The Benefits of Swimming on a Club Team During College

College Club Swimming

The Benefits of Swimming on a Club Team During College

Upon graduation, student athletes will have to choose whether or not they would like to continue swimming in college. It can be a tough choice. Especially for someone who has been swimming for several years and has fallen in love with the sport.

Yet another level of difficulty comes when someone must choose what school to swim for. Even some of the best athletes may not be fast enough for the schools on their college list.  Or they may not have the time to fully commit to the rigorous school schedule.

Luckily, there is another option.

Joining a club team can be the perfect choice for athletes who still enjoy swimming but cannot commit to their main school team for some reason. Club swimming offers the close and competitive atmosphere that many swimmers enjoy, while also providing them with a great space to work out in. It can be the perfect path, which is why graduating athletes should consider it before making their final college decisions.

What Does a Club Team Have to Offer?

“Club sports are not regulated by the NCAA but are similar to Division III sports. Simply speaking, students join a team and compete against other teams regionally and/or nationally,” Student Caffe writes on their informative website about the differences in collegiate sporting options.

For a competitive student who doesn’t want to or otherwise can’t compete at the NCAA level, club sports are the perfect option. Students can also represent their schools or regions this way! Members of club teams travel to meets in order to compete, mirroring NCAA school teams. And they have a championship season as well, making for fierce competition throughout the year.

In addition, club teams also offer the strong, supportive team atmosphere found on most college campuses. The people that swimmers befriend on a club team could end up becoming longtime friends. Also, many of the swimmers choosing to partake in club swimming truly want to be there and have motivation to complete their goals.

A lot of school club teams are relaxed about the practice schedule – meaning that swimmers can attend practice whenever they have time. This means that the people who constantly show up at practice are the people who truly love and enjoy their sport.

Club swim also allows its swimmers to swim year ’round, which is something that collegiate teams may lack. For swimmers interested in making the leap to club, several news options open up. Long course swimming in the summer becomes an option, as well as furthered opportunities for summer championships and practices. Swimming doesn’t end at the same time as the school year. This means that those looking for summer workout options have the opportunity to hone their swim skills and prepare for the next time they dive into the pool.

Making the Choice

When making a decision about college, it is important to keep all possible paths in mind.

All levels of competition have their benefits and drawbacks. In order to choose the right path, a swimmer must first examine their academic needs. Which school is most beneficial to them academically? Does that school have all the extracurriculars they want?

After that, the swimmers should try and figure out which program they’d be most happy in – an NCAA program or a club program? Both offer a competitive atmosphere. Both offer a supportive environment.

What about time commitment? How important is that? Do athletes have time to fit in a more rigorous college schedule, or is going club the right answer for them?

Any option is good – it all depends on what the individual athlete most needs and wants. That can be different for everyone! And that is okay. What works for one person may not work for another. There is no shame in that.

Young athletes should not try to aim for a school that merely checks one of these boxes. Instead, they should focus their energy on trying to find a school with all or most of what they want. In the end, it is up to the student themselves to decide.

And, club teams should not be counted out. From offering a competitive atmosphere, flexible practice schedule, and supportive team structure – club swimming could be just the thing missing from a collegiate athlete’s life.

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Andrew Lardieri
7 months ago

great article.

Rosemary Niebauer
7 months ago

Nice article Riley. Also a great option!

Bob Niebauer telephone
7 months ago

Thanks, Riley Dunn!

You’ve done it again! I love your articles because they are focused and concise and must be helpful to a young person trying to make a tough decision about their future!

Please keep writing; you have talent!