Courtesy of Josh Brown. Follow: @joshbrownisaman
So you’re a talented swimmer, you’ve always worked hard in every age group, and you’ve gone above and beyond to be successful. Now you are coming to the point in your career where you have to make decisions, such as where you can see yourself swimming in the future. This is a tough decision and with all the emailing and communication, making sure you set yourself apart from others can be a challenge. Here are some tips to help you keep the process fun and ultimately help you make the right choice in where you commit.
DONT FEEL RUSHED
The pressure of committing early can be tough. Sometimes we feel rushed to make the decision when we see other swimmers around the nation announce where they have decided to swim in college. But remember a few things. First, you don’t have to be an early commit. Not all coaches require you to commit early senior year, so make sure you are in touch with your prospective coach about when the ideal time would be to commit. Second, don’t let the early commitment of others freak you out. Swimmers are in totally different places in the recruiting process, and just because someone commits early doesn’t mean you are falling behind. Just keep in touch with prospective coaches.
AGAINST THE ODDS
Sometimes when we go on recruiting trips we can find ourselves in awe of other recruits. It can be a daunting thing that can really shake your confidence and make you question whether you are cut out to swim at that college. But remember, YOU are also being recruited by that school. Clearly the coach values you, otherwise he or she wouldn’t be recruiting you in the first place. Don’t look at the recruits who are faster than you as an obstacle, rather focus on the fact that they could be your future teammates who help push you to new levels. And remember, the coach for that team has a plan for you to succeed there, which is why you are being recruited.
THE BIGGER PICTURE
When choosing a college, don’t just zero in on the swimming. Take in the entire college atmosphere – the location, size, and academic opportunities the school has to offer. Remember that beyond swimming you will need a school that will prepare you for the future and provide you with opportunities. For many of us swimming will end once we are out of college, so it’s important to find a school that will prepare you for life after graduation.
THE CHOICE IS YOURS
Give yourself time to think about the decision that you will make. Committing to swim, though not set in stone, is an agreement that you should honor and not take lightly. Remember to get out there and visit schools, go on recruiting trips, and learn about the team dynamic and the coaches. Make your choice, leave no regrets, and commit when you feel ready. Don’t sell yourself short!