Choices - During High School and Beyond

Dear Parents and Swimmers of CSC,


Quite a few parents and some swimmers have approached us asking about high school versus club team swimming.  They question the impact when a high school team makes full seasonal participation mandatory at the exclusion of their club.  Specifically, they want to know how this will impact the swimmer’s chance to continue with college swimming.  Most of the information that will follow is directly from NCAA coaches and is not our opinion.  This should clear up some of the questions.


Foremost, high school team swimming is not required to obtain a place on an NCAA team or compete for a scholarship.  Many NCAA swimmers did not or could not swim for a high school team. This DOES NOT imply that club steams are superior to high school teams.  The quality of clubs and high school teams varies drastically by location.   It means that, unlike other sports, high school team participation is not mandated for college swimming.  It is a swimmer’s individual, recorded times…not club or high school affiliation that drive selection.  It is up to the swimmer to decide which path will foster peak times and superior performance.


Part of this decision process means that a swimmer must realistically assess which schools they qualify for academically.  After this, the student needs to research the times established by the school’s swim team and realistically determine if they meet the standard or if they have the potential to train to it.  The swimmer must also contact the collegiate team directly to gather other specific selection criteria.  The results may be surprising. Once this has taken place, a swimmer and his/her family can engage in meaningful conversation with the club and high school coach to assess which program will help forge their future goals.  Without this decision template, the high school versus club discussion is simply opinion and conjecture guided by coaches and owners/directors.  


The information pertaining to this exceeds the scope of this simple letter.  Please feel free to contact us with further questions.  You must do what is best for the swimmer and your family.  Good luck with training.  Keep your grades and test scores up so that your options are not limited.