Questions for College Swim Coaches from American College Connection

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

ACC is a SwimSwam Partner. 

“American College Connection has proven to be the best single source that we rely on for information about prospective student-athletes,” recently retired coach at the University of Alabama Dennis Pursley said. “We value their recommendations and have a high level of trust in the information they provide for us.”

If a five-time Olympic coach and American Swimming Coaches Hall of Famer trusts American College Connection, why wouldn’t you?

To help you out during the recruiting process, ACC has put together a list of questions that they suggest swimmers consider asking college coaches.


  • What is the weekly practice schedule?
    • AM/PM
    • Men/Women together or separate
    • Dry land/Wetland/Weights
    • Practice attendance/missed practice policy
    • What are the shave & taper or target meets
  • What opportunities do you have in the off-season & summer to practice?
  • What events will you be training for to best help the team?
  • Who will be your primary coach?


  • Dual Meets/In Season Meets
    • How many? Does it change week to week or set squad?
    • When do you announce line-ups and travel squad?
  • Conference/Nationals
    • How many travel? Score?


  • What percentage of your swimmers swim all 4 years and graduate in 4 years?
  • What percentage improve times year-to-year and over 4 years?
  • How many retire early and why?
  • What percentage go best times at championship meet in given year?
  • What type of race/practice analysis do you have?
    • Video tape, underwater camera, etc.


  • What gear are you given or have use of or have to purchase?
    • Parkas
    • Bags
    • Sweats
    • Practice suits/cap
    • End of year suit/cap
  • Do you have Tryouts or can all recruited athletes swim?
    • If so, what criteria do you have for team selection in the fall?
  • Are team members involved in any other activities besides swimming?
    • What % of the women/men join sororities/fraternities
    • Variety of Greek organizations or just one or two?
    • Is there a team policy about Greek life
    • Are there conflicts with meets & Greek activities (ie.not wanting to go to meet due to formal)
    • Does this (Greek life) cause a team division?
    • What type of campus clubs do swimmers join?
    • Team sponsored Community Service?
    • Do swimmers do outside community service? How do they find it?
    • Campus Government
  • Are you “invited” or “required” to go on the training trips?
    • Who pays for trip (all, some, none?)
    • Required fundraising activities or write a check option
  • How do you house your team on campus?
    • Do you arrange roommates?
    • Specific dorm?
    • Swimmers on one hall or dorm?
  • Break Travel
    • When are you allowed to go home for holidays? When do you have to be back? Any consideration for cross-country travel?
    • Can you go home for October/Fall break?


  • What kind of help is available if I get injured?  And policy?
    • Health services (regular or fast track?)
    • Trainer
    • Ice near pool?
    • Training room?
    • Nutritionist?
    • Sports Psychologist
    • How many swimmers retire due to injuries? Pre-existing or in program?
  • How developed is your Alumni Networking within swim team?
  • What percent of swimmers (not gen. pop) are accepted to graduate/professional school?
  • How many swimmers are taking prep classes or entrance tests (LSAT, MCAT, GMAT) in a given year? How do you support those kids?
  • Are you fully funded?
  • Men: Is there any chance the program will be cut due to Title IX?


  • What types of resources are available for academic help & advising?
    • Required study halls/tutors/advisors/priority in registering for classes
  • Is study abroad summer or semester available?
    • Help available to find place where you can practice abroad?
  • How much class is missed for meets, esp. conference meets & how do swimmers make up classes?
    • Can you request a meet off due to academics?
  • Tell me about previous swimmers who have majored in XXXXX.


  • What issues have you dealt with in the past/ what are most common issues?
    • What is your biggest challenge in Recruiting?
    • What do you look for in recruits?
    • What is the strength of your program/school? Weakness?
  • What are your goals for your program?
    • What are you doing to achieve this?
    • How long will it take?
    • How far have you come?
  • How many recruits will you be bringing in this year or each year?


  • (list here if asked)



ACC Recruiting is a SwimSwam ad partner  Go here and learn more about ACC and their team of college swimming experts. 

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