At Truckee Tahoe Swim Team we would like to see as many of our club swimmers as possible want to continue their swimming into college. Currently we 6 swimmers actively competing at the collegiate level:
- Brittney Straw, Senior at UC Santa Barbara, Division I Mountian Pacific Sports Federation, or MPSF Conference: Britt says "Working hard both in the pool and in school is really important as colleges really do look at grades. Having good academics can be what ultimately gets you on a team. In the recruitment process reach out and keep an open mind about as many schools as you can because you might be surprised by what schools want you and what school you end up wanting." Go Gauchos!
- Niki Kates, Senior at Willamette, Division 3 North West Conference: Niki says "look for the difference in Division 1 vs Division 3. Example: It is not all about speed, lifestyle is important too. On a campus visit, pay close attention to the sophomore class you meet. Freshman are wild and they don't know what they're doing, and upper classmen wont be there when you arrive. So the sophomores are often indicative of the team culture you get there." Go Bearcats!
- Cooper deRyk, Sophomore at Utah, Division 1 PAC 12 Conference. Go Utes, Swoop!
- Megan Burrill, Sophomore at Illinois Tech, Division 3 Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference NACC. Go Scarlet Hawks!
- Grace Bronstone, Sophomore at Wellesley University, Division 3 New England Women & Men Athletics Conference NEWMAC. Go Blue!
- Anna Kates, Sophomore at Lewis & Clark, Division 3 North West Conference. Go Pios!
Kaikea Crews recently committed to swim for CAL (UC Berkeley) starting his Freshman year 2021! CAL is Pac 12 Division 1, CAL Bears are the the reigning 2019 NCAA Division 1 Champions in Men's Swimming and Diving. Go Bears!
CLICK HERE TO SEE WHERE YOU MIGHT STAND TIME WISE ACROSS COLLEGE DIVISIONS AND CONFERENCES! Thank you Dan Kates for putting this document together.
Here are the brief progressions and options for Interscholastic Swimming:
- High school Swimming & Diving programs: These are short 2 to 3-month seasons that differ by school year sport seasons across the USA. Here in Truckee we participate in the NIAA that is part of Nevada and runs from late February to early May annually. All abilities are welcome.
- Collegiate System: This is ordered by size and school type, please note that at all collegiate levels there will be range of abilities within schools, conferences, and divisions. If swimming is a goal, almost all abilities, especially if they have High school swimming experience, can find a school, conference, and division to participate in:
1.A Jr College Swimming: There are a select number of Jr. Colleges in USA mainly California and Florida that offer swimming. I don’t believe scholarships can be offered. These are 2-year programs where athletes can compete 2 out of 3 years total.
- NAIA: Click here for NAIA list of schools and information. I know that schools participating in the NAIA have in the past offered scholarships. Generally, they are smaller campuses in more rural settings across the USA.
- NCAA Division III. Click here for NCAA Division III list of schools and information. I think that more than 80% of Division III schools are private. Scholarships are not offered for athletics, but they are for academics. There are big range of abilities in Division III. Break out the country into 4 quadrants. West, Central, South, and East and go from there to start the search for a DIII program. More info can be found at http://www.ncaa.com
- NCAA Division II. Go to http://www.ncaa.com for more information. I know that this division does offer sport scholarships. Unlike Division III the Division II athletes tend to be closer in abilities because they are sandwiched between the highly variable Division III and Division I levels.
- NCAA Division I. Go to http://www.ncaa.com for more information. I know that this division does offer sport scholarships. It is important to note that Division I schools have the largest number of conferences. Not every conference is a powerhouse. Because Division I is the biggest, most conferences in Division I focus on their conference championships and not NCAA Championships. The abilities of Division I swimmers will be wider in difference than Division II, but not as much as Division III or NAIA. Starting in 2018 a Division I recruit can start taking their 5 official visit trips after September 1st of their Junior year of High School.
Your step by step guide to swimming in college!
