Five tips to impress college recruiters

Cosy Burnett is a junior outside and opposite hitter at La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad, Calif.) who also plays for Coast Volleyball Club in San Diego, Calif. Her high school team competed in the state finals for Division II last season and she has competed at nationals five times with her club teams.

I’m super stoked to be blogging for ESPNHS.com!

My club team (Coast 17-1s) played in the MLK Speakeasy tournament this past weekend, and we won the championship! I thought I would write my first blog about things I have learned about playing in front of college recruiters.

For those of you starting the recruiting process, you may be a bit overwhelmed walking into a venue and seeing all those coaches walking around with their clipboards and silky polo shirts proudly displaying the school name. You may even see a recruiter from your “dream school.” Your eyes may even dart around the perimeter of the court to see if he saw you make that amazing kill.

It’s exciting and fun when the game gets to this level because now it’s really about your future, and the possibilities seem endless.

These are some tips that I have learned when playing in front of college recruiters that help me “stay in the game.”

1. Do not look for coaches at the venue. Send an email or call them in advance to let them know you will be playing. If they are there, great. If not, there is nothing you can do anyway, and it’s just distracting. Just focus on the tournament, your team and the game.

2. Remember you are there because you love the game. You are not there to showcase yourself. Be a team player, don’t worry about looking good, just contribute to your team any way you are needed.

3. Be yourself! Don’t try to be someone else. You would never want to be recruited to a school and have it not be a fit. For example, I get really energetic on the court. I jump around a lot after we make a point and get really excited. It’s just me. Some coaches may think I need to calm down and others may love the energy. I want to be with a program who values who I am.

4. Don’t worry if you make a mistake. I had a coach tell me that they are mainly looking at whether you are A.) teachable and B.) can bring it to the next level. They are looking at your athleticism and how you move. They don’t expect you to be able to play on their team right now. Just keep a good attitude after a mistake and move on.

5. Don’t be a sore loser. I really don’t think recruiters even remember or care what the score is. They will remember how you reacted or if you had poor sportsmanship. If you lose, that does not mean that they are no longer interested. I'm sure that as a coach they have had quite a few losses in their careers, too.