5 Recruiting Pointers for Spring Signees

By Abby Boone, Swimming World College Intern
LAKELAND – As spring signing season comes around, thousands of swimmers are still trying to decide where their perfect fit will be. College coaches have a say in who they invite to join the team, but the final decision is in the hands of the future student-athletes.

As a student-athlete, it helps to know what coaches look for in swimmers and what swimmers should look for in a team.

Here are five recruiting pointers to think about before you make a decision about where to spend the next four years of your life.

1. Fast Swimming
Coaches want swimmers who are fast. Coaches need swimmers who are fast. Fast scores points. Points win meets. There’s not much else to this point- if you have speed, that’s a great start. But teams have a place for many calibers of speed.

2. Filling A Hole
Just because you are fast does not mean you are what a team needs. If you happen to excel at the 200 fly, but there are 10 flyers already on the team, there is a large chance you are not the first swimmer the coach will think to recruit. That needed backstroker has a little more promise than you do- no offense to your skills. There is a big chance you will feel like you contribute more on a different team.

3. Personal Drive and Dedication
If you aren’t the fastest swimmer, don’t worry that you will not find a team that is perfect for you. Being motivated and working hard consistently make a difference. Hard work is just as important to success as talent. Many swimmers find their success through hard work, not talent. We can’t all be Michael Phelps, but with the right drive you can make a difference and stand out. Plus, coaches like to coach swimmers who like to work hard.

4. Academics
Aside from your times and your daily efforts in the pool, your grades matter. If you’re struggling with classes in high school, you may not be academically successful in college. Classes are more difficult and schedules are more rigorous in college. A coach needs a good team GPA as much as he needs good times. If your grades are not up to par, you might not be the one he wants to add to his roster.

5. Get Along With the Team
Normally, if you sign to a team, you’re probably planning on staying with that team for the entirety of your college career. In that case, make sure you get along with the other swimmers. If they love to go bowling every weekend, but you’re not a fan of the alley, they may not be the teammates for you. Be sure you like the people who will be in your lane every day, as much as you like the school and the coach. They are the people who will be by your side throughout school, in your wedding, and your best friends for life.

You can control your grades and your effort in and out of the pool. You control your experience and you control where you go to school. Coaches have what they look for in student-athletes and what they need to make a successful team, but you make the final decision.

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David G
David G
9 years ago

I would add, pick a college that will best prepare you for your planned career goals as once you are done swimming in college over 99% of swimmers will be done swimming competitively so plan accordingly.

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