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First child, need some help please (Swim)

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Replies to: First child, need some help please (Swim)

  • beenthere2beenthere2 Registered User Posts: 456 Member
    When emailing coaches, try to add a little bit about the specific school to personalize your approach, e.g. recent results or anything in the news section (look at the team web site).

    Also, at this point, cast a wide net, and if a coach of a school you're interested in doesn't respond, email again in a while with progress reports.

    Unless there's a specific reason, I would skip camps because it's a time based sport and, realistically, how many camps do you want to attend. However, try to visit the schools and talk to the coaches if at all feasible, once you've narrowed it down to a reasonable amount of schools to visit.

    Finally, keep in mind that D3 coaches have less influence on admission than D1 coaches (although there are differences, too) and also that a school that may be harder to get in for a non-athlete, in your case, it may actually be easier if their swimming program is less competitive.

    Also, make sure that your daughter handles all the contact with the coaches (with some help from you).
  • OldbatesieDocOldbatesieDoc Registered User Posts: 2,056 Senior Member
    My son is a recruited swimmer at Midd. You don't need to go and watch, and the coaches will be too busy. Swim camps were not necessary for him, nor "exposure", but he was D3 all the way.
    The 2 key factors are her times and her academics. If she has the times, the academics have to match the average of accepted students at her choice of schools. If her times are better, her scores can be lower.
    D3 coaches have 2 ways of "helping", at least in NESCAC-a 'tip" and a "slot".We can get more into that later.
    It's fine to e-mail the coaches(fill out the recruiting form) now, but it also is fine to wait for those all-important SAT/ACT scores. Then coaches know if your child will be able to get thru admissions.
    PM me any time.Good luck.You might want to pull up the "Fess up, D1 vs. D3" thread for a thorough discussion of the merits of each.
  • OldbatesieDocOldbatesieDoc Registered User Posts: 2,056 Senior Member
    I don't think many coaches will want to talk to a "prospie" at a conference meet.Unless your daughter is Olympic quality, I think it will be seen as too pushy and annoying.
  • etondadetondad Registered User Posts: 1,122 Senior Member
    Also think carefully about your daughter's personality. Even assuming that she does get into an Ivy program, does she want to be further down the team's power list, and maybe not swim in the top relay, or does being at the Ivy outweigh that? Some swimmers want to "carry" a team and some want to be "role" players. I am not implying that one or the other is better for a swimmer but just making sure that the fit works.

    This will require some careful and honest thinking by your daughter as to who she is.

    As OldbatesieDoc has noted there are threads that can give you the distinctions between DIII and DI swimming--particularly as you are not looking at, or will your daughter be recruited by, a national swim factory such as Auburn or Florida. Read them-- DIII is not "worse" swimming than DI, non swim factories, but it IS different.

    Again--fit is key--athletic, academic, social. (NESCAC schools are mostly LACs not large universities and they are very different environments in many ways.) No "one size fits all."

    Oh, I COMPLETELY agree about the shoulder issues-- any mention of that will "ding" her almost immediately--HOWEVER, check on this board and the college swim sites about which coaches are good with injured kids ( Steve Kuster at Williams is great with such kids, for example--but I am biased) and which have a rep for not caring. She will want to be in a program that will not blow out her shoulder or she will have a very brief swimming career left.

    PM if you would like.
  • Carla2012Carla2012 Registered User Posts: 266 Junior Member
    So much to think about. We will start by emailing the colleges THIS WEEKEND, but I think the timing of our college trip is going to be bad. We are going the last week of march. The women's D1 and D3 championships should be over, but I am imagining (someone let me know if I am right?) that all the coaches take a break the second those are over - and no one will be around that week.

    As to D1 vs. D3 there is no question that if the only thing she cared about were swimming, she would go D3 in an instant. It would be so much more fun for her.

    As to the shoulder - well, I'm worried it will come out since all the coaches and swimmers know about it. But I guess there is nothing we can do about that. Hopefully her times will speak for themselves, and if they don't - she will have to write a college essay about swimming in pain, and how hard she works. or something like that.
  • Kate in FLKate in FL Registered User Posts: 41 Junior Member
    Check the NCAA website for the dates of the "Dead Period" when coaches can not talk to you even if you are on their campus. The dates vary by sport but we had a spring trip planned (swimmers too) and found out it was "Dead Week" so had to change our plans.
  • 3togo3togo Registered User Posts: 5,233 Senior Member
    edited January 2012
    This site may help you understand where your child fits in .... Men's Track Recruiting Guidelines ... (this is the men's track & field page but similar pages exist for other sports/genders) ... (the men's t&f guidelines match up with my recruiting experience in the day)
  • Carla2012Carla2012 Registered User Posts: 266 Junior Member
    so much information - I am officially overwhelmed. The NCAA website is not as user freindly as I would like. I think the dead period for 21012 for D1 is in April (so we are ok there) and I cant find a dead period for D3.

    3togo - that was an interesting site. She is low D1 across the board, but I dont know what that really means. I do believe that I have correctly assesed her value to the schools, barring some unexpected break through in her swim times. Right now in the peak of training season, when they are all swimming slow as **** its hard to believe that she will ever swim anything close to her best times. so ugly.

    thanks for all the help!
  • 3togo3togo Registered User Posts: 5,233 Senior Member
    edited January 2012
    I had borderline D1 times as a track guy ... for me this manifested itself two ways. First, not all D1 programs are the same ... so I had no shot at top D1 programs but could have made teams lower on the D1 pecking order. Second, as mentioned earlier, I never would have been one of the top runners at a D1 school; my best case was a solid varsity contributor by the time I graduated. At the DIII level my experience would have been very different as I would have been running in all meets as a freshman at virtually all DIII schools and a top runner virtually from the get go.

