Contributor, Rick Paine, is a friend and an expert on the college recruiting process.
So you picked up a Junior National cut and now you are waiting patiently by the phone for the college coaches to start calling. The first few days are exciting every time the phone rings because you just know that a big time college coach is only a phone call away.
After a few days of only receiving a couple of calls from schools you are not interested in, you start to worry about why the phone has been silent.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do the college coaches know about me?
- What do they know about me?
- How did they find out about me?
You must have a plan if you want to find the right fit for a school and swim program. You have to determine how to contact the coaches and what to send them to get them to look at you.
Don’t count on just completing an online questionnaire to put you solidly in the recruiting pool (no pun intended). College coaches are very busy these days and many schools just don’t have the manpower to go though every questionnaire they receive. YOU HAVE TO SELL YOURSELF.
College coaches do look at times first to determine if you can help them in the pool. The very next thing they look at is your grades. You need to get the coaches to look at your grades and test scores and your best times (not all of your times, just your best).
One of the most important things you need to do is to determine some areas of academic interest and at what level can you swim at in college. It wastes everyone’s time when you chase a school that you are not qualified for. Remember from last month’s article, for most swimmers there are no clear cut differences in swimming at the D-I, D-II, D-III, NAIA and Junior College level. There are excellent coaches and programs at every level.
You can get a huge advantage if you can get someone like your coach to paint a picture of your potential and send that to a lot of college coaches.
Don’t count on “if I am good enough, they will come.”
Here are a few NCAA rule changes that every potential recruit needs to know.
Old rule– visits to D-I and D-II programs were counted together and a swimmer could only take official visits to 5 schools.
New rule– swimmers are still limited to official visits to 5 D-I schools, but are allowed an unlimited number of official visits to D-II schools.
Visits to D-III, NAIA and Junior Colleges remain unlimited.
Old rule– D-I and D-II coaches were allowed one phone call per week starting July 1 for D-I and June 25 for D-II coaches after your junior year.
New rule– D-I coaches are still only allowed 1 call per week beginning July 1 after your junior year, but D-II coaches are now allowed unlimited phone calls on June 15 after your junior year.
Phone calls from D-III, NAIA and Junior College coaches have no restrictions. Also, military academies can make phone calls to recruits prior to the July 1 and June 15 dates.
If you would like to find out if you can swim in college and at what level, go to www.ACCrecruits and submit a Free Profile.
Connect with AMERICAN COLLEGE CONNECTION here and see if you have what it takes to swim in college.