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College Swimming 101

College Recruiting & Making Your Decision

STEP 1: EVALUATE YOUR GOALS AND PRIORITIES

What Are My Swimming Goals?

  1. Participation

  2. Level of Competition

  3. Ability to Contribute & Travel

What Are My Education Goals?

  1. Type of Education

  2. Level of Education (Bachelors, Masters, Law, Doctorate)

  3. What is the Priority (Swimming first? Education first? Balance?)

What Can I Afford?

  1. Am I eligible for financial aid?

  2. Can I get a scholarship?

Where Do I Want to Live?

  1. Proximity to Home

  2. Climate Preference

  3. Life After Swimming/College

STEP 2: RESEARCH AND CORRESPONDENCE

Know the rules!

  1. You can’t accept any gift from the school or anyone affiliated with it.

  2. You can’t practice with them when you are visiting.

  3. Read the NCAA Guide for College Bound Athletes.

  4. What are the eligibility requirements to participate in a sport?

  5. 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?

  1. Use a broad search

  2. Include schools that are “Challenging”

  3. Include schools that are “Fun”

Do Your Homework:

  1. Entrance Standards

  2. Application Process & Deadlines

  3. Team standards, history, records, etc.

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Get In Touch With The Program

  1. Write letters to any school you are interested in:

    1. Include your best events and times

    2. Include your grades

    3. Explain why you are interested

  2. Prior to July 1st of your junior year, correspond via letter and email

  3. After July 1st of your junior year, give coaches a call

Communication Tips:

  1. DO NOT wait for them to contact you—BE PROACTIVE!

  2. Be honest about your training (and everything else).

  3. Don’t let coaches tell you what you need.

  4. If you are contacted and are not interested, let them know.

  5. Have a list of questions ready before you call.

  6. Ask about scholarships.

STEP 3: RECRUITING TRIPS

Official Recruiting Trips

  1. You are allowed 5 official trips.

  2. 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.

  3. Don’t commit (verbally or otherwise) until you have taken all your trips.

  4. Try to take a trip to at least one “long shot.”

  5. Coaches and swimmers are evaluating you just as much as you are them.

Unofficial Trips

  1. Unlimited opportunities to visit programs and colleges.

  2. 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

Evaluation

  1. At this point, you have done your homework, so evaluate and reflect.

  2. Be aware of deadlines – applications, coaches, etc.

  3. Seek input from those you trust – family, friends, coaches, etc.

  4. Evaluate your offers.

  5. Make it YOUR decision

Contact Colleges After Your Decision

  1. Contact the coach of your “winner” first.

  2. Circumstances can change, so make sure you understand what is being offeredpage2image20704 page2image20864 page2image21024 page2image21184

     3. Call the coaches of your “losers” – don’t email or text. You will run into them in the

         future, so handle your decision with "class". 

Reflect On Your Decision

  1. Trust your decision—it was the right one!

  2. Don’t second guess yourself, but you can change your mind.

  3. Understand consequences if you do change your mind. 

 
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