2012 LAC Partners & Links
College Swimming Recruitment Process


College Swimming Recruitment Process

Notes from American Swim Coaches’ Association Talk by David Marsh

12 time NCAA Championship Coach

  • Recruitment process starts in 9th grade (swimmers are being noticed, grades matter)

  • Swimmer can contact coach by phone, text or email at any age. Coach cannot text swimmer until Sept. 1 of Junior year, cannot call swimmer until July 1 before Senior year

  • Swimmers can visit schools unofficially at any age and can meet with Coach if it is swimmer asking for meeting

  • NCAA Division I- fully funded teams female 14.0 scholarships, male 9.9 scholarships (18 swimmers on travel squad) Fully scholarships are very rare

  • NCAA Division 2- 8.1 scholarships for female and male on fully funded teams

  • NCAA Division 3- No scholarships for athletics. Many Division 3 schools offer generous need based and academic scholarships

  • NAIA- 8 female 8 male (often smaller schools, liberal arts schools, much easier to get scholarship money than NCAA Div. 1 or 2 and have some great coaches)

  • Junior College- many great swimmers get their start at the JC level. It gives the swimmer an opportunity to mature more physcially, save money, and there are some great programs including our own Las Positas College

  • Athletic scholarships CAN be combined with most academic and need based scholarships i.e.: 20% athletic, 30% academic, 10% need based, family pays 40% of normal cost

  • Short course yards times matter most for college

  • Underwater kicking is important and will only get more important in college

  • Swimmers should have at least 3 solid events (3 event limit at conference and NCAAs)

  • May take 5 official recruit trips Senior year, only 3 recommended as they are tiring and take swimmer away from school work and practice. May take as many unofficial visits as they desire

  • On a recruit trip and on a home visit, coach/team is watching everything. A swimmer being impolite to a parent can cost the family $1000’s in scholarships

  • Many schools pay for a 5th year scholarship. Must ask before letter of intent is signed

  • Ask if scholarships may be added to or taken away based on performance before signing

  • Most powerful bargaining position is Fall of Senior year when swimmer has narrowed the decision down to 2-3 schools

  • Swimmer must recruit college (there are too many good swimmers out there both in the US and abroad for college coaches to track all of them)

  • Make a list of 20 possible schools in 10th grade.

  • Narrow list down and fill out the questionnaire for each school you're consdiering online 11th grade through decision time, contact coach, be persistent, update coach each time new best times are achieved, let coach know you are interested in their school  

  • At most schools Scholarship swimmers and recruited walk on swimmers gain admission advantage over regular admission students

  • There is great support for swimmers in college. Along with being a part of a traditionally over achieving GPA cohort, swimmers get priority enrollment, tutoring, and their behavior is monitored at a higher standard than most normal students

I strongly encourage all swimmers to at least try swimming in college. There is no better way to get with a healthy, positive, highly achieving peer group freshman year, and to have great support. Swimming in college has a great team aspect, there are many perks academically, and the friends you make will last a lifetime.

We will be having a meeting about the college recruiting process with the Pr Sr, Sr and Varsity groups next season in September