Ask A College Coach
Aside from technical skills, what general qualities are you looking for in players your recruit?
I am always looking for players with leadership qualities. I really appreciate when the player handles all their own emails and phone calls. It's understandable that your parents want to help, and they can, but we are recruiting the player not the parents and it goes a long way when the player is confident and easy to communicate with. I want to see players who are engaged even when they are off the court and who respond positively to coaching.
Assistant Coach, University at Buffalo
They have to be able to work hard and have a high work load capacity. What I mean is that players never really know how hard they can go until you push them, but every player has a motor. Sometimes that motor is high sometimes its medium and sometimes it’s on idle. I am looking for kids that have the capacity to be in between that medium to high rang more often than not.
Head Coach, Radford University
When watching players, coaches are looking for someone with a good attitude and are supportive of their teammates. This is especially true if the team isn’t doing well. Do they participate in the midcourt circle or do they turn away and pout? Coaches are also looking for players who make good decisions on the floor. Do they know what to do with tight sets, double blocks, bad passes, etc.? What do the high school/club coach say about their attitude? Are they coachable? Do they have a strong work ethic? Are they fearless? Coaches are looking for players with a passion for volleyball, not just the ones playing for a scholarship.
Former Head Coach (retired in 2014 after 30 years), George Mason University
Our favorite recruits are those that can carry a conversation and have some confidence in what they are doing. It is definitely ok to be shy but at least have some talking points, questions, or concerns when showing interest in a school.
Assistant Volleyball Coach, UVA
Mentally: In all of our players we look for someone who is aggressive and wants the ball but at the same time can let mistakes go and continue to play in an aggressive mindset. We need to see that they can take constructive criticism/coaching and try to make changes. They must support their teammates on and off the court and stay mentally tough when things are falling apart. We also enjoy recruits who are fun to talk to on their visits and have a lot of questions.
Head Volleyball Coach, University of Mary Washington
Blue collar mentality, work ethic, mentality of training to get better, COMPETING, personable and relatable to teammates.
Former Assistant Volleyball Coach, University of Louisville Volleyball
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Chad M Gatzlaff
I look at how athletes talk to their coaches, parents, and teammates. We emphasize family values in our program. This elevates what we’re doing on the court and helps athletes after college. I also look at how players handle themselves on the bench. Do they cheer for their teammates or pout because they think they should be out there? Do they bring energy to the court when they’re playing or do they suck energy from their teammates?
Selflessness – your team always comes before you. You must be willing to continually give to your team and the program (both physically, emotionally, mentally, etc.) without feeling entitled to anything in return. 2. Competitive Drive – Our team is competing for each other and against each other every single day, and if competition isn’t an intrinsically motivating force for our players, they won’t be successful in our program. 3. Work Ethic – We have extremely high expectations for our players, both on and off the court, and to be successful in a multitude of arenas requires the ability to work hard all the time. This applies in the gym, weight room, athletic training room, classroom, nutritionally, mentally, socially, etc. It is hard, tiring, work juggling the responsibilities of being a collegiate studentathlete, and it takes a special type of person to do it. You have to love to grind to really succeed.
Character. We want players that are good people! We like driven athletes who love VT as much as we do!
Good person, good student, good volleyball player.
Passion. If you don't absolutely love it, and are willing to commit everything to it, my program will chew you up and spit you out. Just ask the 10+ guys who were on the team 3 years ago but not anymore.
Heart, commitment and the will to get better!
Head Women's Volleyball Coach, Northern Virginia Community College
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