Freshman Year High School:
- Swim for the High School Swimming Team
- Create a 4-year game plan
- Talk to your club and high school swim coaches about goals to swim in college
- Confirm with your high school about course requirements for college goals
- Earn best grades possible-keep up your GPA
- Time-management: Learn to balance school, and swimming to succeed at both!
- Start a resume: Keep a list of accomplishments both academically and athletically
- Explore service opportunities within your time management availability
- Take PSAT for practice usually in October
- Utilize time off, summers, wisely
Sophomore Year High School:
- Register with a NCAA Eligibility Center
- Take courses with appropriate challenge for your resume
- Rigor matters for more academically-selective schools like division 3
- Know some schools your interested in and what courses they would like to see
- Time manage the academic needs with your swimming goals
- Earn best grades possible
- Research schools you might be interested in. Break nation into quadrants NW, West, Mid-West, Central, South, Southeast, and North East.
- Bring your school lists to coaches for feedback
- Bring your school lists to parents for feedback
- Try to casually visit a campus for a general vibe understanding of what it is like
Summer after Sophomore Year:
- Meet with coaches for recruiting plans going into Junior year
- Bring your school lists to your parents and coaches
- After meeting possibly adjust school lists
- Study for ACT / SAT this summer
- Fill out recruit Questionnaires
- Get resume and Initial Emails ready
- Plan your ACT / SAT test dates make 2 for good measure
- Contact and receive contacts from college coaches, email out your resume
- Continue school research and adaptation to your list
- Continue appropriate school course plans
- Earn best grades possible
- Attend biggest meet championships you can, college coaches usually are there to watch
- Begin college visits: Unofficial Visits (unpaid): Be prepared, it can help you move up their list of recruits. Junior Days (unpaid): Be aware of mass invites to these. If it comes as a customized invite with your details, then that is good. Official Visits (paid): If invited, it is a very good sign of a potential offer to come to that program!
- Keep your club coaches in the loop of what is happening, so we can help
- Keep current with NCAA Eligibility Center requirements
- Send test scores and complete transcripts
- Continue contact with programs and coaches you have built a relationship with in the recruiting process
- Continue to update your club coaches and parents
- Narrow down primary list of choices to 3 – 5 schools
- Take official visits if invited
- Fall signing, early admission if accepted to a program
- Keep in contact if planning on the regular admissions process
- Spring signing
- Walk on if you get accepted through regular admissions process
- Keep up with course work for graduation, grades, and swimming
- Finalize any NCAA Eligibility requirements
- Send out updated SAT / ACT test scores, and final transcripts
- Keep your social media always clean! Coaches have been known to drop a recruit after finding bad social media posts. Coaches might be monitoring you to find out the “real you” don’t assume private protects you!
- Open a separate simple email account, with your graduation year, for recruiting/college. This allows coaches a way to see you simple and quick. Ex. Johnsmith21@gmail.com (keep it simple).
- College coaches are busy. Be aware of their season. Choose the least busy times to contact them. Choose an email subject line carefully to get their attention. Don’t give up to easily if a coach doesn’t reply immediately. Coaches like to talk to athletes and their club coaches. Having your parents contact a coach is a RED FLAG no no!
- Your chance of being recruited doesn’t end in the fall. Many coaches come back to a list later in the year to fill rosters. If you are in their times roster needs, there is a good chance they could get back to you later in the year.
- College coaches come and go. Be ready to accept a new coach when you start. School tradition and culture play a role as much as how much you like the coach that is recruiting you.
- collegeconfidential.com: Search swimming recruit, and you can see some helpful insights from parents and swimmers that have been through the process.
- niche.com: This is a student perspective on various aspects of their schools
- thecollegesolution.com: smart articles on college affordability and decision making
- collegedata.com: more articles on student experiences
- NCSAsports.com/blog: good blog on recruiting (Free)
- collegeswimming.com: this is a free site that you create an account for your swimming times, and achievements. It also tracks all results and swimmers from around the country.
Knowing you want to peruse this amazing experience is half the battle! Perseverance wins in swimming. If you put in the time and effort through the ups and downs, then swimming in college is simpler than you think!