Hi, I'm Laurie!

and I want to help your kid play college volleyball!

and if my family can do it, so can you!

volleyball-ball-icon

Hi there!

If you are wondering who the face is behind Student-Athlete Connections, we’ll it’s ME!
My name is Laurie Yogi and I am a VolleyMom. 🙂

student-athlete connections The Yogi Family

I have one daughter, who played club, high school, and USA volleyball for several years before earning a starting spot on the University of Texas women’s volleyball team (go Longhorns!).

I also have a son who is in the midst of his volleyball career, first at California State University at Northridge (go Matadors!), and now at Irvine Valley (go Lancers!). Both of my lovelies are super awesome people and ANY coach would love to have them (Riiiight???)…

Well, if you catch yourself speaking about YOUR student-athlete that way, I’m here to tell you that unfortunately, moms like us (and dads, too) are not the ones who have to be convinced that your kid is a stellar athlete.

Of course WE think our kids are the bomb.com when it comes to their skills and abilities, but it’s the COACHES who have to take notice. That’s where I come in. 

And that’s how Student-Athlete Connections was born.

Answering a need

I started this business to answer a need to answer my son’s questions about how he was supposed to get seen by coaches on the mainland (we live in Hawaii so the opportunities for recruiters to see the athletes from our state come around only once or twice per YEAR, and those opportunities are very expensive).

During my daughter’s recruiting season, things were so different. Back then we didn’t put videos on YouTube, we didn’t have web pages, and social media was still in its infancy.

What did we do “back in the old days” of recruiting? We wrote letters. We made DVDs. And we MAILED THEM. Crazy, I know!

contact page on laptop

 

Fast-forward...

I realized I needed to step up my game and figure out the best way to maximize my son’s exposure to coaches.

Punahou team huddle
Google told me there were companies out there that could help. The problem: I’m a single mom on a teacher’s salary, and many of those companies were full blown recruiting services – which I couldn’t afford and didn’t need.
 

One place strung us along for over a week on conference calls, only to unveil their lowest priced package at the end of the process, that was almost equal to my mortgage payment!

All I was looking for was a basic website, so my son would be able to forward information to coaches, and maybe a few tips for the best way to do it. I honestly couldn’t find much out there, especially not any that specialized in volleyball.

So I started doing my research...

I had already begun blogging a bit as a hobby with another side business I run from home, and I wondered how hard it would be to apply the same principles to creating a site my son could call his own – and that he could use to start reaching out to coaches.

I started with my son’s page (view it here) and have since helped several of his teammates. I’ve been getting requests for Student-Athlete Connections to help other volleyball athletes create websites ever since.

How did I learn all this stuff?

Disclaimer:  I guess you could say I’m a little techie, but I am definitely not a programer or a coder. I just spent a lot (I mean, a LOT) of time reading, tinkering, and learning things like WordPress, HTML, CSS, SEO, and the rules and regs about the NCAA programs out there. At the rate technology is changing, it’s never a dull moment – and I’m loving it all!  See some of my site designs here!

But can't my amazing athletically talented kid get recruited without a website?

Let me be the first to say that yes, they can! There definitely are even a number of ways to increase the odds:

  • Be at the upper crust of national recruits and get amazing free press coverage
  • Attend several combines or big qualifier tournaments every year to get more eyes on their court (and hope your team is good enough to be on the top court at the end of the weekend)
  • Be at the upper crust of national recruits and get amazing free press coverage

But for many athletes, THIS is their REALITY:

  • They haven't been BLESSED TO BE 6'7" TALL so that ALL the coaches are already seeking THEM out.
  • LIMITED FAMILY BUDGETS may keep them from traveling more than once per year
  • They aren't necessarily a STARTER, or their team isn't among the ELITE GOLD BRACKET CONTENDERS (which is still TOTALLY OK)

Some of these factors are out of your control, but one thing that we CAN control is your effort and your initiative to be proactive and make yourself stand out. A student-athlete website is a tool that accomplishes that and more.

Right now, we live in a technology-rich world. You have at your disposal the ability to reach coaches by connecting them to your virtual highlight reel. For my family, and ALL of my clients (I have a 100% track record), having an online profile has sure helped!

laurie syd texas vball

Can Student-Athlete Connections help you, too?

For my son and several of his teammates and friends, having a personalized site readily available online really helped my them get the communication process flowing with prospective recruiters. It’s was a great “excuse” to write to coaches and share links to season highlights, awards, VIDEO clips, and upcoming events.

Eventually relationships started forming and each of them has been able to land a spot on a team at the school that was the right fit for them. Some received more scholarship money than others, but that’s a story for another day… 🙂

So yes, we volley-moms (and dads, too) definitely know how special our kiddos are, and now potential recruiters can know it, too. By creating a personalized space in their own little corner of the internet, and beginning their relationships with coaches, our young men and women will grow up before our eyes, maturing a TON as they go through the process.

So yes, we volley-moms (and dads, too) definitely know how special our kiddos are, and now potential recruiters can know it, too. By creating a personalized space in their own little corner of the internet, and beginning their relationships with coaches, our young men and women will grow up before our eyes, maturing a TON as they go through the process.

As a result, hopefully the road to college becomes a little less stressful (for them AND for us), with a light at the end of the tunnel when it’s all said and done.

I thank you for stopping by Student-Athlete Connections.  I hope what has been a wonderful outcome for our family, can be for yours, too.

While a S.A.C. website is an excellent way to increase your exposure and get you connected with potential schools, earning a scholarship or even a roster position is in the control of the individual college coaches and is in no way guaranteed. If any recruiting service or website designer tries to promise you a scholarship, you should run the other way!