The most uncomfortable part of the college recruiting process is the “decline to sign”. For the swimmer, you have to try and let a coach down gently after he or she has spent a lot of their time and resources trying to woo you. You have to let that coach know that they weren’t good enough. For a coach, you have to accept the news with grace, and yet somehow bring closure.
Below, the head coach of one SEC team sent us a fictional letter that muses about this breakup process. He just keeps telling himself that there are plenty of fish in the sea. Or swimmers in the pool, same difference.
Sorry I haven’t been in communication much. After my season ending meet I took a little break from swimming and started to really think about my future and where you may lie in it. I’m writing to let you know that I think it’s best if we saw other people. Our relationship over the past 7 weeks has been outstanding. I mean even my parents liked you. I still can’t believe that Pounces my cat actually sat on your lap when you came over for dinner. She hates human interaction.
I appreciate everything you’ve done for me. The handwritten notes sent to my home. The morning phone calls to see how practice went. The evening phone calls to see how my day was. Even the phone calls on Monday to see how my swim meet went. I can tell that you really did care for me. That being said, I think is best that we move on. This wasn’t an easy decision for me and I hate to be so cliché but it’s not you, it’s me. I just don’t know if what you have to offer for me as a prospective student athlete matches what I am looking for in my four years in college. I wish nothing but the best and I hope we can still be friends.
PS: you can keep the mix tape of my swims