Get Recruited Today: How to get a volleyball scholarship in one year

September 20, 2011
by Justin

Not every athlete has the proper amount of publicity for a number of reasons including, the region they live in, the visibility of their high school’s athletic program or simply because they are late bloomers. I myself didn’t start playing football until my senior year of high school, but I managed to get a scholarship with hard work and dedication. These same techniques can be used to get you noticed on the college volleyball recruiting scene.

Step 1: Become your own agent

Jerry Maguire and Ari Gold should be your inspiration. Yes, they are fictional characters but they are based on real people who pushed themselves and their clients to their highest potential. Speak with your coaches or your school’s Athletic Director and let him know your intentions. Ask them if they know any coaches at the next level that would be interested in an athlete like yourself. Ultimately, you have to be a salesman and market your skills. You also need to do your research. All across the U.S. there are smaller schools in Division 2, Division 3 and NAIA that are looking for untapped talent; they just don’t have the resources to do so.

Step 2: Make a Highlight tape

How else will these schools get to know you and what you can bring to the table? Every kill and every match saving bump should be on your highlight tape. It wouldn’t hurt for you to use Youtube or even (shameless plug) to establish your presence. Every single medium available should be used if necessary, from word of mouth to newspaper clippings. You can also email your preferred university’s athletic department providing them with links to your highlight reel. On most athletic program websites, you can find the emails of the head coach or if they have one, the recruiting coordinator. Every school has someone who is in charge of filming each game. This person will be your greatest ally. At my high school, the girl’s basketball coach was in charge of the equipment. I took the two VCRs, made chopped up highlight tape, and sent it out to 15 schools. Only 4 responded, but like you, I only needed one.

Step 3: Workout and then workout again

Training for the next level is what prepared me for that hot August practice, my first hell week of college. At the next level you will come to find that everything revolves around your sport. You usually get to pick your classes first, because you have to be available for practice. Your first and main group of friends on campus will most likely be other athletes from your team. This is not because you want them to be, but because you will spend countless hours with them everyday in class, practice, and the film room bonding. The season never ends on the next level so training holds more importance than ever. Everything from your stamina to your core needs to be in optimum shape or you will get injured. I had no idea that every lineman in college was near 300 pounds. I learned the lesson that talent never beats hard work, because everyone who succeeds at the next level has talent and works hard.

The time is now. Use your resources to increase your network as much as you can. If you can find an AAU team that you can afford to be on, go and play. In all, make sure you love volleyball before you pursue a scholarship. If your heart is in it, you will succeed. Even when my own coach didn’t have faith in me getting to the next level, I tirelessly sent out highlight tapes. You are the CEO of your own company. You are the top agent and you are the only client. You will go as far as the limitations you put on yourself.


Yorick Hempstead is an ex-college athlete who is a sports blogger for He is always talking sports on twitter @HempsteadHuddle. 

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