collegiate volleyball, you have to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center (formerly the NCAA Clearinghouse). Click here to register.
10. KEEP YOUR GRADES UP: This is one of the most important tips. You may be a great player but if your grades aren't good, you might not qualify to get into the college of your choice. Every year we have some really talented players who don't get recruited simply because their grade point average (GPA) is too low.
11. APPLY EARLY: This is one of the most important tips as well. One of the key things to do to get recruited is to apply early to the schools of your interest. This is because coaches will more seriously consider a player who has already been admitted as opposed to someone who has not. Often players apply late in the process making it unlikely that a coach will consider the player even though she may be better than an admitted player. This tip alone can get you recruited over a player who is "better than you". In fact, coaches at the combine spend more time evaluating a player who has applied or is already accepted into their school than someone who is not.
12. GO TO A COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL CAMP: If you can afford it, go to a college volleyball camp of your top college choice. This is because the coaches will watch you very closely at their camp and they will likely try to recruit you there if you impress them. Going to their camp shows the coach that you are seriously interested in playing for that school. Sign up for the "advanced" camp because the "beginners" camp is just that and high school players will not learn much at the "beginners" camp.
13. UNOFFICIAL AND OFFICIAL VISITS: You should visit the schools that are recruiting you so that you have a good idea as to whether you can see yourself going to school and playing volleyball there. You arrange the unofficial visits with the college coaches but you pay for all expenses to visit the school. If the college coach is truly recruiting you, he/she will arrange for you to have an "official" visit where the school pays for most expenses of the visit. The "official" visit normally comes after the "unofficial" visit. Some schools may not have the budget to pay for an official visit.
14. WHAT IS AN OFFER?: An offer is where a college coach offers you a scholarship for a year or year to year to play college volleyball. The offer could also be as a preferred walk-on with the possibility of a scholarship if you perform well enough as a walk-on.
15. DON'T BE DISCOURAGED IF A COACH DOES NOT RESPOND TO YOU: The NCAA rules restrict how and when a college coach can contact you so do not get discouraged if a coach does not reply to your letter. Sometimes the school will send you a volleyball camp brochure. This may or may not mean that the school is interested in you. The coach can contact your club or high school coach listed on your volleyball resume to let you know that he/she is interested in you or to get more information about you. Please see our Recruiting Guidelines Page or the NCAA rules at for details as to when a coach can contact you. This will depend upon your year and month in high school. Less restrictive rules apply to DII, III, NAIA & JUCO schools.
16. KEEP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE WHEN PLAYING: College coaches will not only observe your playing abilities, but they will also observe your attitude on the court. This means while playing on the court and while on the bench. If you hang your head when your team is down, the coaches could view this as a negative. Conversely, if you try to encourage your team when your team is down, this is viewed as a positive. Coaches watch your body language, your facial expressions as well as what you say.
17. ATHLETIC MONEY v. ACADEMIC MONEY: Some schools do not offer athletic scholarships or may have not any scholarships left to offer. However, many schools come to the combine with various packages that can include academic scholarships, grants and programs that can help to fund your tuition and other expenses.
18. REPLY TO THE COLLEGE COACHES: When a college coach writes to you, you should immediately reply. Staying in contact lets the coach know that you are truly interested in playing for him/her. Often when a coach writes to you, he/she will simply be updating you weekly on how their team is doing, but he/she is also letting you know that you are still on his/her "radar". Do not fall off that "radar" unless you are no longer interested in playing for that school.
19. GET LISTED ON RECRUITING WEBSITES: There are recruiting websites that some college coaches will visit to look for players. Some of these sites charge a fee for the listing. We recommend an established service like NCSA.
21. GO TO A RECRUITING COMBINE: Recruiting combines like the Hawaii Volleyball Combine will enable you to "show your stuff" in front of a captive audience of college coaches. They are there for one reason; to recruit players. A combine is better than a tournament because a coach can get all of your "measurables" (i.e. approach jump, agility shuffle scores . . etc.), see you in drills and playing in games and they can request to see you play out of position.
22. KEEP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES CLEAN & PRIVATE: If a coach is interested in you, he or she will do some research on you including looking at your social media posts. Therefore you should make sure that it has clean and appropriate content. Keeping your pages private is recommended.