This image could be you! You are here because you want to be able to continue the sport you love at the next level. Take these steps to make your dream come true!
Step 1: Be honest with yourself on your skill level and start looking at colleges based on your level of play against other athletes of your age. This could change year to year based on your hard work, but this gives us a good lane to look at.
D1: Less than 2% of athletes make D1. They offer scholarships and it is the highest level of play that you can get.
D2: Still competitive and still offers scholarships, but won't take up as much time playing volleyball and you can focus on academics more.
D3: Great option for more academic school. Maybe you want to focus more on a very strong career choice, but still want to play Beach. They do not offer scholarships.
NAIA: Smaller community, offers scholarships and perfect for smaller private schools.
JUCO: Not a bad idea if you start your recruiting process late and getting a taste of college ball before going to a 4 year college.
Step 2: Timeline of the Recruiting process.
Freshman year: Take time to research all the different division levels and learn the recruiting rules of the NCAA.
Sophomore Year: Make highlight reels and reach out to coaches! Emails are best, but don't be discouraged if they don't respond. You should send them an updated email each time you plan on seeing them at a clinic, you win a tournament or even when something big happens to their program to let them know you are interested in their program.
Júnior Year: Time to start calling coaches! Compile a list of you target schools that you want to attend (5 safety schools that you could easily get in to) (10 target schools that you have to push to get in to) (5 reach schools out of your range)
Senior Year: You should have received an offer or are talking with coaches closely about getting an offer!
How to search for colleges:
There are about 90 colleges in the US that have Beach. Go to this link to help you with the 20 schools.
Do research on these schools academically, socially, athletically and financially. Make sure they are a fit for you!
Remember that even if you get a scholarship, you have to have the grades to attend the school. Most have a minimum GPA or test scores so check them out. You can use the website parchment.com to compare your grades and test scores.
Most beach athletes get only a partial scholarship so keep in mind the costs of the universities. Don't forget about other scholarships that can help.
Go on campus visits to see how the school is socially, weather wise, class sizes, dorms and other reasons because you will be there for 4 years.
I hope this helps you on your journey and good luck!