Courtesy of Elizabeth Wickham
I’m sharing seven tips on how you can help your swimmer through college recruiting. I hope this helps you wade through pools of confusion and simplifies the process. Enjoy the recruiting experience—it’s an exciting time in your swimmer’s life—and in yours, too.
1. Support you swimmer.
Help them through the recruiting process, but don’t take over. This is an important chapter in their growth.
2. Get your swimmer to practice!
College coaches will talk to your club coach. If your swimmer is a hard worker and consistent with practices—your club coach will recommend him or her whole-heartedly.
3. Register with the NCAA Clearing House.
It’s something all athletes must do if they want to participate in college sports.
Have your student meet with his high school counselor to make sure he or she is on track. Coaches appreciate swimmers with good grades and high SATs.
5. Make Lists.
A – Dream schools — where has your swimmer always wanted to go?
B – Geographic location — where does your swimmer want to live? Close to home? Or in an entirely different part of the country?
C – DI, DII or DIII? There’s a division, conference and school for every swimmer. Determine a fit by looking at NCAA Division results.
D – Does your swimmer score points in conference? Chances are if they score in the top eight, they may be a candidate for a scholarship.
6. Have your swimmer email coaches.
Start early, during your swimmer’s sophomore or junior year. Tips for good emails: What is a coach looking for in a swimmer, what are their time requirements? Why is your swimmer interested in a particular school?Your swimmer needs to fill out online questionnaires on schools’ athletic websites. You may want to schedule unofficial visits at schools close-by.
7. Be polite.
Remind your swimmer to return all phone calls and emails. Remember, coaches move around—and they tend to have friends they talk with who are coaches, too!
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.