Want to Swim in College? Sell Your Potential

Contributor, Rick Paine, is a friend and an expert on the college recruiting process. He is also the Director of Swimming at American College Connection. 

As you are probably finding out, the college recruiting process can be very complicated. Here is an example of the type of advice that we provide for our swimmers and their parents

College coaches base a lot of their recruiting on a swimmer’s potential. Any good coach wants to believe they are recruiting a swimmer who they can help get faster. They are all looking for swimmers who are “headed in the right direction.” This is not to say that every coach will scholarship “potential.”

So how do you present your potential to college coaches? The first step is for you and your coach to come up with some specific goals for the current season. The next step is for you to let the college coaches know what your goals are. This is not as easy as just telling them. You have to be subtle and believable.

You need to determine what you need to do differently in practice in order to achieve your goals. What are you willing to commit to? You can’t realistically set a goal without having a plan of attack. Those are called “dreams.”

Sample conversation between a swimmer and a college coach:

Swimmer: Coach, it seems like you and the team reached most of the goals for the season.

Coach: Yes, we had a really good year. The kids trained well and we hit 82% of our goals.

Swimmer: Congratulations. My coach and I got together the other day and set my goals for the season. Would you like to hear them?

Coach: Of course

Swimmer: I will go a :53.9 or faster in my 100 free by March 5. I know I can at least swim that fast because I am doing dryland 3 days a week instead of 2 and I know I am getting stronger and that will really help me take my first 50 out in :25.5.  I will also be able to kick 10 x 100- free on a 1:15 interval by February 15. With my legs in better shape I will be able to bring it home in at least :28.4

What you just did is to make this coach look at you as a :53 100 freestyler instead of a :56.

That’s selling your potential.

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.

ACC is a SwimSwam ad partner. Learn more about ACC and their entire team here. 

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About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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