College Recruiting: Steps, Tips & Resources


Step 1: What schools interest you?

There are many different factors to consider when making your list of prospective schools. Choosing a college is not only about the division or success of the volleyball team. It is about finding the right fit for your wants and needs as a student and an athlete. Are you looking for a big university or a small liberal arts college... or something in between? Do you want to stay in state or do you want to go to a school on the other side of the country? Here are key things to consider when determining your preliminary schools of interest:

• Does school have academic program in which you are interested?

• Size of school

• Location/Region/Climate

• Division - Do you want to play NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) or NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association)

• Use the links below to find your prospective schools:






• Other things to consider: Do you want to make an immediate impact on the program? Are you interested in a certain conference within the division? What kind of athletic/academic balance to you want? Do you want to be able to do study abroad programs?

Step 2: Make list of top 20-25 schools based on above criteria

It is important to be organized! Some players choose to create a spreadsheet, and others use a notebook to manage the recruiting process. Whichever method you choose, make sure you include the following information:

• School Name

• Coach Name/email addresses

• Division information

• Documentation of all contact (emails, completion of school's online recruiting questionnaire, etc.)

Step 3: Create a video

Most college coaches want to see an entire game, not just highlights of perfect sets or passes, aces or kills.

You can also create a shorter highlight video (6-7 minutes) that showcases different skills based on your position. For example, if you are a setter, you can break it down like this:

• 4's and 5's

• 1's , 2's, 3's, 6's

• 9's, slides

• defense, setter dumps, serving

Creating the video: iMovie or similar programs are easy to use to create your recruiting videos and can easily be uploaded to YouTube. It is not necessary to use expensive production services to make your video. Be sure to include the following:

• Name and photo

• Position

• Recruiting year (if you are currently a junior, you would be a 2019)

• Height, approach touch, block touch

• School & Club Team

• Number

About recruiting services: There are several free recruiting services available to help you showcase your game footage video and tell coaches about your personal info. Free recruiting services include: University Athlete, NCSA, BeRecruited, HUDL, CaptainU. The base membership is free, but in order to receive more in-depth services you will be charged. There are also free websites that you can use to host your profile.

Remember, it is not mandatory to have your own website or use a recruiting service. Many student athletes find success just through contacting the coaches via email, including a link to their YouTube video, and filling out the school's online recruiting questionnaire.

Step 4: Reach out to coaches

Send an email to each coach on your list of schools. It is important to send these emails individually; do not send a mass email. Address each coach by name - "Dear Coach _______"

Include the following information:

• Name, position, height, graduation year, GPA, test scores, your high school and club

• Include your name, recruiting year and position in Subject line of email. Example: "Jane Jumper 2019 Middle Hitter"

• Express enthusiastic interest in school and program (academic interest)

• Let coach know what tournaments your club team will be playing in and your club team name

• Club and High School coach contact info (email and phone)

• Link to profile and/or YouTube video link

NCAA Rules for Coach/Student Athlete Contact:

NCAA member schools have rules regarding the recruiting process, when recruiting may occur, as well as contact periods. More information on the recruiting process and when a coach may contact a recruit:

NCAA Recruiting Calendar

Step 5. Schedule Visits

When coaches see you play live or see your video, they may ask to schedule a visit with you. Visits scheduled before September 1st of your senior year are considered "unofficial."  This means that you will have to pay all expenses. For Division I and II schools, Official Visits (scheduled after 9/1 of your senior year) are typically paid for by the school.

When you meet with a coach, here are some questions you might want to ask:

• What positions will I play on your team? You may be a OH, but they may want you to play DS

• What other players may be competing for my position. This could indicate whether you should expect to be a starter.

• Will I be redshirted my first year?

• What are your training and conditioning expectations?

• How would you best describe your coaching style? You need to know if a coach's teaching style matches your learning style.

For more info on questions to ask coaches as well as admissions, click here: Choosing a College

Step 6. Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center

In order compete for an NCAA Division I or II school, you will need to be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center. You will also need to create a certification account in order to make official visits to Division I  and II schools or sign a National Letter of Intent.

You are not required to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center for Division III schools. You can create a NCAA Profile Page if you plan to compete in Division III or are not yet sure where you want to compete. You will get an NCAA ID and be sent important reminders as you complete high school.

NCAA Division I Info

NCAA Division II Info

NCAA Division III Info

Step 7: Maintain a conversation with coaches!

If a coach expresses interest, make sure that you continually check-in with them with updates on your tournament schedule and team.  Let them know how your team did if they were not able to get to a particular tournament. Send them reminders about an upcoming tournament if they are planning to attend. It is important to demonstrate that you are as interested in their school as they are in you!

Other Resources:

Recruiting Process

Choosing a College

How to Register with NCAA

Recruiting Fact Sheet

Have more questions? Contact Club Director, Jennifer Newall at