Updated: Apr 29, 2019
The college recruiting process can be intimidating for student-athletes and their families. Encore Volleyball Club hopes to demystify the process for our Encore family through education, our extensive network of connections with college programs, and ensuring our athletes and families are aware of the resources available to them through their membership at Encore. Our goal is to nurture any desire an Encore athlete may have to continue playing volleyball after high school at whatever level that might be, as well as help to navigate the college search and recruiting process.
On Friday, April 19, Encore Volleyball Club hosted its first annual College Recruiting Workshop. Encore's own Denise Sheldon was the emcee for the night and featured a panel of collegiate coaches and former athletes representing all levels of opportunities to play indoor and beach volleyball in college. Representing Division I, Jolene and Aaron Shepardson from San Jose State University indoor and beach respectively; Division II, Kim Lambert from Cal State East Bay; Division III, Jack Cowden of Mills College; NAIA, Denise Sheldon and Menlo College; California Community Colleges, Katie Goldhahn with College of San Mateo; athletes featured were Kyle Gilbert as a Stanford Volleyball alum and Torika Baleilekutu from University of Memphis. Themes for the night included starting your college search process early, and no later than your freshman year in high school to maximize opportunities. Panelists described the ever-important contact periods for each level and encouraged athletes and their families to contact the coaches of the schools in which they are interested and ask direct and specific questions. Kyle and Torika stressed that the college search process is ultimately the responsibility of the individual student-athlete, and families should encourage their daughters to jump in head first into the process and provide support throughout.
The coaches on the panel discussed the fact that student-athletes are all different and there is an appropriate level for every player - and Division I is certainly not for everyone! Remaining open to opportunities at all levels is imperative to discover the best possible fit for every individual athlete. The college decision is one of the first truly important life-decisions that a student-athlete will make, so it is important to put in the work to learn about what you want as a student-athlete and find the best fit for you.
This workshop was just one of many resources available to Encore athletes. For families who missed the discussion, the session was recorded and will be made available to Encore families. In addition, please be sure to check out the Encore Recruiting Guide that compliments the session, available here!