By Cosy Burnett
Cosy Burnett is a top 2013 volleyball recruit from Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. She plays outside hitter and opposite for La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Coast Volleyball Club in San Diego. She has competed in the California State Finals and at Nationals for the past five years. She recently committed to play for BYU. In the latest installment of her blog, she runs down the benefits of attending college camps.
Going to college volleyball camps is an amazing experience. It’s a great way to get noticed by coaches, get a feel for the school and meet some great new volleyball-loving friends. You will play about eight hours of volleyball per day, so come prepared to work hard and be sore. There are players of all different levels, so try not to compare yourself to others. Just focus on your own game.
Meet the head coaches
Make sure you introduce yourself to the head coach at the beginning of camp if you want them watching you. You can get a really good feel for the coach at camp. I like to watch how coaches treat their players, their recruits and the little kids. Watching the coach at camp may help you decide whether the program is a good fit for you.
Wear a bright headband or something else to stand out in the crowd. It’s also a good idea to show your volleyball experience with your apparel, so wear you club shirt or your Junior Nationals or AAU shirt to show the coaches what kind of volleyball you play.
They are looking for your talent and athleticism, so don’t be afraid to show them. If you can put balls away, then let it rip! If you have some sweet setting hands, then lay out the sugar! If you are a digging phenomenon, then be loud and aggressive and pas it up! Also, coaches like to see what hitters can do with bad sets. They want to see how you handle yourself and your different shot ranges. Hitters, be prepared for this because often college camps will have a separate week for setters and, like I was one year, you may be stuck with a middle blocker setting the balls.
I talked to a couple top volleyball college coaches who run big camps every summer. Here is their advice on how to stand out from the hundreds of other girls at camp:
John Cook, head coach, University of Nebraska: Work hard, look coaches in the eye, be coachable and make adjustments.Talk and be a great teammate.
Tim Nollan, associate head coach, USC: There are three things to help you stand out to college coaches at camps. First, have a positive attitude. It may sound simple, but a positive attitude toward yourself and others is a trait coaches look for. Second, effort. Try the techniques the coaches are asking you to perform, even if they take you out of your comfort zone. Coaches are always looking for players who are trying to learn more about the game. Finally, enthusiasm. You have to provide a spark for your court. Encourage others and drive your court to be better. It’s a trait every coach loves.
Check out the school
You get to stay in the dorms, eat the dorm food and explore the campus. You’ll be there during summer, when it’s quiet, but you can still get a good feel for what the school is about.
Make lifelong friends
You will be surrounded by tons of other girls who love the same sport you do. Take advantage of that and make some great friends. Room with someone random. Pepper with people you don’t know and introduce yourself to everyone. Sit next to new people during lunch. I love going to national tournaments and seeing or playing against girls I met at camps.
Read the previous installment of Cosy's blog – on her thoughts on nationals – here.