Someone saying "there are a lot of scholarships for girls volleyball" isn't necessarily incorrect in a vacuum but it leaves out the very important context that there are way more girls playing volleyball than any other sport (other than track and field). Getting a scholarship to play in college is very tough, and volleyball may be the toughest of all simply due to the huge amount of competition for them (including international). There isn't a great way to get accurate data but it's estimated that less than 2% of HS players will get any scholarship money for volleyball.
If your kid wants to play in college there are many other routes than D1 and scholarships. There are also opportunities for scholarship at NAIA, lesser D1, and D2 schools. If playing is the most important thing then do your due diligence and you likely can find somewhere they can play.......this is assuming they are starting caliber players in high school and above average high school players in general.
I know for the baseball side of things if your kid just wants to play in college there are plenty of colleges looking for players especially if you are in California/Florida/Texas (year round baseball states) because those players have the chance to play a lot of games. Smaller schools in the midwest/east that have limited seasons due to weather often covet players from these areas because they just have more experience so if playing in college is the goal there are places to play. Scholarship money may not be available depending on the school which is why NAIA is a good opportunity. They have scholarship money to give and there is a wide range of playing level in that division.
Grades, grades, grades.
My son is playing D3 baseball as he leaves for college this August. D3 has no athletic scholarships. However they offer highly lucrative academic scholarships. Because my son excelled and took care of his business in the classroom he secured a 4 year academic scholarship covering 70% of his total costs.
And here are other great things about D3 sports. They will never take away your academic scholarship (if for some reason you get hurt or your playing days come to an abrupt end etc). Just keep up your grades (he needs to maintain a B average).
At D3 the opportunity to play is huge. My son was a coveted recruit for his program coming from a South Florida school and arguably one of the top 3 high school baseball programs in the country. It is very likely he will be playing early and often and they also have a true JV team so as a freshman he will be playing a lot waiting his turn while dressing with the Varsity team as well. He may even get some PT as a Freshman on the big team. Time will tell.
It’s a win win.
When it comes to baseball the best advice I can give anyone is:
1. Summer high school showcase baseball - Extremely important. This is where the actual recruiting takes place for most D2/D3/NAIA teams. 5 schools came out to watch my son last summer after he developed relationships via “email and video” over the past year (2022). It takes a ton of work and parents who are all in in supporting and helping their kid potentially become a student collegiate athlete. College coaches don’t have the ability to come to high school games as their own seasons are in full swing in the spring. Summer is where things happen. It’s where my son was “recruited” but getting them to specifically come watch your son/daughter is the “work” you and your son/daughter have got to put in. I talked about NCSA (I Paid 2K for lifetime memebership) and I am telling you if you leverage that tool you can have great success. It gives you access to every school at every level in the country. We sent out about 200 emails from the start of his Junior year. We were able to organize 20 reach schools, 20 match schools and 20 safe schools and then as the year went on we are able to eliminate schools, new schools who we never even thought of reached out after seeing his video and profile….it was a lot of coals in the fire and seed planting. I never used any other recruiting services or advisors who charge thousands more.....NCSA was perfect for us because we put in the work and leveraged all the resources they provided. They don’t guarantee success....but they do make it clear if your kid has the talent and grades and you use the tool and all the resources they provide you will get offers. And they were 100% correct.
We did camps for specific schools he was interested in as well. These are also very important to get in front of the coaches. Just be careful with some of these. We did school specific where it was only that school we went to. The combines with 10-12 coaches or those super camps.....waste of money.
He had some D1 interest (Xavier in particular was very interested) but we really were able to figure out D2/D3 or NAIA was the best opportunity for him to shine and he also wanted a “small” school where he can focus on his grades and have a balance. There is a huge difference going to a campus with 30K students vs 1000. Totally different feel. So finding the right fit is critical. It’s not just about “The jersey and hat”
Anyway getting on a tangent.
D1 scholarships are very difficult, the opportunity to play is extremely difficult unless you are truly the elite of the elite. So you gotta really assess what the talent level and physicality of your kid is.
My son absolutely has a D1 skill set/work ethic etc…..but he is 5’10’ 155 pound middle infielder. The odds of him getting any true opportunity at a D1? We did not like those odds. And two D1’s showed any interest and it was not like they were rolling out the red carpet. But the interest from D2/3/NAIA was great and we got it down to 10 schools and then 5 that were pushing hard and the “opportunity” to potentially play a significant role was great. Yes….he still has to go in and bust his *** and win a position….but we are confident in that with what he has went through in high school (another story for another time). He is mentally and physically ready to do that. He is a late bloomer and still growing is strength and stature. So a high ceiling type of player.
It’s exciting. The process is a grind. And seriously…..let your kids play and develop and don’t worry about college recruiting till they are about to enter their junior year…..you will spend (waste) money you won’t get back.
Yeah yeah but kids are committed earlier and earlier…..don’t fall into that trap. So much changes between Freshman and Senior year of high school. There will be tons of opportunities when they enter their junior year of high school.
1. Grades grades grades
3. Character and work ethic
In that order folks. Yes talent ultimately is going to be important (you gotta be really good…like top 5% good in the country to play college sports).
But they weed you out first and foremost by grades and then character and work ehtic.
To put it in perspective…..in baseball there are approximately 500K high school baseball players.
Around 30-35K move on to all levels of college baseball between D1/2/3/NAIA/JUCO
It’s a major commitment on your child as well as your family. A lot of time and resources are needed for 99% of high school players to get recruited.