A crucial part of the recruiting process involves getting in front of college coaches and showing off your skill set. A great way to do that is by attending beach volleyball camps, tournaments and showcases where coaches will be present. For beach volleyball, there aren’t huge tournaments where hundreds of college coaches will be scouting out recruits like there are for indoor volleyball. Instead, there are smaller beach volleyball tournaments, showcases and camps hosted by club teams, third parties and colleges. These events are important to attend in order to get exposure to college coaches, as well as gain experience competing against other elite athletes. We explain how to find these different types of events and give more explanation on what they can do for your recruiting.
Specific colleges will host their own beach volleyball camps, in which they invite recruits to their campus to compete in drills and games. The sole purpose of these events is for college coaches to be able to watch recruits they are interested play in person, so they can get a better idea of their strengths and weaknesses as a student-athlete.
College beach volleyball camps can sometimes be a little tricky because college coaches usually send out invitations to their whole database of recruits. Come camp day, they will pay the most attention to the handful of athletes they are actually recruiting. For this reason, it’s imperative that you’re in touch with the college coach before you go to their camp. Let them know you’re interested in their program and you’ll be at their event. Send them your highlight video, club experience and contact information. It’s equally important to follow-up with the coach after the camp, too. Here’s what you can include in your follow up:
To find college camps, look through the website of the schools you’re interested in. If the school hosts a camp for recruits, they will have it advertised on their website, and they should have the option to register or they will provide contact information to learn more.
There aren’t quite as many college showcases as there are other events, but they can be a great opportunity to really show off your beach volleyball skills in front of college coaches. College showcases tend to attract high-level college coaches because they are oftentimes pretty exclusive, inviting only the top athletes. To qualify, you need to attend one of their camps ahead of time and perform well. However, not all college showcases are this exclusive, so you need to research the event well beforehand to determine if you need to take any qualifying steps.
When you’re looking for college showcases, another important piece of information to look for is which college coaches will be in attendance. Before the event, the host will almost always post the college coaches who will be there, and to make the showcase worth your time, you should be interested in at least 2-3 of coaches going. Unlike college beach volleyball camps, this is you opportunity to compete in front of multiple coaches you’re interested in at the same time.
Here are some of the top college showcases:
Similar to the college coaches, you always want to follow up with coaches afterward. Ask if they had a chance to see you play and seek feedback on how they thought you performed and if there are any skills you should work on. At this point, it’s safe to ask if they are recruiting you and if there’s any additional information they need to make their decision.
These large tournaments are crucial for getting exposure—and they are great additions to your athletic resume. College coaches want to see that you have experience in high-pressure, elite tournaments. Unlike the college camps and college showcases, you’re probably not going to know beforehand the exact coaches that will be attending these tournaments. And even if you do, there’s no guarantee those coaches will choose to watch any of your matches.
To make sure you’re maximizing the impact of these tournaments, you need to send out emails to the coaches you’re interested in ahead of time and let them know what your schedule will be—down the court you’ll be playing on. Even if they only get a chance to stop by for a few minutes, that can still make a big impact on your recruiting. Most of the following tournaments will be held in May, June, July or early August:
In beach volleyball, USA Volleyball Beach High Performance (HP) hosts the more well-known and recognizable skills development programs in the country. Coach Simic recommends starting with local or regional HP programs, and working your way up to the national or international level. While HP may not give you direct exposure to college coaches right away, they are a great way to make sure you have all the skills needed to compete in college. And the higher up you go, the more college coaches are going to take note. They host both training programs and competitions, providing multiple opportunities to get what you need as a beach volleyball athlete.
No matter what beach volleyball camps, tournaments and showcases you’re attending, keep the college coach coaches you’re interested in up to date! If you take the time to play at one of these events, you need to make sure that college coaches know about it. And it’s up to you to tell them. If you have any questions about how to communicate with college coaches before, after or during a recruiting event, give us a call at 866-495-5172. Our team of recruiting experts know exactly what it takes to make an event positively impact your recruiting.
Insider tip: Despite the impact that coronavirus had on college sports, as of June 1, 2021, the NCAA resumed its regular recruiting rules and activity! Coaches are actively working to fill their rosters, so student-athletes should be proactive in reaching out to coaches. Read up on how the extra year of eligibility granted to athletes who were most affected by the pandemic in 2020 will impact future recruiting classes.
We are continuously adding new camps to this list, so check back often to find more camp opportunities!