Regardless of if the student-athlete wants to play at the collegiate varsity level of even on a competitive NCVF club team, the college selection process can be one of the most tedious and nerve-racking processes for the teenager.
Being able to select a perfect fit that meets the academic needs and to have a sport program that could compliment the college experience is always a hard find. Today, the college transfer rate is high in collegiate athletics because of a number of reasons, but that is why we always tell student-athletes that even if they did not have volleyball, would the school be a perfect academic path for them to gain the requirements for them to be successful in their chosen fields.
First, the student-athlete needs to have a few things in mind...
1) What do you like? And we mean, what do they find interesting in academics? Are they a math person? Do they like science? Do they like some and not others? Do they enjoy extracurricular activities in high school? What do they like to be involved with in school now? These are all questions that can help play into finding a good fit across the board for the student first.
2) Do they like small, intimate settings with having small classes and more individualized attention? Do they like not knowing everyone in a bigger to mid-sized school or do they just like being the small fish in a big pond and want a larger institution feel where they can meet someone new every day? My recommendation is that they set foot on 3-4 different sized college campuses where they can gauge what they feel could be home for at least the next four years of their lives.
3) After we can find a good academic profile or size of school, then we can start looking at programs and location. Some will want to stay closer to family and home, others will have a larger range which adds more variety to the search.
4) The next part is narrowing down the profile of school and we can take a look at the most important thing of the learning process - Internships and Job Placement rates out of their studies... HUGE part of college, is getting a real person job! This is one factor that can get overlooked.
5) The last part is the sport addition. Varsity, club or recreation - sports should be one of the last parts of the school selection. There are many reasons why we say this but the main part is that we want the kids to be at college because of academics. As a college coach, I always want the right academic fits for our student-athletes because the experience of volleyball is enhanced by their satisfaction of how their academic progress will propel them into their careers and a successful life.
As we head into this next month, I will be talking to each team and working on profiles to help them start their college search process.
Websites that I personally recommend if you are looking for profiles is NCSA and BeRecruited. I think that these two sites do a great job with their profiles and being easy to manage. We will provide information on our website and video on youtube.com but we want to make sure each athlete has their own control over their profiles as well!
Please schedule recruiting sessions with Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org