We’ve recently taken a look from an athlete’s perspective and released 10 tips on how a player can stand out at one of the PrepVolleyball.com Unsigned Showcases around the country (see where they are hosted, here).
While showcases can be an additional chance for student-athletes to be seen by colleges she may have overlooked, we might forget that it’s also an amazing opportunity for college coaches to recruit. They get an up close and personal look at athletes in an environment away from tournament competition.
Not all schools are funded in a way that its coaches can fly every weekend in all corners of the United States to chase talent. But, if those coaches can go to one tournament plus a showcase, that automatically increases the number of players he or she is able to evaluate.
We contacted college coaches from various levels who will be in attendance in Cleveland in conjunction with the JVA Rock ‘N Rumble and asked them one question:
What do you get out of attending showcases?
What you’ll read is that coaches love to see athletes in person not only compete, but also go through drills. They like to see which athletes rise above adversity in unfamiliar settings and see players with desirable intangibles. They love to get information immediately and straight from the source, including academic data. And, they often get to identify new athletes they didn’t know about previously.
Here are some of the answers we’ve received:
“We get real, quality looks at some strong, well-coached athletes that we in turn begin or continue to recruit.” – Rick Hall, Head Coach, Seton Hill University (Division II)
“When I go to a showcase, I look for a few things:
– Who looks like they want to be there?
– I think an obvious question: Who are the athletes? If I’ve been invited, then the question is, is she athletic?
– What are the athletes’ technical and tactical skill levels?
– Who’s engaged on and off the court?
This gives me a nugget of information about athletes that would like to continue their athletic career after high school. I throw that up against a few questions and move forward.” – Greg Kimmel, Assistant Coach, Susquehanna University (Division III)
“As a coach, I get instant access to updated player contact information, without going through a third party or the various online player profile sites. I can immediately evaluate if their GPA and sometimes academic interest are a fit for our school; if not we can move on. Lastly, there are sometimes standout athletes who we can connect with that don’t have access to play on the top-level club teams or travel to a lot of the big tournaments.” – Sarah Davis, Head Coach, The College of Wooster (Division III)
“Showcases are great opportunities to see athletes perform specific skills and repetitions as well as compete in 6v6 drills.” – Sarah Gomish, Graduate Assistant Coach, Bloomsburg University (Division II)
“I get the following out of attending a showcase:
– I get to see with my own eyes how athletic a recruitable athlete really is. Video is great but not always as telling as seeing someone live and in person.
– I get to see their true stature – most profiles are close, but again seeing someone live and in person doesn’t need interpretation.
– I get to watch an athlete’s mannerisms. I get to see what they do when they are NOT performing; how they handle unfamiliar environments, different teammates, and new coaching styles and techniques; how hitters react to poorly tossed balls and setters they are not familiar with. These are great things to see.
– I get to put faces to names and athletes maybe get to put my face with the name they see in written communication. The familiarity factor is valuable and seeing someone in person is helpful in building that familiarity.” – Scott Haddix, Head Coach, University of Saint Francis (NAIA)
“I love to attend showcases because of the contact information that you get on new prospective student-athletes.” – Kelly Barzak, Head Coach, Allegheny College (Division III)