7 Must-Haves for Your College Recruiting Trip

Having just returned from my first recruiting trip, I figured I’d use my experience to help out a few fellow swimmers. If you’re having trouble packing, here’s your checklist:

1. Bathing Suit, Cap and Goggles

It would probably be in your best interest to get into the pool (if possible) at least once during your trip. Not only does it minimize missed practice time, but showing the coach you’re serious about your training can be a huge plus. (Keep in mind- if any coaches are around while you’re swimming, it is considered an on-campus evaluation, which is a violation of Division I NCAA rules.)

2. The Typical Overnight Stuff

This probably goes without saying, but don’t forget the basics: toothbrush, toothpaste, pajamas, hair products, makeup, phone charger, etc.

3. Homework

Odds are, you’ll be pretty busy during your trip. It can be difficult to think about high school while you’re spending time at college, but remind yourself that you’re not quite there yet. If you get a spare half hour or so, sit down and get some homework done. When you return back to reality, being behind in your classes can be frustrating. Remember your high school performance directly effects the admissions process.

4. Team Gear

If you have any apparel from the college you’re visiting, pack it! Nothing shows interest like rooting for the team, especially if you get the opportunity to attend a football game or other sporting event on campus.

5. Money

During official recruit visits, your stay and meals are paid for. However, it is so much fun to visit the bookstore and buy yourself some college clothes! (Be sure to check out the sale rack. I bought myself an adorable quarter zip from the school I was looking at last week–only $10!)

6. Sleeping Bag & Pillow

You may be wondering where you’re going to sleep during your stay, and I’m about to confirm your biggest fear. Yes, you sleep in the dorms. Don’t worry, though. They’re not as cramped as you might think. I’d recommend bringing a sleeping bag and pillow so you can make the floor as comfortable as possible.

7.  An Open Mind

Whether the school you’re visiting is your top school or a safety, you were invited for a reason. Not many people have the opportunity to participate in varsity collegiate sports, so make the most of the experience. Relax and imagine yourself as a student there. You never know, you just might fall in love.

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also – “bring” a PLAN – for what you’re going to say/do when offered a beer or brought to a party where alcohol is being served.

Joey Garcia

Advise just saying “no thank you, I need to visit the bookstore” if an impromptu game of touch football should break out. The last thing you want is to return from a recruiting trip with an injury.


False on number 1,3,6
1: no one actually practices, maybe do 1000 yards at most and some relays with other recruits! But no one actually does real sets
3: homework on a college recruiting weekend? #1 for your host to be bored taking care of you
6: most hosts allow the athletes to use their beds…..

1. When I visited colleges, I was in-season and my coach was emailing me workouts. You can bet I was in the pool, working my tail off. Coaches know that this is time when it’s easy for recruits to slack off – there’s no one telling you that you HAVE to get in; actually putting in some work is a good way to prove you can handle yourself without a looming adult around. 3. Again – when I was off visiting colleges, I was absolutely doing homework. And so were my hosts. Granted, I was also taking AP classes in high school, so maybe recruits who don’t take advanced classes or who aren’t able to “breeze” through the high school… Read more »


If you are asked to sleep on the floor, how will you be treated once you commit!?? Shows lack of planning by coaches! Aerobeds are $99!!

About Bryana Cielo

Bryana Cielo

Bryana Cielo Shortly after Bryana Cielo’s birth, she developed her love of water at her family beach house–and hasn’t stopped since. At the conclusion of her swim lessons at age 7, it was recommended that she try out for the local summer swim team. After her first season, she won the …

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