Getting “Set Up” for your Future
By: Allie Shannon and Kara Johnson
Playing sports in college is something that many people always dream about. Something they don’t always think about though is the process that comes along with it. Most people don’t know much about the recruiting process and it can be very long and complicated. The process depends on the sport, they aren’t all the same. To be on track with the volleyball recruiting process you have to start early.
You can get letters for volleyball as early as your freshman year in high school. These letters are from colleges and are simply letters of interest. These letters usually include questionares that you fill out to show that you are interested in the school. The letters are pretty generic and they can’t send personal letters until September first of your junior year. If college coaches are really interested in you then they can email your school or club coach and you can communicate through them. You can email college coaches directly, but again they can’t answer until september of your junior year. Same thing with phone calls, you can call them but they can’t call back. However if you call and they answer you can talk.
Just like any other sport, there is a difference between the divisions of schools. The major differences that recruits pay attention to are the amount of scholarships they have. At a division one school the coaches are allowed twelve scholarships to hand out to players. However at a division two school they only have a total of eight scholarships to hand out. Some division two schools will just receive a certain amount of money and they can split it up to the players however they like. With the athletic money a D2 school has given a player, they are also allowed to combine it with academic money based on grades and ACT scores. In D1 the scholarships are completely athletic they can’t mix academic scholarships in too. Ivy League schools are the complete oppisite, they have athletics but they can’t hand out any athletic scholarships, only academic.
The other major difference between divisions is the level of play. A big division one school like Illinois is very time consuming as they play some of the best teams in the nation. Some of the smaller D1 schools still play a few of the bigger D1 schools, however, they also play many D2 schools. When choosing schools, size can be a big part. If you are all about athletics in college then go big! If you don’t want athletics to take over your life, then think about a smaller school.
People say that college is the best time of your life. Athletics can help add to that great time, but only if you take the time to do recruiting the right way. If you take the time to do it, you will find a school that you really enjoy and fits you. So start the process now and contact the places you are interested in before it is too late!