Whether you got recruited to your dream school or took your only offer, sometimes a transfer can be a necessity. It’s not simple progress, but neither is getting recruited and you did that! There are some advantages and drawbacks to consider before making the decision and starting the process.
There are many reasons that might push a volleyball player to transfers schools:
- Playing Time
This is a big one. It might sound like a cop out to transfer instead of working hard a practice to find your spot, but sometimes it’s a logical decision. Let’s say you are a freshman setter and you end up on a team with two phenomenal senior setters, and another two in the sophomore class, you may not see the the court until you are a senior. If that is something that is unappealing to you, transferring may be a great solution.
- Junior College
You might have gotten a great start in a JuCo program, but we all know that doesn’t last forever. Four-year college will look to recruit from these institutions and it may be a great way to continue your career out of your freshman or sophomore year.
- Coaching Changes
Almost any time you get recruited, you talk and build a relationship with a coach from your perspective program. There is a lot of trust built when you decide to sign with a school and you may feel completely comfortable devoting your time to a team because of how it’s ran and who runs it. However, you can’t guarantee that coach stays for all four of your playing years. Coaches get fired or take new jobs and that may be a good reason to leave as well. The coach can make or break a playing experience for athletes.
Transferring may be an easier way into a great program because to coaches transfer players provide two things: less financial commitment than offering a scholarship to an athlete for all four years AND an athlete that knows the demands of college volleyball, instead of a green freshman straight out of college. You may find yourself with more playing time, fitting in with the team and having a similar outlook on the game as your new coach.
While it isn’t a right fit for everyone, you may end up with a program that fits your needs better or even a more prestigious program because of a transfer.
While there are great reasons and positive outcomes to some transfers, it is not without it’s complications. Tranferring doens’t always give an athlete the best “look” in the eyes of coaches and teammates. May time it brings up the questions of “why?” Were you not a good teammate or did attitude and effort problems break relationships within your current program?
Transferring can also feel like starting over. You will have to adjust to a new town, a new campus, a new coach, etc. Being a college athlete can already be overwhelming on young players, and readjusting can be a lot to handle.
How It Works
The process of transferring vary by the level of volleyball and the conference rules of your new school. However, it is very similar to the recruiting process. Players wanted to transfer are put into a “transfer pool” and essentially recruited again.
The NCAA website provides a great description broken down by division levels: https://www.ncaa.org/student-athletes/current/want-transfer. One of the biggest conversations you should have with a coach before transferring to their program is what the process will be like within their conference and when you will be eligible to compete again. Most likely they will put you in touch with a compliance officer to walk through the process with you. Sometimes it will be a full academic year before you play again, but to find the right fit, it may be worth it.