Sky High Volleyball is one of the premier volleyball clubs in the country, combining volleyball instruction with a positive social experience for junior athletes in the Northwest/Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin areas. Sky High’s coaching staff is unified in teaching the skills and tactics, including the more advanced techniques of the game.
Operating since the fall of 1989, Sky High has become synonymous with success in the club volleyball space. In addition to being a premier athletic club, Sky High also has the stated goal of promoting academic excellence through a strong foundation of health and exercise provided by excellent training and competition.
Currently in its 26th year, Sky High’s coaching staff is unified in teaching skills and tactics, including the more advanced techniques of the game. The organization has won 11 national championships while aiding its student-athletes find collegiate scholarships.
The success of the club is in the results: They have 11 National Championships to their name and are able to secure athletic scholarships to top collegiate institutions to more than 98% of our senior athletes. To date, approximately $22,624,000 in scholarship money has been dispensed to Sky High athletes.
This paper will look into how Sky High uses the SportsRecruits platform to provide real, tangible value to their student-athletes and families.
Technology Helping Manage a Large Club’s Needs
Sky High serves between 700-800 players annually, and as such, the organizational and administrative details alone are massive. Coupled with students who are at the age where college recruiting process is getting started, and the jobs of staffers at Sky High in administrative tasks alone were daunting.
“Sky High has been around a really long time – we are in our 26th year,” said Julie Anderson, Sky High’s Recruiting Coordinator. “Since its inception, we are number two in the country for the number of scholarships we have gotten our girls. We serve anywhere from 700-800 girls every year. We have a big facility – it’s 5,000 square feet with eight indoor courts. We just moved in last year into this building. It’s a great program. We turn out really great kids, great athletes who receive scholarships.”
“SportsRecruits is honestly a great tool. We are getting such good, positive feedback that we are doing a lot. It’s not that we weren’t doing enough before, it’s that they didn’t feel like we were. What we were doing before – you couldn’t see that. You couldn’t t prove it. But with SportsRecruits, you can see how many emails I’m sending, who I am sending them to; who they are sending them to. So you have proof that it’s working.”
-Julie Anderson, Recruiting Coordinator, Sky High Volleyball
Having a great reputation and success in the past, one would presume Sky High would want to continue to do things the way they have always done them. However, with the scope of the organization and the acceleration of the recruiting process – as well as a parent having gone through the process herself – Anderson knew that a proactive, organized approach was the only way to ensure success.
“As a parent going through it, I realized that you really needed to help them and tell them what to do,” said Anderson. “I kept track of everything myself using spreadsheets. I had to look everything up myself. It is a lot of work.”
When Anderson took over as the Recruiting Coordinator, she recognized the need to assist student-athletes and push them in the right direction. Sky High had almost no data about how their student-athletes were performing in the recruiting process. They were reliant on individual meetings where accountability on the player’s side was limited, while transparency on the organization’s side was almost non-existent.
Enter the SportsRecruits platform.
SportsRecruits Integrated Solution
The tools offered by the SportsRecruits platform – things like the ability to monitor player activity, actively aid them in building a target list of schools and sending messages to college coaches – meshed with the needs of Sky High, and they decided to try it out.
Sky High Volleyball is one of the most successful and respected volleyball clubs in the country, annually serving over 700 student-athletes. They are able to procure athletic scholarships for 98% of their seniors, and to date, approximately $22,624,000 in scholarship money has been dispensed to Sky High athletes.
“Getting SportsRecruits was very exciting,” said Anderson. “It keeps track of everything for you. You can see everything. It’s fantastic that I can use it as a tool – I can go in, and I help these girls.”
As the Recruiting Coordinator, Anderson feels the value of the integration everyday, because the platform does not replace the important work she is doing – it just makes it easier.
SportsRecruits doesn’t take my job away; it just makes it smoother, Anderson said. “It has made my life easier. It is actually making it easier to get players scholarships. It is facilitating a much smoother transition between the parent, the child and me. The steps that I would have to go through if I didn’t have this would be a lot harder. I wouldn’t be able to reach as many kids. We have over 700 kids. There is no way I could reach them without this program.”
Customizing the Tools for Success
One of the advantages of using the SportsRecruits platform is that the tools are used as needed by a club. With the ability to purpose features in a way that suits the individual needs, the platform goes to work for the club.
For Sky High, they have a system in place using SportsRecruits that keeps everyone on the same page.
“I have seminars where I have our kids come in, and I talk about the platform” said Anderson. “I go over the steps. These are your steps to be successful. The first thing we do is getting their profiles up. Once it is up there, I can start communicating on the back end. They can see what is happening. They get the alerts when someone is looking at their profile. They can tell who is watching. It’s exciting for them.”
SportsRecruits doesn’t take my job away; it just makes it smoother. It has made my life easier. It is actually making it easier to get players scholarships. It is facilitating a much smoother transition between the parent, the child and me. The steps that I would have to go through if I didn’t have this would be a lot harder. I wouldn’t be able to reach as many kids. We have over 700 kids. There is no way I could reach them without this program.”
-Julie Anderson, Sky High Volleyball Volleyball
With the process in motion, being able to see data and statistics around player activity allows Sky High to ensure everyone is getting the guidance they need.
“The stats are really nice, said Anderson.” I can use these stats to tell our players what we are doing. It’s great. Obviously, what we were doing before was working, or else we wouldn’t have so many success stories. But now, I can go in, and say ‘hey, you only sent one email.’ So you can pinpoint problems and see why the process is not working.”
Sky High – which was already very successful in shaping the futures of its student-athletes – has found the platform helpful, especially because it shows the assistance they provide in action. While the club was always helping its members, families can now tangibly see the assistance.
“It’s honestly a great tool, said Anderson. “We had complaints from families saying we didn’t do enough for girls. Now, we are getting such good, positive feedback that we are doing a lot. It’s not that we weren’t doing enough before – it’s that they didn’t feel like we were. What we were doing before – you couldn’t see that. You can’t prove it. But with SportsRecruits, you can see how many emails I’m sending, who I am sending them to; who they are sending them to. So you have proof that it’s working.”
At a Glance
What they needed:
A way to handle the recruiting needs of between 700 and 800 players.
Streamline the way in which the club was assisting its student-athletes.
What they did:
Implemented the SportsRecruits platform into their club.
Provide tangible recruiting assistance to families in an organized fashion.
What they are saying:
“SportsRecruits makes it faster and easier. Our communication is much better, and the student-athletes feel like they are getting more out of it. There is no way I would be able to handle that many kids without this program.”
– Julie Anderson
Recruiting Coordinator, Sky High Volleyball
“SportsRecruits was a very helpful tool to keep communications with coaches organized. The trail of communications was very helpful.”
-Parent, Sky High Volleyball