This is a coaching blog, so the odds of potential recruits and/or their parents reading this post aren’t great. I’m writing it more to get some stuff off my chest about volleyball recruiting videos. And maybe some coaches out there will get a chuckle.

With that said, here are some thoughts. They aren’t in any particular order.

  • Just because it’s a kill that doesn’t mean it’s a good attack (or a good set). Successful, sure, but that’s not the same as showing me the level of your ability.
  • Similarly, just because it’s an ace that doesn’t mean it’s a good serve.
  • And while I’m on a role, just because it’s a stuff that doesn’t mean it’s a good block.
  • Flipping all those things around, just because it isn’t a kill, ace, or block doesn’t mean it was bad. Sometimes our best skill executions don’t produce the desired result. That doesn’t mean they aren’t good representatives of a player’s abilities.
  • I do not care about overpass kills.
  • Highlight clips of passing and digging aren’t really of all that much value – especially the flashy ones. For all I know, you shanked all your other opportunities.
  • Clips of your coach/teammate/etc. serving you lollipops or hitting balls straight at you to dig also don’t give me much to go on.
  • Blocking balls from hitters on boxes doesn’t show me anything more than if you just do a couple of blocking reps without the ball.
  • I don’t need to see a whole bunch of serves. A couple good examples of your technique is plenty. If you have a couple different serves (e.g. float and topspin), go ahead and show a couple – a couple! – of each.
  • Sticking with the serving, and tying back in with the ace thing, I want to see your serve mechanics. I don’t care about the outcome. Serves where you are completely off camera tell me very little, unless you have a very strong arm or unusual action to your serve.
  • I don’t need to see more than a handful of reps in each of your major skills in a highlights type video. Just show me your best stuff.
  • When it comes to hitting, highlights are fine. For everything else (blocking, passing, defense, setting) I want more. Movement is an important factor in those skills, so I want to see how you move around the court or along the net.
  • Setters, if you play front row I need to see at least a little bit of your blocking.
  • Make sure I can tell which one is you! The highlights and spotlights and other things people use are great (though not necessary for EVERY rep). At a minimum, tell me at the beginning which one is you so I can easily pick you out. And if it’s regular game footage, telling me where you start is useful too. Nothing worse than not knowing which player I’m supposed to be looking at.
  • That said, don’t put a pause in the middle of the primary skill you’re showing me. For example, a spike approach. Evaluating your physicality is part of what I’m doing and I can’t do that as well if the video stops right in the middle of an explosive movement.

I should note that in multiple places above I talk about not liking reps that come in a sort of drill situation. Reps from live play – even if it’s a practice game – are always MUCH preferred. I understand, though, that sometimes you have to make do with what you can get.

OK. I think that’s it. Feel free to share your thoughts on volleyball recruiting videos in the comment section below.

If you’re a coach, you may also like the posts A college coach’s recruiting conundrum and Thinking about volleyball recruiting.

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Talent Strategy Manager (oversees the national teams) and Indoor Performance Director for Volleyball England, as well as Global Director for Volleyball for Nation Academy. His volleyball coaching experience includes all three NCAA divisions, plus Junior College, in the US; university and club teams in the UK; professional coaching in Sweden; and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. He's also been a visiting coach at national team, professional club, and juniors programs in several countries. Learn more on his bio page.

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