Volleyball Coach Interview:
Sean Huiet, Texas State

Assistant Women's Coach Answers Your Recruiting Questions

I recently sat down to interview assistant volleyball coach Sean Huiet

who's entering his sixth season at Texas State University.

Sean agreed to answer questions he's frequently asked by parents of

student athletes.

AC: As the parent of a senior in high school is it too late for us to hope

for a college team to recruit our child to offer them a scholarship

opportunity or do we have options?  

Volleyball Coach Sean Huiet:

I don’t believe its ever too late. We’ve had kids that moved from our

team or kids for whatever reason who decided to transfer. I don’t think

its ever ever too late because if you want to play at the next level you

can be provided an opportunity, it just depends on where you can go.

Now, do all 330+ Division I schools offer scholarships in

April of your child’s high school senior year...no but there are

opportunities and it’s never too late.

AC: Even in February, is it true that a lot of college volleyball coaches

from many different divisions are still looking to fill out their rosters and

sign high school senior talent by attending club volleyball tournaments

like the Las Vegas Invitational?

Volleyball Coach Sean Huiet:

Yes, I think the big thing about the Vegas tournament and the months

of January and February is that with the signing deadline being so early

every year there’s a huge huge transfer ratio. Most college women

volleyball teams know by Christmas that they have a player who is

leaving or someone who is transferring during the holiday break in

December because they aren’t happy which opens up space on a team.

So in many ways January is a big month for everyone...

AC: So just to reiterate, just because I’m a high school senior doesn’t

mean that I’ve missed my chance to be recruited...

SH: Absolutely...

AC: As a high school senior where do you suggest they can look first?

Volleyball Coach Sean Huiet:

If you haven’t found a school that you really like by your junior year in

high school, I suggest that you don’t settle and take something just to

take something. You want to like the school you choose, so it’s

important to stay open and available to everything that could happen,

because you just don’t know..

For example, this year in Vegas (at the Las Vegas Invitational) we found

two senior high school players.

Last year in Vegas we found a senior player because we had a player

quit, so you just never know what’s going to happen and so staying

open and prepared is key.

The biggest thing I think is that the early signing period freaks people

out, because they are looking at other high school players and saying

“She committed and she committed and I’m

not committed yet“.

But I would say that just because you aren’t committed, doesn’t mean

that you have to feel rushed.

Don’t ever rush to commit which is what some people do.

In Texas, that sentiment is a big deal like people are always asking “Did

you commit?” “When did you commit?” and “Who did you sign with?”

Do your own thing and make sure you are doing what’s best for you and

know that you do have options.

AC:That’s huge because I always thought that if you were not

committed by the time you were a senior in high school that maybe it

was too late. But its good to know that that is no longer true.

Volleyball Coach Sean Huiet:

And then again with the signing period being so early there are and

will be plenty of people who started working on being recruited before

you did, and there may be a number of people chosen ahead of you but

that doesn’t mean that you have less opportunities or that you’ve

completely missed your chance.

AC: We’re the proud parents of a freshman high school player.

Is it ever too early to start contacting college coaches? Do you have

any tips on how to make contact?

Volleyball Coach Sean Huiet:

I’ve literally gotten letters from players in the seventh grade.

Do I think that’s early?

Yes. But again you have to be very proactive in the recruiting process

so again as a freshman in high school introducing yourself, saying what

club you play for, saying what high school you play for and inviting the

coach to come watch you play are all good things to do.

Again a player has to know that a college coach can’t always write you

back and all we can send you is that generic letter, but I don’t think

there’s any time that is too early to write a coach to introduce yourself

and to let them know that you are very interested in playing for them at

the next level.

AC: We recently heard the new UNLV women volleyball coach Cindy

Fredrick speak to the campers at the JBJ volleyball camps where she

mentioned that its important for high school athletes and 

parents to do the research about the college coach you are

introducing yourself to and to take the time to learn the coach’s name.

She mentioned that that’s one of the things that gets her attention as

opposed to reading the generic “Dear Coach” heading in a letter.

Is that the sort of thing that makes a difference for you as well?

