College Recruiting & Making Your Decision
STEP 1: EVALUATE YOUR GOALS AND PRIORITIES
What Are My Swimming Goals?
- Level of Competition
- Ability to Contribute & Travel
What Are My Education Goals?
- Type of Education
- Level of Education (Bachelors, Masters, Law, Doctorate)
- What is the Priority (Swimming first? Education first? Balance?)
What Can I Afford?
- Am I eligible for financial aid?
- Can I get a scholarship?
Where Do I Want to Live?
- Proximity to Home
- Climate Preference
- Life After Swimming/College
STEP 2: RESEARCH AND CORRESPONDENCE
Know the rules!
- You can’t accept any gift from the school or anyone affiliated with it.
- You can’t practice with them when you are visiting.
- Read the NCAA Guide for College Bound Athletes.
- What are the eligibility requirements to participate in a sport?
- Coaches may not call you until July 1 after your Junior year. You can call or write to them before.
Where Do I Think I Want to Go to College?
- Use a broad search
- Include schools that are “Challenging”
- Include schools that are “Fun”
Do Your Homework:
- Entrance Standards
- Application Process & Deadlines
- Team standards, history, records, etc.
Get In Touch With The Program
- Write letters to any school you are interested in:
- Include your best events and time.
- Include your grades
- Explain why you are interested
- Prior to July 1st of your junior year, correspond via letter and email
- After July 1st of your junior year, give coaches a call
- DO NOT wait for them to contact you—BE PROACTIVE!
- Be honest about your training (and everything else).
- Don’t let coaches tell you what you need.
- If you are contacted and are not interested, let them know.
- Have a list of questions ready before you call.
- Ask about scholarships.
STEP 3: RECRUITING TRIPS
Official Recruiting Trips
- You are allowed 5 official trips.
- There are some who say take all 5 and others who say only take a few. You need to consider your own schedule of meets, training and school.
- Don’t commit (verbally or otherwise) until you have taken all your trips.
- Try to take a trip to at least one “long shot.”
- Coaches and swimmers are evaluating you just as much as you are them.
- Unlimited opportunities to visit programs and colleges.
- If you can, take a road trip to visit a few schools. Schedule meetings with the coaches, don’t just show up.
STEP 4: MAKING YOUR DECISION
- At this point, you have done your homework, so evaluate and reflect.
- Be aware of deadlines – applications, coaches, etc.
- Seek input from those you trust – family, friends, coaches, etc.
- Evaluate your offers.
- Make it YOUR decision
Contact Colleges After Your Decision
- Contact the coach of your “winner” first.
- Circumstances can change, so make sure you understand what is being offered.
- Call the coaches of your “losers” – don’t email or text. You will run into them in the future, so handle your selection with class.
Reflect On Your Decision
- Trust your decision—it was the right one!
- Don’t second guess yourself, but you can change your mind.
- Understand consequences if you do change your mind.