What do we know about recruiting?
Watch Me Volley was inspired by Michelle Coleman’s experience and passion for the sport. There’s a lot to tell you about why this is so important to us and if you’re interested, feel free to read our short story below!
High School volleyball player determined to continue her career
The moment Michelle could begin to reach out to college coaches in her junior year of high school, she began a massive letter-writing and email campaign to reach out to collegiate coaches. Michelle and her mom had no idea what they were doing but became quick studies and responded to all questionnaires as they arrived and made a skills tape (VHS tape in 1997) to send out to anyone that requested it.
Michelle’s mom, Jan, made many sacrifices to give her the opportunity to play club volleyball with Falls Cities, KJVA, and Derby City beginning in her 7th grade year. Obtaining a college scholarship was something Michelle worked really hard to accomplish and wanted to use that scholarship as a big thank you to her mom for the support and opportunities she had been given.
With her senior season behind her, in December 1997, Michelle participated in the Senior Showcase at New Albany High School. A long-standing event that was run by her high school coach, John Breeding, numerous college coaches attended and Michelle was actively recruiting by several coaches in attendance. One of the coaches, Steve Payne, made Michelle an offer to join his incoming group of six freshmen in the IUPUI move to a Division 1 team. Coach Payne included jersey #13 and in April 1998 Michelle signed the National Letter of Intent with Coach Payne and the IUPUI Jaguars.
Being a leader
Watch Me Volley isn’t really dependent on Michelle’s success as an athlete at IUPUI. She certainly won collegiate honors. But, you might say that Michelle’s desire to help young athletes began as a result. She began coaching club volleyball with Circle City Volleyball Club and spent five seasons there. After graduation at IUPUI, she stayed involved as the Jaguars Graduate Assistant coach and assisted Coach Payne daily with practices and recruiting, which is when she started to learn the “other side” of the recruiting process.
The vision behind Watch Me Volley
While completing her Master’s degree at IUPUI, Michelle wanted to help her sister, Andrea, reach her desire of playing college volleyball. Coincidentally, one of her key class projects resulted in the creation of a business plan and web site designed to display video and player stats online for collegiate recruiting. Watch Me Volley was officially born!
Recruiting becomes a natural
After coaching at IUPUI, Michelle served as the Assistant Coach at Marian University, a NAIA school in Indianapolis, where she also worked as the Internet Specialist for Marketing Communications. Her primary role with the Marian team was managing practices, strength & conditioning and recruiting. Combining her involvement in club volleyball, she focused on recruiting Central Indiana athletes. Michelle worked very closely with the Admissions and Financial Aid offices and learned from experience how to navigate the world of college admissions and scholarships.
The impact of Team Indiana
After two seasons at Marian, Michelle and her husband, Rich, were approached to join the coaching staff at Team Indiana.
Team Indiana had its inaugural season in 2005 and Michelle was named head coach for the 18-1 and co-coach with her husband, Rich on the 17-1. Michelle had seven unsigned athletes on that team and that is when she began to guide her athletes and other Team Indiana athletes thru the recruiting process. Since then she has guided 96 athletes and their families through the process through the graduating class of 2009. In 2008, her reputation and success resulted in contacts from athletes and their family from outside of Team Indiana.
As the recruiting coordinator for Team Indiana, Michelle holds annual recruiting information sessions the high school athletes. Rich offers his insights as a former collegiate coach. Just what does a recruiting coordinator do every day? Michelle contacts coaches on behalf of athletes to determine the interest level in the athlete and what the school’s recruiting needs are for each class. As the one stop source for college coaches, Michelle will have one-on-one consultation w/ athletes and will assist in scheduling official and unofficial visits. Michelle manages daily communication with coaches related to unsigned athletes in the club and helps athletes navigate the puzzling process of recruiting regulations.
Now her experience, connections and success is available to any volleyball athlete.
The JR/SR Showcase becomes one of the nation’s best
In 2006, Michelle and Rich began the JR / SR Showcase which has grown tremendously in four short years. In the first year, the goal was to have 100 athletes and 50 coaches participate but that goal was quickly reached and the event reached capacity with 220 athletes and 98 coaches. In 2012 the event was extended to include 290 athletes and 135 coaches. The JR / SR showcase is open to any uncommitted athlete that will graduate in the appropriate years.