Volleyball Coach Sean Huiet:

You know with the email technology it allows you to send out 300 some

emails at a time and you are tempted to plug in a particular heading so

that may not be as tragic but if you contact us and say “Hey

Coach..........., I’m interested in attending Texas A&M” and we are

Texas State University then yes that could leave a certain impression.

I suggest that you pay attention to what you are doing.

If you are going to send out 300 emails make sure you set yourself up

to do it the right way.

We’ve gotten tons that were “Hey Coach Shawn” with the coach’s

name misspelled which in our mind goes a long way and leaves a certain


AC: Does Texas State pay attention to a particular recruiting


There are so many like volleyballrecruiting.net. Does a particular service

matter to your coaching staff or as long as an individual contacts you,

you all will pay attention to each submission regardless of where it

comes from?

Texas State Asst Women Volleyball Coach Sean Huiet:

There’s no preference for us. I’ve always said that if you are good

enough to play Division I volleyball then you are going to get recruited.

If you can play in Division II then you are going to be recruited.

You don’t have to spend $1000s of dollars on a recruiting service. You

can have your Mom and Dad video you, and then you can send it to us.

You don’t have to spend thousands and thousands of dollars if you’re

good, then you’re good. That’s the bottom line. 

AC: Do you have any tips on how to make contact with your staff?

I know that on many college team websites there’s

a link to the head coach’s email or a link to “contact the

coach or our department.” Is that the best way to contact

your staff?

Volleyball Coach Sean Huiet:

On our site there’s a place where you can contact the recruiting

coordinator. I would suggest that. Also contacting our assistant

coaches is a good idea, they get a lot of mail. Our head

coach gets thousands of emails so I would suggest first to contact the

assistant coaches or check who’s the recruiting coordinator to contact


If you want to get in to a particular school check to see who the

recruitment coordinator is and that is the person who is in charge of

recruiting and they will be able to get back to you a lot sooner than the

head coach who has many more responsibilities than just recruiting.

AC: Let me ask you about the Las Vegas market. Why did you agree to

come from Texas to Vegas and what would you say to parents looking

for camps to send their playing student-athletes to?

Volleyball Coach Sean Huiet:

I’ve known Jason for a little while now and I knew that he had some

young players that were pretty good and so also to get Texas State’s

name circulated out here on the West coast.

Texas is a huge place and we don’t have to leave Texas to recruit, but

knowing that we are about to change conferences and enter the

Western Athletic Conference, the WAC end of the season conference

tournament is here in Vegas every year and so getting our school name

out to the Vegas high school volleyball community is important.

While here, I’ve seen a lot of good 2014 and 2015 Vegas kids who have

the potential to play at the next level. So, being able to circulate and

network with Jason it turned out to be a good weekend for me.

AC: As far as Vegas volleyball talent is concerned, what tips can you

give to local high school players as far as positioning themselves to be

noticed by Division I colleges?

Volleyball Coach Sean Huiet:  

I’m from Ohio and I worked at the Premiere Volleyball Club which is one

of the biggest clubs there and we focused on performance which for us

was all about training, training and more training. For me that aspect is

different in Texas because kids just love to play six on six, moreso than

training all aspects of the game.

Again you do have to play six on six but its important to train all

aspects of the game, so at Texas State our kids understand that we

will train for two and a half hours and then we will play six on six for

thirty minutes, but they know that what they train is going to transpire

into the game, which is different from when we just focused on training

for three hours.

But I’ve also been around kids that have only trained and can’t play the

game so I think there’s a happy medium.

What I saw this weekend were kids who were so hungry and who

wanted to learn this weekend but they didn’t know what they wanted

to learn. They wanted to know what we could teach them to be better

but they seem to have been so structured in something else that they

needed to know how to be able to train but also how to become

competitive and be able to play aggressively at any time.

That was something that was interesting to me.

AC: What are college coaches looking for?

For the parent that believes that their high school student loves the

sport is it better for her/him to focus on being an all-around athlete or

becoming the best volleyball player he/she can be?

