ACC Recruiting Tip: Stay Off Your Cell Phone

Contributor, Rick Paine, is an expert on college swimming and the college recruiting process. He is also the Director of Swimming at American College Connection (ACC). ACC is a SwimSwam Partner.

I just received an email from a D-I coach asking me to send out a recruiting trip tip for swimmers who take official visits.

She told me she had 7 recruits on an official visit (the school paid for all expenses) and they were supposed to be watching the team’s swim practice. 5 out of the 7 were on their cell phones during the entire practice. She felt this was very disrespectful and decided to drop those 5 swimmers from her recruiting list.

What a shame these 5 swimmers who worked hard all these years to have the grades and times to swim in college blew it because they could not stay off their cell phones.

I have had other coaches tell me about recruits on an official visit who could not leave their cell phone alone long enough to carry on an intelligent conversation.

One coach was having a one on one meeting with a recruit discussing scholarships when her cell phone rang and she actually answered it. Needless to say, the meeting was over and the recruit never heard from the coach again. The coach was about to offer her a full scholarship worth nearly $180,000.

Not only is it important to respect the coaches by putting away your cell phones when you are on a recruiting trip, but it’s also an important weekend where you’ll be gaining the knowledge you need to make the decision on where to spend the next four years of your life.

You can always check your messages when you are alone.

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7 years ago

They are kids. Kids are dumb. R-e-l-a-x. ?

Dave R
7 years ago

While etiquette and courtesy are obviously important, the last coach described shows poor judgment IMO. People make mistakes; most of the time those mistakes are opportunities to improve. Some mistakes violate bedrock standards and they cannot be tolerated – depending on the program, these might range from honor code violations to drug abuse to felony convictions. Demonstrating a lack of respect toward the head coach in private (and almost certainly subconsciously, rather than maliciously) is the sort of mistake most athletes could learn from, and I would hope a good coach could use that opportunity as a teaching moment.

To go from offering a full scholarship all the way to outright rejection – based on a single social gaffe… Read more »

Reply to  Dave R
7 years ago

Fantastic response.

Swim parent
Reply to  Dave R
7 years ago

Thanks for the great response….I agree 100%. I almost doubt that this is true anyway….ACC Woman coach….hmmm. As a parent, just finishing the “process” for the first time, I’d like to address “conduct” by some coaches, which is NOT ethical, let alone, professional… as the saying goes, “people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

The other hulk
Reply to  Dave R
7 years ago

Maybe this fully funded team was deciding offering the last full ride they were allowed to give to her or someone else, and when the phone rang and was answered was the tipping point between the two.

Coaches can be unethical egomaniacs from time to time, but the teachable moment here is that what you do on your visit matters. You should teach your children that the university paid your expenses to be there for your visit, you should be there, not somewhere on your phone.

You should not teach your children that their actions leading up to why they weren’t offered a scholarship is somehow the coach offering the money’s fault.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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