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The City Journals

How tenth-ranked SLCC volleyball recruits its talent

Oct 07, 2019 01:46PM ● By Greg James

The Salt Lake Community College volleyball program is loaded with top talent and again finds itself ranked nationally in the top 10. (Photo courtesy of Stephen Speckman/SLCC athletics)

By Greg James | [email protected] 

Salt Lake Community College has a top-10 ranked volleyball team. Its roster is stacked with players from around the globe, including Brazilians, a New Zealander and several top-notch local recruits. 

How do they end up in Taylorsville? College recruiting has become a big business, and players and coaches around the globe are trying to cash in on the talent of prospects.

“It is a lot about how a kid can market themselves,” Bruins assistant volleyball coach Scott Kiester said. “Everyone has a different story on how we have found them.”

The typical movie scene of the coaches huddled around a table in a secret room evaluating players is not far from the truth. Although every collegiate team handles recruiting differently, coaches usually have a recruiting board or list of players they are interested in. Athletes and their parents should understand how these lists work. 

“There are so many kids out there; they need to get themselves noticed.” Kiester said. “Some players use a recruiting agency to help them.”

College coaches gather information about players that meet basic requirements such as height, weight, position, graduating year and academics. According to ncsasports.org, the coaches get this information from several sources: recruiting sites, recommendations from high school and club coaches, messages from the recruits and camps or clinics.

“I suggest they email the coaches,” Kiester said. “Communicate with them a lot, even if they don’t respond. Never assume the coach is not interested unless they say so. Send small highlights—they help.” 

Athletes can create free profiles on some sites to help generate interest. They should attend camps at the schools they have an interest in attending also athletes should present their name to potential coaches as often as possible. Many schools send recruiting questionnaires to potential athletes to gauge their interest.

“We attend club matches and then some high school matches to narrow down kids we are interested in,” Kiester said.

College coaches narrow down their lists of potential players by getting to know them. They will ask coaches for information and talk with a potential recruit several times before extending an offer. 

“Sometimes, we find kids when we are out watching other girls play,” Kiester said.

According to USA Today High Sports, the summer before a player’s high school junior season is a critical point. Communication with coaches you have in that period will help you know what coaches have a genuine interest in you. 

Salt Lake Community College has capitalized on a strong recruiting base. “I am out there a lot,” Kiester said.

The Bruins have been ranked as high as ninth in the nation according to the National Junior College Athletic Association. They defeated Seward Community College, the No. 1-ranked team, Sept. 13 in a Henderson, Nevada, tournament, 3-2.