Volleyball Coach Sean Huiet:

Some of our best players have been multisport athletes, they’ve played

two or three sports and they are just athletes. Then we’ve had kids

that have played volleyball since they were ten years old and just know

the game so I dont know if I have the “right” answer for that.

I think both are very good.

To me personally, I think that being an athlete and being competitive as

long as you focus on that it doesn’t matter what sport you are playing.

Because you know when you compete that there’s a winner and there’s

a loser. I have to do this and I have to do that ..

Again we’ve had a couple of kids that have been high level softball kids

that have turned into the best volleyball players we’ve ever had.

I think that their training both for softball and for volleyball have been

very beneficial. I know that we’ve had kids that have practiced different

sports but in the end needed to focus on volleyball because they

couldn’t handle doing both sports. So, I don’t think there’s a right or

wrong answer I think this is something works case by case.

AC: With your coaching experience have you found that there’s a

particular sport that complements volleyball.

Volleyball Coach Sean Huiet:

Softball. I also think track and field. I think a lot of our kids that high

jumped did well...in the last four years we’ve had three or four state

champion high jumpers.

Softball and baseball just because of the motion of throwing a ball, they

know how to throw.  I’ve had kids at camp that don’t know how to

throw a ball and I’ll ask them “Don’t you play catch with your Dad?” and

they’ll say “No.”

And that’s the natural motion for attacking the ball in volleyball.

Our three best players have been softball players. In the last

three years our First Team All-Southland Conference players picked

playing Division I volleyball in college over playing Division I softball.

AC: A lot of beach players in the offseason play hand ball. I

played a tremendous amount of ping pong (table tennis) or even tennis.

Volleyball Coach Sean Huiet:

Absolutely. Anything that improves your hand-to-eye coordination or

quick reflexes. When we did the little kids camps in Texas or where they

teach Volleytots its all about training balance and hand-to-eye

coordination.  They teach “can you take your eye off of the ball...then

quickly find the ball again...

Anything that a high school player can train that helps their

hand-to-eye coordination (handball), improve quick reflexes (ping pong)

or increase your foot speed (tennis) will help your volleyball game for


AC: What tips or suggestions can you make on how the college

volleyball coach prefers that I video my student-athlete?

Do coaches prefer to see game competition that shows a player’s

mistakes or a tightly edited video of the player only performing skills or


When should I start to video my athlete's skills, at what age?

Volleyball Coach Sean Huiet:

Always, always, always film from the end line.

Do not sit in the middle of the court and go back and forth, back and


Set your camera at the end line and just hit record.

As coaches, we know that people are not perfect and that they are

going to make mistakes.

We know your kid is going to make mistakes. We want to see them

make mistakes, we want to see them actually play the game and see

what they can do.

We want to see how they react to their teammates, we do not want to

see a highlight video.

We want to see their on court attitude, how they respond to mistakes,

how they take advice from their coach, how they respond after their

team makes a mistake, what they do after a great play, how do their

teammates feed off of them. We want to see as much of this as


What to include?

At the very beginning you want to do some sort of skills video.

You show passing, you show digging, you show hitting, and serving all

that very static like someone tossing balls... about one/two minutes of

each skill.

We want to see that and then at the end the skills we want to see

some live play. Not a highlight video or all the things you did well the

entire season, we just want to see a live match of you playing


AC: When is too early to start videotaping. When do you want to see

that... the junior year of a high school players season?

Volleyball Coach Sean Huiet:

The recruiting process has moved so early, that right now we are on the

class of 2013 so its never too early. Freshman and sophomore year its

time to start really getting into it because most kids are committed by

their junior year.

VV: Do you guys want to receive a link? Say a player or their parents

contact you “Hello Coach Sean...blah blah I just wanted to contact you

and inform you about the link to my sophomore video, and here’s a link

to my junior year video or is their preface on how to send you video or a

link to it?

Volleyball Coach Sean Huiet: Just an email that says exactly what

you just said is fine. One that informs us as to where to find the link of

the video they want us to see.

AC: What are the most recent rules, as far as you know, in regards to a

college coach contacting a high school student athlete is concerned?

