I am considered a late bloomer in the sport of volleyball. I leisurely entered practice two weeks into my eighth grade season. I was an avid runner at the time and hadn’t even considered playing another sport. As I began to hone my skills in volleyball, I realized that I enjoyed it more than track and that I was better at it. I played casually my first couple of years and then discovered the intricate world of club ball. After my sophomore season I decided to pursue volleyball and stop running track.
I had limited recruiting support. Although my parents were great fans, they were not athletes. They had no idea about what club to tryout for or what to do with these letters I started getting in the mail. And similar to most athletes, I was not the best player on my high school team. My high school coach was busy helping the top player in the state, and didn’t have much time for me. I just piled up the letters and questionnaires and didn’t do anything with them.
As time went on my abilities improved and the recognition came. The college contacts increased as well. The problem was that I didn’t know where I wanted to go or even what I was looking for in a college. I turned down official visits, didn’t return game tape as requested, and neglected to answer phone calls because I didn’t realize that these schools were trying to recruit me! I also didn’t realize there were other recruiting resources in addition to my high school coach and my parents. I can only imagine where my path would have led had I known about Athletes Wanted.
I ended up losing out on many opportunities because I lacked guidance through the recruiting process. I did end up talking to coaches and going on several official visits my senior year, but the schools just weren’t what I was looking for and I had no idea how to contact the ones who were.
Around May of my senior year I had not made a decision about my college future. Luckily, I ran into a great coach who helped me the rest of the way. I went to Kirkwood Community College for my first two years and developed into an awarded volleyball player and a top student.
Having gone through the process once before, I knew what to do the second time. I started writing letters and emails to coaches at schools I was interested in. I thought about the geographic area I wanted, what type of campus, and the level of volleyball I could be competitive at. I ended up choosing the University of South Carolina-Aiken to spend the last two years of college. It was a school where I could shine athletically and academically.
Working with Chris Krause has given me the ability to share this first hand knowledge with student-athletes. I am confident that anyone feeling like I did through this process could gain invaluable knowledge about recruiting and collegiate opportunities through Athletes Wanted. Although I do not regret any of the decisions I made, I know how stressful the recruiting process was for me and my family. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to guide student-athletes in a similar position to find them the right athletic and academic fit.