NCAA College Swimming Recruiting
Information About the Swimming and Diving Recruiting Process
Swimming at the college level comes down to finding the right program that fits your athletics, academics, and personality. The swimming recruitment process is a one long job interview, where coaches and athletes are both looking to find a school that will be best for both parties.
Coaches Recruit Swimmers Based on Potential and Best Times
Not every swimming program recruits the same type of swimmer. The best way to get a sense of what type of swimmers a program typically recruits is to look over their current roster. Often times, you can read short bios about each swimmer and see what their accomplishments were like coming out of high school. If you get the chance to speak with a coach or a current swimmer, ask them what they look for in a recruit. Swimming coaches are always interested to know what kind of training you do at the high school level so they can get a sense of how you might be able to improve once training full time in college.
Each swimming program has different needs on any given year. If a program has a long list of swimmers already scoring in your events, it is going to be more difficult to find a spot on that team. Look at the team roster online and see how many swimmers they have in your events. If the events aren’t listed, look over some of the results at the conference and national meets. If you see swimmers from that school already scoring points, then it is going to be more difficult to get a swimming scholarship there.
Calculating how much scholarship money you can get isn’t rocket science. It is very uncommon to get a full-ride swimming scholarship. Most programs divide their money depending on the points you are able to contribute at a conference and at a potentially national level. If you are swimming only in one or two events and scoring in only one, you won’t get as much money as a swimmer doing two open events and relays.
Academics Matter in College Swimming
Too many swimmers make the mistake of thinking that if a coach wants them bad enough, they will just be able to get them into school. Coaches might be able to help borderline student athletes get through admission, but they aren’t miracle workers. Coaches are evaluating you on everything you do and say as a recruit, and a being a poor student indicates to them you might have issues with your work ethic. Additionally, with tens of thousands of recruits to choose from, coaches won’t waste their time recruiting a swimmer that might not be eligible academically.
Finding the Right Fit for Athletes and Coaches
One of the most overlooked factors in swimming recruiting is how important finding a program that fits your personality and what you are looking for from a college experience. This means considering everything from how a coach trains their swimmers to what the university facilities are like. It is critical that you do not rush your decision making and take the time to speak with the coaches several times as well as visit the school. Don’t assume that because it is a big name brand program, it will be great for you. Hundreds of recruits every year choose smaller schools because they fit what they are looking for in a college. Be sure you give the same thought to your swimming recruitment process.
Author: David Frank