PHOENIX SWIM CLUB

THE "HOW TO" FOR COLLEGE RECRUITING


College Recruiting for PSC Swimmers

This page is dedicated to helping PSC Swimmers find a College/University program that meets their needs both athletically and academically.  Below are useful tips and information regarding the recruiting process and links to various websites that can be helpful to finding the ideal fit for each swimmer.

Information for Parents: 

As a parent, you know your child better than anyone else.  You also know what financial resources you can provide your child prior to any support is offered.  Academic and athletic scholarships are often available, but are never guaranteed, so it's important that you are honest with your child and with the coaches you are speaking with throughout this process. College coaches are a great resource for scholarship opportunities available at their respective school.  Ask questions early in the process so all available opportunities are on the table.

Your swimmer may have a different list of priorities when looking for a college/university.  Encourage open conversations throughout the recruiting process with your athlete.  Their options and interests will change along the way, and they need guidance from their most valuable support system.  

The coaching staff is also a valuable resource as they have connections with school and coaches across the country.  As your swimmer narrows down his/her list, take the time to review with the coaches to ensure various factors are considered.  

Information for Athletes:

The college recruiting process is exciting but can also be overwhelming and stressful at times.  Open dialogue with parents, coaches, and friends who have/are going through the recruiting process can be incredibly valuable.  Below are several factors to consider when beginning the search for the perfect school. 

  • Location – Region of the country, proximity to home, and climate. What type of location are you looking for? Will you be more comfortable in an urban or rural environment? How close do you want to be to home? Is it important for your family to be able to watch you compete? 
  • Academic – Workload, majors offered, post grad opportunities
  • Cost – What is the cost to the family when all scholarships are offered?
  • Size – How large do you want the campus to be? (Students, acreage). Is the student body on campus large, medium, or small?
  • Coach and facilities – Will the working relationship be productive? How do you feel about swimming outside? Inside? 
  • College Atmosphere – does the college and surroundings offer what the athlete desires?
    • Big City vs. Small College town
    • Type of Team – Men’s only, Women’s only, Combined
    • Team Environment - Social Setting, team unity, and team personality.
  • Will you make the travel team? How do your abilities match with what the college team is looking for? How will this university help you meet your career goals? 
  • What types of opportunities are available during the summer months? 
  • Are you looking for a combined or single gender team environment? Does this matter? How does this affect what's important to you? How does this impact your day-to-day experience?
  •  What type of academic environment are you looking for? What type of academic prestige and reputation is associated with the university? 
  • Are swimmers improving? What type of team culture do you think you'll excel in? 
  • What conference does a school compete in? What level of competition will you be racing against? Does the team go on a training trip? 
  • What coaching style are you looking for? What type of relationships are you looking for with your college coaches?
  • What type of academic support is available to student-athletes? 
  • What's the team chemistry like? Have you seen this team for yourself at a competition? Do you think you'd fit in? 
  • What do you do for fun at the campus? 

Things to Remember through Recruiting Process:

  • Go through NCAA clearinghouse for eligibility.
  • Create ‘college swimming’ folder in your inbox. Move all conversations to this space… It’s important to follow-up, answer emails in a timely fashion.
  • Have a standard list of questions that you can ask coaches & don’t be afraid to have follow up questions.
  • Know who you are talking to and the coach’s background.
  • Check team and school websites (www.collegeswimming.com).  
  • Follow Team and athletes on social media. This will give you a sense of what the team and athletes are about.
  • Be honest!
  • Do your research before deciding.
  • Follow thru with conversations, be sure to acknowledge, be honest. Don’t waste time for yourself or others

 

 

Example letter to college coach

 

Recruiting Timeline

(Everyone’s timeline is not the same)

September (Sophomore Year)
The coaches will arrange a group meeting with swimmers and parents to go over process. Register with the NCAA. Challenge yourself academically. Take ACT/SAT. Communicate with school guidance counselor

October - November
Create a list of 20 potential colleges that offer your intended major or field of interest, use tools like www.collegeswimming.com or www.lookforit.com. They are free to use and will allow you to see if you will be a fit athletically (where you will fit on the roster). There are paid for services like NCSA that you may utilize as well. Work with your high school guidance counselor/resources to find academic fit. Use Collegeboard Big Future, Unigo, Campus Reel, or your school’s resources (Naviance/SCOIR)

November - December
Review list of colleges with your coach. Type up introductory email for the college coaches, make sure it is relevant and is not too long. Create swim bio. Attach swim bio and transcript to email.

January – March (Sophomore Year)            
Create swim bio and email letter of introduction. Fill out online questionnaires, email all the coaches to follow up and introduce yourself. Ways to stand out, handwrite a letter or mail in a signed letter.

April - May                                
Update coaches on any best times and upcoming meets. Take one ACT and one SAT for baseline score.

June 15th (following sophomore year).                                     
Contact with college coaches can begin, via email/telephone calls/social media messaging. Student athletes can initiate contact.

August 1st (Junior Year)                             
Visits can begin. Communicate with your school counselor as she/he will be an integral process in the application process.

Mid-November                        
Early signing

November to April                  
Send update after every major meet. Late signing is in April.