Courtesy of Elizabeth Wickham
Parents and swimmers can gain a lot of information about recruiting from both college and club coaches. During recruiting, my swimmer talked to coaches by email, phone and in person. Many coaches shared great advice about college recruiting and things to consider in making a decision.
Here are seven tips about college recruiting from a variety of coaches:
1. Social media
Kids don’t fully understand the importance of social media. What they post is a reflection of who they are. My advice: never post anything you don’t want grandma to see.
2. The School
Can your swimmer see themselves attending a particular school—if they weren’t swimming? A college coach said to think carefully about this because not all swimmers swim four years. Injuries happen, or they may decide to quit. Would they choose this school without their sport?
If your swimmer doesn’t have a scholarship—loses a scholarship—or has it reduced—is the school affordable for your family?
Where does you swimmer fit? Take a look at the team and conference results to see where your swimmer would be ranked. Some kids like being the fastest on the team, while others want faster swimmers to push them.
You can view the average SAT scores of a university on their website under admissions. What if your swimmer has a low SAT, but wants to attend a school where the average score is 2000? How will that effect balancing a heavy load of swimming and studies?
Speaking of academics, find out if schools offer tutoring for student athletes. Do they have mandatory study hall hours, or have academic counselors specific for the team? What other support services do they offer?
7. The Team
Does your swimmer feel comfortable with the team? Do they connect with the coach and teammates? Does it feel like family? Keep in mind, coaches and staff do move around, so the coach is just one of several reasons to choose a college.
What tips do you have for swimmers and parents about college recruiting?
Elizabeth Wickham volunteered for 14 years on her kids’ club team as board member, fundraiser, newsletter editor and “Mrs. meet manager.” She’s a writer with a bachelor of arts degree in editorial journalism from the University of Washington with a long career in public relations, marketing and advertising. Her stories have appeared in newspapers and magazines including the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Parenting and Ladybug. You can read more parenting tips on her blog.