Swimming World September 2021 Presents – What Coaches Wish Prospects Knew About Recruiting

Swimming World September 2021 Presents - What Coaches Wish Prospects Knew About Recruiting
Mike Bottom, University of Michigan, with former Wolverine swimmer (2006-10) and 2008 Israeli Olympian, Alan Mandel

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What Coaches Wish Prospects Knew About Recruiting

By Michael J. Stott

When it comes to college recruiting, swim coaches agree: they’re looking at much more than swimming times.
They’re evaluating the whole package: academic, athletic, personal…and more!

FACT: “Recruiting is still a very inexact science,” says Princeton University head coach Matt Crispino. “There is no formula we can apply that’s going to guarantee the people we are pursuing are what we are actually going to get. There are going to be surprises, people who exceed expectations and those who fall short.”

Complicating this uneven terrain is the recruiting landscape itself. “The process has sped up over the last few years,” says North Carolina State head coach Braden Holloway, “and it sped up more during COVID-19. With the inability to go and see schools, engage in events, etc., many made earlier decisions, figuring restraints would not be lifted in time for them to make a full decision after visits.”

TIMING
Southern Methodist head coach Greg Rhodenbaugh agrees. “The process is starting earlier, and it was hard enough before. It is especially hard for late-developing guys not ready to maximize their athletic scholarship award. Many are younger, less experienced and going to get a lot faster by the end of their junior year.”

Exacerbating the NCAA’s earlier recruiting time frame is the creation of the transfer portal making it easier for athletes to find other schools. “More people will be transferring because they are not finding the best place for themselves until the second time around,” he says.

While he urges prospects to start researching schools by their junior year, he sees nothing wrong with delaying decisions until late junior or early senior year. “The really good ones are going to be under a lot of pressure to decide well before they even shave by the end of junior year. With all the pressure to commit early, the truth is, they don’t have to say ‘yes’ within a 24- or 48-hour deadline. Recruits actually have all the power and hold all the cards,” he says.

“If a team wants an individual, they will hold a spot and money for them. That’s the dirty little secret. In fact, I’m starting to hold back money for late-developing high school seniors or people who are going to be in the transfer portal.”

As for Princeton, Crispino says, “We are still engaging rising juniors by June 15, but are really not in position to make an offer until we have seen a good chunk of junior-year academics.”

RESOURCES FOR RECRUITS
“Educating prospects about the process needs to come from many areas: high school/club coaches, college coaches, parents and the prospects themselves,” says Holloway. “Ground rules, basic imetables and the NCAA guidelines are accessible for all to view. The more familiar a prospect is before college contact, the better. However, the timetable for each school and its goals of putting together its classes likely differs a lot—i.e., roster spots, financial availability, official visiting periods, class goals in regard to needs and areas of focus. This is where the college coaches can guide the prospects as it relates to their school,” he says.

“Part of our responsibility,” notes Texas women’s head coach Carol Capitani, “is to educate prospects because the rules are constantly changing—i.e., NIL, cost of attendance, etc. There are always different things coming up, and the rules are a bit of a moving target, especially in the last year-plus with COVID-19.”

Then there’s the Ivy League, which has its own set of expectations and requirements that coaches must meet regarding incoming class academic indices. “With a 5% acceptance rate, I don’t think every recruit understands how picky we have to be. The hard part is finding the ‘right’ guys,” says Crispino. “We aren’t different from anyone else in the country. We want fast swimmers and good students. Finding people who fit into our vision here is as important as times and grades,” he says.

To read more about what coaches wish prospects knew about recruiting,
Click here to download the full issue of Swimming World September 2021  available now!


Michael J. Stott is an ASCA Level 5 coach, golf and swimming writer. His critically acclaimed coming-of-age golf novel, “Too Much Loft,” was published in June 2021, and is available from Bookbaby.com, Amazon, B&N and book distributors worldwide.

 

Swimming World September 2021 - Golden Boy Caeleb Dressel Puts On A Show In Tokyo With 5 Gold Medals and 2 World Records - COVER
[PHOTO BY ROB SCHUMACHER / USA Today Sports]

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FEATURES

2020 TOKYO OLYMPIC GAMES
by John Lohn, Dan D’Addona, 
Matthew De George and David Rieder

010  |  LIKE NO OTHER
There has never been an Olympics like the one held in Tokyo from July 23 through Aug. 8. Even the Games themselves were known as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games despite the fact that the actual event was held a year later! Yet, once the competition got started—at venues without any spectators—the XXXII Olympiad provided all of the anticipated emotions, surprises, goal fulfillments and more.

014 | MALE PERFORMANCE OF THE MEET: Caeleb Dressel (100 Fly)

014 | FEMALE PERFORMANCE OF THE MEET: Tatjana Schoenmaker (200 Breast)

015 | BEST WOMEN’S RELAY PERFORMANCE: Australia (400 Freestyle Relay)

016 | BEST MEN’S RELAY PERFORMANCE: USA (400 Medley Relay)

017 | BEST INDIVIDUAL RELAY PERFORMANCE: Adam Peaty (100 Breast/400 Medley Relay)

018 | BIGGEST UPSET/SURPRISE: Ahmed Hafnaoui (400 Free) & Lydia Jacoby (100 Breast)

019 | BREAKOUT PERFORMER: Bobby Finke (800 and 1500 Free)

020 | COUNTRY ON THE RISE: Italy

021 | RESILIENCE AWARD: Sarah Sjostrom (50 Free)

022 | OLYMPIC PHOTO GALLERY

027  |  RETURN TO NO. 1
by David Rieder
After a two-season absence as Swimming World’s girls’ high school national champions, Carmel High School (Ind.) has returned to claim its seventh overall team title since 2011.

029  |  SWIMMING WORLD MAGAZINE’S GIRLS’ NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIPS MOCK HEAT SHEET
by Bob Klapthor

031  | MAKING HISTORY
by Dan D’Addona
Carmel High School (Ind.) is the first school in 21 years to have both its girls’ and boys’ swimming teams win Swimming World’s national high school championships in the same year—a feat last accomplished by Bolles (Fla.) in 2000.

033  |  SWIMMING WORLD MAGAZINE’S BOYS’ NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIPS MOCK HEAT SHEET
by Bob Klapthor

COACHING

038  |  WHAT COACHES WISH PROSPECTS KNEW ABOUT RECRUITING
by Michael J. Stott
When it comes to college recruiting, swim coaches agree: they’re looking at much more than swimming times. They’re evaluating the whole package: academic, athletic, personal… and more!

041  |  SPECIAL SETS: ERIN GEMMELL—OLYMPIC BLOODLINES
by Michael J. Stott
Bruce Gemmell of Nation’s Capital Swim Club provides an interesting capsule of coaching for his 16-year-old daughter, Erin, as she prepared for her first U.S. Olympic Trials experience and earned a spot on the U.S. Junior team headed for the Berlin and Budapest World Cup stops in October.

043  |  Q&A WITH COACH JEFF JULIAN
by Michael J. Stott

044  |  HOW THEY TRAIN  TRENTON JULIAN
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

037   |  DRYSIDE TRAINING:  GOLD MEDAL WORKOUT (PART 2)
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

047  |  UP & COMERS:  HENRY WEBB
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS

008  |  A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

040  |  THE OFFICIAL WORD

046  |  HASTY HIGH POINTERS

048  |  GUTTERTALK

049  |  PARTING SHOT

Swimming World is now partnered with the International Swimming Hall of Fame. To find out more, visit us at ishof.org

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