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Coach Houser:

My name is Michelle and I'm a junior at Central High School in California. I just had a few questions for you for the recruiting video:

1) I'm a 5'5" DS/Libero but am playing outside hitter for my school season. If I don't intend to be a outside hitter in college, do I really have to include hitting in my video? I know that I won't impress them with that.

2) What kind of setting should I do if I primarily will be playing back row? Should I just show fundamentals?

3) Is it worth it to pay for those recruiting agencies if I already know my top college choices?

Thanks for all of your help




First, if you're hoping play at "Crapvolleyball College," the video isn't even necessary. Just email the coach, tell him/her you're interested, and show up at tryouts in August 2005. If you've played just 1 or 2 seasons in school, you can make their team and maybe even help them out!

But, that's probably not what you're interested in. Even if you're thinking of attending a small school, you probably want to play for a competent coach and join a team that will win some matches. Therefore, you need to show your entire game on your video. If I were a college coach, and you just showed me passing & digging, I might want you to join my team, but I'd contact you and say, "I like your tape, you look like a good player, but i want to see the rest of your game. Send me another tape with x, y & z on it."


Hey Michelle, do you ever buy a boom box, a CD player, a car, etc. without trying it out? You're asking a coach to "buy" you by just looking at the cover. You need to send a coach more than just the surface of your game. You must show all of it.


Another comment about sending the coach a video of your entire game: The coach may want to use you at a libero, or maybe NOT!! The coach may see something else in your game that your present coach doesn't see/need. The college coach may see strength, jumping, fast arm, heart, etc and have other plans for those skills. Then, on the other hand, the coach may not see enough in your game to want you at all. Sorry to say that, but it could happen. You're really better off if the coach knows your entire game up front so he/she can make an intelligent & accurate decision about you.


Now to your questions:


1) As a junior who's been playing a while, you should have a proper spike approach and you should be a decent hitter. So, yes, you should put that on your tape. Show the coach that you can hit the high outside set, the high back set, the low set in the middle and ESPECIALLY the back row set! All players can hit back row regardless of their height. From what you said in your email, you're probably not a bombing hitter. No problem. Just put on the tape what you have.



2) Can you serve to location? Can you serve floaters? spinners? Can you jump serve? Do you have a jump floater. Put all that on the tape.



3) You should know how to set, even though you may not be ready or the starting setter job. You should be able to set a high ball to a front row player or a back row play when you are in the front row or back row. Put that on your tape.


4) Finally, if you believe that the libero/DS position is your future, then pass, dig, sprawl, roll, etc. with every ounce of energy you have! This may sound obvious, but if a coach will see a dozen tapes a year from girls just like you. You must make your effort to special, that the coach will have be impressed!


About the expensive videos.............I got an email last year from a guy who said, "I make videos and you're wrong, Coach Houser. My videos get kids scholarships." Nope, the KIDS got the scholarships and they would have gotten them even if their dad had made the video. But he sent me one. Yeah, it was nice to watch, but if I were a college coach, I'd know talent when I see it, and a fancy tape with music, captions & slow motion wouldn't affect my decision. I want kids with good attitudes and who can make good grades. And a $500 video only shows me two things: If she can play volleyball and I her parents have the $500 necessary to hire someone to make a tape! Haha .



P.S. Note that I didn't say "athletes". Finding athletes is a college coach's 4th priority AFTER finding girls who can play the game, are coachable with good attitudes, and girls who are students.




If any of you have questions, please email me at, and I'll try to get to you asap!!




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