    Personally, I think athletes should think about what they want out of their experience (swim at the highest level possible even is seldom in meets?, being a solid contributor?, be a top dog?, get to compete as a frosh?, travel country wide for meets?, OK with local travel only?) ... this can help them find a program that will fulfill their desired for their athletic experience ... and there is no right/wrong answer to that question!
  • OldbatesieDocOldbatesieDoc Registered User Posts: 2,056 Senior Member
    For D3, I don't think there is a "dead time", because there is no LL, no commitment, no money, and nothing in your hands EVER til you get that ED acceptance in Dec.

    Again, lots of other relevant threads on this board.

    I agree so much w Eatondad and 3togo. And as other posters have said, esp with your daughter with possible inability to swim, pick the school she would be happiest at if she was injured day 1 and could never swim again. Then you won't have to change schools.

    My S is very happy at Midd, swimming is just an addition to the experience. A valuable one, but not the main reason he is there. Tho honestly(aren't we all truth-tellers here?), it is very likely why he was accepted at Midd. He's as academically qualified as anyone there, but there's a lot of competition in the middle class white boy from a public school in the NE bracket.
  • Carla2012Carla2012 Registered User Posts: 266 Junior Member
    There is no question - she can definitely swim with the shoulder. She took off about 2 months this summer and then did PT. We were very conservative in her treatment. So she came back from her time off very slowly, doing only part of practice, and then singles until Thanksgiving. She is just not nearly in the same training form this year as last because of all the off time. I am very concerned about how this will look to the schools when she applies because I believe her times will not be quite as good this year (when junior year you would hope they would be the best). Hopefully by this summer she can be in better shape.

    I do think though that she will pick by the school and not the swim program, but one definitely influences the other.
  • etondadetondad Registered User Posts: 1,122 Senior Member
    My D had mono in November of her junior year (couldn't be worse timing for a swimmer). Her times was way off--she should have not swum but her school needed her to make a run at the NEPSA championship--even sick as she was. All the coaches said that "of course they would understand about the mono." But in reality this girl with AA times as a frosh and sophomore falls off radar screens of a number of D1 programs--and when approached they would cite the "lack of progress as a junior" --she would tell them again that she had mono. They would say yep, they knew that, but then would say--"but your times didn't drop as a junior." At that moment for her and her folks the penny dropped-- these coaches were morons and even if she hadn't had mono we wouldn't have wanted her to swim with them.

    Even so, some Ivies were interested but she felt that those coaches only semi got it as well (the Ivies of today are not the Ivies of even a few years ago). In contrast all of the DIII coaches were excited about her--and spoke about how great she swam before mono and that they just ignored her junior times bc of her illness.

    WOW--these coaches "got it." They didn't see her as a piece of meat or just a power rating (and please believe me that the D1s (including the Ivies!!) all look at how they fared in terms of winning the recruiting season in the college swimming.com rankings-- with her less than stellar times she would hurt their recruiting class' rankings (one coach in a candid moment actually said that...))

    OldBatsieDoc's point of the "broken leg" rule--how much would your D want to be a school if she weren't an athlete any longer--is key. She must decide if she wants a premiere LAC (which, for example,the NESCAC and the Claremont colleges are) or a university setting. Both provide outstanding undergraduate educations but some kids are better suited for one and some for the other (I will have one in both types as of next year so I have no dog in this hunt...).

    Please--know that the coaches regardless of what they will initially say at D1 (esp if you are looking at scholarship or a "slot") WILL be looking at her junior year times. Perhaps they will understand more with an injury than a disease...dunno...

    I just count my D lucky beyond the stars that she did get mono and so is going the D3 route instead of D1. Things have a way of working out....
  • OldbatesieDocOldbatesieDoc Registered User Posts: 2,056 Senior Member
    Kids should do D1 if they are OK if their sport comes first...all year..and/or they want to compete post-college...IMHO, of course.
  • etondadetondad Registered User Posts: 1,122 Senior Member
    ^and if they are ok with going to that school if, Heaven forfend, they get injured and can't play any longer.
    If someone goes to a "powerhouse" where it is sport first and school second, and all of a sudden they can't play the sport, they might find even their transfer options limited as they may not have had the opportunity to concentrate on their studies as much as might have otherwise. So, don't go somewhere with the idea that if the sport ceases to be the priority that a transfer is possible--at least to a good college/university.
  • SimplymomSimplymom Registered User Posts: 31 New Member
    My D is a Swimmer that was looking at several D1 schools including several Ivies and she also looked at 2 D3 schools. I think many athletes have the misconception that the school will find you. Unless you are a top 20 or so swimmer, you have to let the coach know that you like the school and are interested in swimming for them. My daughter did all the things mentioned. She went to some of the swim camps. This helped her decide if the coach was a good fit. She filled out TONS of those questionnaires and always followed up with an email to make sure they received it and give/ask for additional info. She knew she wanted to swim in college but also knew that she was going to college for the education. One coach told her the spring of her junior year that he was making the list of swimmers he wanted to recruit then, so contact them early and update them regularly. As far as the injury, I don't think I know of a competitive swimmer that has not had an injury so keep you chin up. In the end one school became evident it was the clear choice for her. For her it was a D3. She was admitted and she was happier to get that news than she was with any race she ever swam.
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