Jessica Tuttle | Assistant Coach | Women’s Volleyball | Bryant University

Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?

I can only speak for myself answering these questions as I know my head coach may have other responses. When I look at possible incoming freshman to join my team I look for pure athleticism and a spark of an attitude on the court. When I am looking through film I don’t stress the perfect form of the athlete or the right or wrong play during a game. I feel that depending on a situation, during a game, the athlete believes they are doing what is best to win whether it be something I like or dislike.

The reason I look for a spark in film is I want someone on the court that is going to bring up the momentum. There are amazing players out there who get a kill or a great block/dig and don’t celebrate, don’t get pumped up off it. I want an athlete who loves to get loud after a good play not only from there own successes but there teammates as well. Usually someone who brings a spark to the game is very talkative and supportive to their teammates and if an athlete can show this in their videos to college coaches it is usually very beneficial to them.

Athleticism is a huge factor in my recruiting. I feel that with a team full of naturally gifted athletes no matter the ugliness of the game at some points the natural athletic players are capable of running down a ball with their speed or making some crazy attempt at the ball to save it that only a very athletic person could manage. A side note, athleticism isn’t something you can coach, you can help a person get stronger through training, but, that may not always be enough.

Could you give an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?

There have been many players that have stood out in their careers at Bryant. As a sum, the players who succeeded the best were the ones who where both mentally and physically tough. Nothing slowed them down. They played through minor injuries, didn’t bring outside drama to practice, were always asking for the ball to be given to them because they knew inside that they could score and had very VERY unwavering confidence in their skills on the court.

There was a player on the team who had been an all-star her freshman year with a senior setter on the volleyball team. Her sophomore year a freshman setter took over the setting position and the sophomore hitter was having a really hard time connecting with the new setter in practice and in games. The sophomore hitter took it upon herself to get the freshman setter and herself into practice a half hour early before every practice to run different plays so they could practice their connection on hitting. Eventually they learned what each other needed and from that point on they were unstoppable. It took many extra hours of practice for both of those players but they both wanted it for the team so their would be options during games to succeed. The sophomore hitter went on to earn many all-conference team honors as well as school records and the setter went on to be an all-American.

This dedication and spirit is what I look for in athletes. With classes and extracurricular I need focused competitors on my team who are willing to go the extra mile to be successful both in and out of their sport.