Volleyball Recruiting Cliff Notes: November

From the NCSA, the offical partner of the JVA


November is the start of the National Letter of Intent season! Especially pay attention to the early signing periods that start November 12th and end November 19th.

Initial Signing Date
Final Signing Date
Early Period
November 12, 2014
November 19, 2014
Regular Period
April 15, 2015
August 1, 2015


The deadline for schools that accept ‘Early Decision’ or ‘Early Action’ applications usually falls around November 1st or 15th.

*This process is binding if they are accepted to the school.


The time starts now to prepare families for the FAFSA process! Follow the steps below to ensure all families are ready come January 1st:

  • Have last year’s tax returns on hand and fill out the FAFSA worksheet prior to   January 1st

  • Both steps will make the application process go smoothly!

Make sure families are aware money is on a first come first serve basis. Applying as early as possible will allow the family to receive the maximum amount of funding – some funding is limited and may be depleted if a family waits too long. Plus, no matter the families income everyone should apply for the FAFSA! This will ensure they are eligible for the maximum amount of aid possible and cover themselves in case an unforeseen circumstance arises with the family.

November NCAA Articles

  • On Thursday, South Carolina announced that it would be the latest school to commit to 4 year scholarships for a larger number of student-athletes. 
  • The program, called “The Gamecock Student-Athlete Promise: A Championship Experience,” will ensure that all student-athletes in the “Head count” sports of football, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s tennis, and women’s volleyball will receive 4 year scholarships. 
  • In a study in early September by CBSSports.com, it was revealed that only four schools (Ohio State, Florida, Arizona State, and Florida State) that had a football or men’s basketball team finish in last year’s top 25 had more than 20 athletes on four year scholarships in all sports. 
  •  Ohio State led that group with 71 student-athletes with four year scholarships. 
  • The only way that a South Carolina athlete in those sports can be removed early from a scholarship is if they leave the team voluntarily, become ineligible, or violate university or athletic department policy.

  • The Big Ten Conference has given its initial recommendations to the NCAA to provide enhanced benefits for student-athletes in good standing as part of the new NCAA autonomy structure 
  • The plan includes the following recommendations:

o   Cost of Education: Redefine full grant-in-aid to meet a student-athlete’s cost of education, as determined by the federal government.

o   Multi-Year Scholarships: Guarantee all scholarships. If a student-athlete is no longer able to compete, for whatever reason, there should be no impact on institutions’ commitment to deliver an undergraduate education.

o   Lifetime Educational Commitment: Ensure that scholarships are available for life. If a student-athlete leaves a university for a professional career before graduating, whether the career materializes, and regardless of its length, the scholarship will be honored after his or her playing days are complete.

o   Medical Insurance: Provide improved, consistent medical insurance for student-athletes. 

  • The Big Ten has also agreed to address additional student-athlete welfare issues with a specific pathway and timeline for implementation in the future that includes:

o   Health and Safety

o   Time Demands

o   Comprehensive Academic Support

  • With big changes coming to major college athletics, the USOC is worried about the possibility of funding being cut or eliminated altogether for NCAA Olympic sports. 
  • USOC CEO Scott Blackmun last week outlined several ways in which the USOC may become involved with sports within the NCAA. 
  • One idea he mentioned is having US national sport governing bodies working with the NCAA to sponsor national championships in various sports. 
  • There are no set in stone ideas yet, but he went as far as to say they’ve already identified a donor willing to provide $5 million to back his effort if the right idea is found.

November Recruiting Calendars

Women’s Volleyball

                Contact Period: November 1st – November 9th

                Dead Period: November 10th – November 13th

                Contact Period: November 14th – November 30th  

For more junior volleyball education and junior volleyball recruiting information click here.
For more information about the NCSA click here.

What to Expect in the Sand Game

By Amanda Youell - NVL Pro & NVL Club Med Academy Coach 

Junior players are fortunate to have the opportunity today to play both indoor and outdoor volleyball. Competitive sand volleyball wasn’t an option when I was growing up so I transitioned into it a lot later in my sports career than many young players today. As a coach, it’s great to see the passion the juniors are bringing to the game.

While it’s technically the same sport whether you’re playing indoor or outdoor volleyball, there are some differences to consider when you’re toes hit the sand.

Partner vs. Team

Indoor players are used to playing with a team and understanding the role each position plays. Playing outdoor, you’re typically relying on just your partner to help get the win. This is a much different dynamic and learning that one person’s style of play and tendencies is critical.

Defense becomes a big part of your strategy in the sand. Who will block? Who can play defense behind the block? This year I played back-to-back tournaments with different partners and this was always our starting point. Most players tend to have a favorite side they are more comfortable with and hopefully, you can agree on which suits each of you best.

Learn what type of energy your partner has. For example, I like to be loud, so playing with someone who doesn’t reveal much emotion on the court can be tough. Cheering, high-fiving and giving encouragement vocally, I’m always positive. I need to know from the outset if this will help my partner play better or if they will shut down if I’m in their face. Each player has his/her own way of getting focused and energized for each point, and there’s no right or wrong way. If you’re frustrated with each other, it will show in how you play and in the doubles game, you don’t have other teammates to change the energy. Knowing the best way to support each other throughout the match can go a long way in having a successful partnership.

The Outdoor Game

The obvious difference between indoor and outdoor is the surface you’re playing on. Don’t underestimate the impact sand has on the game. Most people find it hard to walk in the sand let alone run and jump in it!

It’s always helpful to be tall in volleyball but athletic ability in the sand can easily give you the edge over another player. Your height is out of your control but your movement and training in the sand are not! I encourage juniors to focus on speed and agility to make them better players. Sand sprints and plyometrics - exercise involving repeated rapid stretching and contracting of muscles (as by jumping and rebounding) to increase muscle power - can go a long way in helping your vertical jump and explosiveness.

You should also take into account how weather will impact your play. Be prepared for sun, wind and rain. People often ask how I play in the hot sand with bare feet. I think players just become used to it over time but I highly recommend that first-timers wear sand socks.  I always have comfortable sunglasses, a hat or visor, warm clothes and sunscreen – lots of sunscreen! – on hand. I remember playing A-level in Fort Lauderdale, FL and I was certain my partner’s eyes got burnt! She was uncomfortable playing, her face was fried and her eyes were a strange yellow. Make sure you’re prepared for whatever the outdoors may bring your way because there’s nowhere to hide when you’re playing in sand.

As simple as it sounds, it’s important to stay hydrated and know when to eat throughout your match. You don’t want to find yourself at a disadvantage just because your energy is zapped from the sun and as most athletes know, cramping up from dehydration is the worst!

Indoor and outdoor volleyball will always present expected and unexpected elements that impact your play. The best players will be the ones that are able to make quick adjustments. Learning how to adjust to your situation will allow you to play with any partner and against any teams, and this comes with practice!

NVL Club Med Academy Indoor/Outdoor Team

NVL’s Club Med Academy will be training the first-ever indoor/outdoor team. This 14U team will be training on the sand 2/3 days a week and on the hard court 2 days a week. They will compete in 10 indoor tournaments and 10 outdoor tournaments during the indoor season. This team will focus on conditioning and ball control as they will be trained not only by AL-B Hannemann and myself, but also by Club Med Academy trainers, sports nutritionists, and sports psychologists.

Read more about NVL’s Club Med Academy here. Photos courtesy of
Josh Churbz.