Swim Mom: Is College Club Swimming the Right Choice for Your Child?

Courtesy: Elizabeth Wickham

I believe that if our kids want to swim in college, they can find a school that fits—and it can be a wonderful experience. I also understand that swimming on a college team is not for everyone. What if a university has an outstanding program for a student’s major, but doesn’t have a swim team? Or, a counselor tells a student that they shouldn’t choose a certain major because swimming will conflict with clinical work? Or, they aren’t fast enough to be recruited where they want to attend school—what then?

In reality, it’s not all sunshine and roses to be a student-athlete. It’s a lot of work and a huge time commitment. Traveling to meets can happen during midterms or group projects, making academics harder for student-athletes. Swimmers may not find time for extracurricular activities they’d like to try such as working at a campus radio station or internships.

Here’s an idea for college students who want to continue swimming, but for whatever reason are not on the university’s swim team: College Club Swimming (CCS).

Jason Weis, a CCS founder explained, “College Club Swimming is a great program for students who want to swim in college, but aren’t necessarily fast enough to swim on a varsity team. We’re about to enter our third season as the official national governing body for swimming at the club level across all major universities throughout the United States. CCS was founded by a group of students with help from U.S. Masters Swimming and is a fantastic way for students to continue their swimming careers in college. We host both regional and national championships which are extremely competitive and feature some incredibly fast swimming, but much like masters swimming there aren’t mandatory practices or training.”

According to Weis, they had approximately 1,850 swimmers from 115 teams compete at this year’s CCS national championships.

“CCS is a definite opportunity for those who wish to continue their swimming careers, but either are having trouble being recruited or simply aren’t interested in the intensity that comes with swimming on an NCAA college team. For me, and countless others, CCS has been a great way to continue swimming in a stress-free environment during college,” Weis said.

Elizabeth Wickham volunteered for 14 years on her kids’ club team as board member, fundraiser, newsletter editor and “Mrs. meet manager.” She’s a writer with a bachelor of arts degree in editorial journalism from the University of Washington with a long career in public relations, marketing and advertising. Her stories have appeared in newspapers and magazines including the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Parenting and Ladybug. You can read more parenting tips on her blog.

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cynthia curran

I swam community college instead of 4 year swimming.. Masters swimming at the time, you had to be 25 years old, so I quit after the sophomore year of community college.


Many (if not most) kids who swim in high school are either not fast enough to qualify for their college swim teams, or not willing/able to make the time commitment. Some are too burned out after years of swimming for intense club teams and high school teams to want to swim on a college team. Club teams give them a chance to continue swimming for fun without the pressure of competing on the NCAA level. Students could alternatively join a local US Masters Swimming club, which accepts swimmers age 18 and older. I swim for a USMS club that has a few college-age members who for one reason or another can’t swim on their school’s team. They are fun to… Read more »

ABC def

As a spectator at the finals of NCAA, ACC, and College Club championship swim meets, far and away the most fun and loudest meet was the club meet. And it was fast. As fast as NCAAs? No, of course not. But if you want to swim and have fun and make friends (in whichever priority order you prefer) then College Club Swimming is something to consider.

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