Volleyball Coach Sean Huiet: That rule book is the biggest thing I’ve

ever seen in my life, but we cannot contact anybody until July 1st of

their junior year.

And you can’t take an official visit until day 1 of your senior year. An

official visit means that a school/college/university will actually pay the

expenses your flight, meals and all that’s included with a trip to visit

their campus. That’s opposed to an unofficial visit where all the

expenses are paid for by the family.

AC: How do you use social media in the recruiting process? Are you on

Facebook? Twitter? If a recruit wants to interact with you what’s the

best way?

Volleyball Coach Sean Huiet: Email is the best way for a high school

player to contact us. But we promote our program and our team through

our Facebook site, our Twitter feed and our YouTube channel. We do

encourage fans to contact us on Facebook at Texas State Volleyball.


AC: For high school boys volleyball players what options for recruitment

are there besides Division I schools and universities?

Volleyball Coach Sean Huiet: Even though its different with men’s

volleyball as far as the number of scholarships being offered there are

still opportunities for boys in the NAIA division, Division II and Division III

schools offer opportunities as well.

AC: Can you give a general description of the Division I recruiting cycle?

After the NCAA volleyball season ends in late December what

happens in January?

Volleyball Coach Sean Huiet:

Well the best thing about volleyball is that once the

season ends we are in a dead period until January. I can go home and

see my family for three weeks which is amazing.

But once January hits we really hit the recruiting trail hard. That is one

of the first times that we can get out.

We are in season at the same time the high school season is going on

so we don’t get to see a lot of high school volleyball. So when we go

out to those first January tournaments that’s when we really get out to

see those kids that we have marked on our list. We also determine

those kids that we first saw from their sophomore year to their junior

year, and their junior year to their senior year, we verify whether we

are still interested in them.

The first several weekends in January/February are spent reviewing

those kids that we initially identified as young prospects, this is the time

we go see them to see where they are.

We evaluate the high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors to see

what kind of improvements they have or have not made during the

current high school season.

AC: How important is joining a club for a boys or girls player looking to

get recruited by a college team?

Texas State Asst Coach Sean Huiet:

Again, the bottom line is...if you are good, you are good enough to be

recruited. I think the hard part with high school volleyball is that the

college season runs during the same season so if you don’t play club,

where college coaches are free to look at you and see you play, I dont

know how many looks you will get.

Most of our recruiting is done during the club season. We do not usually

go to high school matches. The high school matches that we do go to

are local, in the area that we live in and a few we can get to despite

the fact that we are in season as well.

Again I think if you are good, then that means you will get noticed.

If you market yourself you can do what you want but for college

Division I volleyball, for us, we see a lot of kids during the club season

and so that’s the way to get recruited.

AC: If I’m the parent of a middle school student who is obsessed with

volleyball what can my middle school player do to prepare themselves in

regards to physical training to play the game in high school?

Volleyball Coach Sean Huiet:

I think the biggest thing for a young player to do is to just play the


Play and keep playing.

You can train at all different levels but just playing the game and

educating yourself about the game makes you a better player.

My personal opinion is that any time you continuously touch a volleyball,

you get better. I don’t care if you are passing against a wall, or doing

repetitions of passing the ball up in the air to yourself, any time you are

touching a volleyball, you are still trying to get better.

If you are participating in an open gym or are playing in a league you

are still touching the volleyball, you are still learning about the game,

you still have teammates who are depending on you so the more you

touch a ball the more its beneficial for you.

AC: Any recommendations for a high school freshmen either physical

training wise, or volleyball playing wise on what they should be doing

during their first year in high school?

Volleyball Coach Sean Huiet: During your freshmen year that’s a good

year to work on your physical training, starting to get your jump as high

as you can. Because with the recruitment process starting so early,

your  sophomore year is when you can start being highly recruited or

“sought after” so yes being able to put yourself in the best physical

condition your freshman year will only benefit you.  

During your freshman summer its a very good idea to go to volleyball

camp, where you get full immersion of the sport in a short amount of


You meet other people with your same athletic goals, you meet other

coaches, and become familiar with different athletic and training


AC:  I thank you very much for taking the time to answer our


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