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First child, need some help please (Swim)

Carla2012Carla2012 Registered User Posts: 266 Junior Member
edited January 2012 in Athletic Recruits
My daughter, a junior, is a swimmer. She made it to states as a freshman and sophomore, and would be a major addition to most D3 programs. However, she does not have a junior national cut. We do not expect her to be at Likely Letter status for Ivies - she has had some shoulder pain and is not training as many doubles this year. She is fast enough that she would definitely make the team if admitted on her own though.

She has taken the hardest course load her school will allow and has 3.95 u.w. and high SAT's. Likely merit scholar finalist. No other major EC's.

She would really like to go to Brown or Colombia or Penn. We are also having her look at Swarthmore, Wash U, Tufts, and Wellesley.

When should we start emailing coaches? and what do we say?

Should she plan to apply ED to Brown even without coach's help, or would she be wasting an opportunity to get coach's help at a school like Swarthmore or Wash U?

I feel like I have no guidance in this process, so I appreciate any help that you can give us. Thank you.
Post edited by Carla2012 on

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

  • varskavarska Registered User Posts: 1,430 Senior Member
    Hi Carla, a big part of making the recruiting process go smoothly is starting with a realistic assessment of your athletic level. It sounds like you've definitely done that and may be wise to focus efforts on some of the terrific D3 schools you mentioned. I'm not saying eliminate Ivies, but I think you're smart in not putting all your eggs in that basket.

    You could email coaches anytime now, just a brief personalized introductory note - no attachments - expressing your interest in the program and listing a couple of bullet points of PRs, GPA and test scores and closing with a question that warrants a reply. Also, fill out the online recruiting forms.

    I think it's too soon to plan an ED strategy. She only has the one ED card to play, of course, and as the recruiting process progresses it will become more clear where it will be best used. Good luck!
  • lizardlizard Registered User Posts: 3,410 Senior Member
    Don't go out of your way to say anything about shoulder pain to swim coaches.
  • chemusicchemusic Registered User Posts: 653 Member
    Be sure to travel to the colleges and meet the coaches, see the pool etc. The coaches usually enjoy talking about their teams. Now is the best time to do it. In the summer, no one is around and by the fall, you will want to know which schools are your top choices so you can do overnights if invited.
  • Carla2012Carla2012 Registered User Posts: 266 Junior Member
    thank you. we can't go visit until our spring break in March. even if the schools are in session, will the coaches be there? where do college students practice in the off season?
  • schoolhouseschoolhouse Registered User Posts: 267 Junior Member
    Has she attended any swim camps for the schools she is most interested in? What are coaches saying at National events? What is the NCAA timeline as to when coaches can contact you or you can contact them?
  • Carla2012Carla2012 Registered User Posts: 266 Junior Member
    Do the Ivies have swim camps that she should attend? I haven't heard anything about them - where can I find out more info?

    As I said, she does not have a junior national cut, so she hasn't had any contact with coaches there. She swam sectionals, but she was too young for a coach to approach. I believe they cannot approach her until July 1, 2012.

    I have looked at the times of the teams, and she should make the team at all these schools.
    At the D3's I listed, she would be a star swimmer. The Ivies are more competitive, she would be third, fourth or fifth fastest in her events.
  • fleishmo6fleishmo6 Registered User Posts: 558 Member
    almost all swim programs will have swim camps they usually are held in may/june
    these camps for swim are not needed like they are in other sports
    swim being time based the need for a look see by the coach is not needed as would be for football or soccer
    one thing to consider about being the 3rd/4th swimmer in an event is that the following year if faster recruits are brought in now your swimmer might be 5/6
    the ivies are always looking to improve just like other top schools
    there is something to be said about being one of the top swimmers in a program if the team/coach and school are good fits both athletically and academically.
    good luck over the next year
  • schoolhouseschoolhouse Registered User Posts: 267 Junior Member
    I suggested the swim camp route, only because the swimmer has direct exposure to the coach, potential teammates and they get a good long look at your potential versus the seconds in a meet where they are looking at 12 other swimmers per event at a time.

    It seems that most of the people in the forum are looking at Ivies & D3's using sport as the hook, but as it relates to competitiveness the Ivies are pretty much like D1's they want the best/fastest and they can compromise a little academically--- as one coach told me last year at NCAA's we have more than our share of 4.00/2300+ kids what we don't have is a few National Championship calibre competitors.,
  • SchokoladeSchokolade Registered User Posts: 1,111 Senior Member
    My son's sport is not swimming, and I don't even know what a junior national cut is, but I appreciate all the advice I've received so far, so I'll add a little to the conversation.

    While time-based (or individual rank-based) sports might not require as much of a look by the coach as other sports, you and your student should still want to see the coach because your student will be spending so much time with him or her over the next four years!

    My son is looking at DIII colleges. We have found that a lot of advice will be given that applies to DI but not DIII. For example, the July 1-after-junior-year contact date for coaches applies to DI but not DIII. In fact, DIII coaches can go ahead and contact students now. Students can contact coaches whenever they'd like to do so in either DI or DIII. You might want to read the NCAA rules (on the web) so you'll be well-informed about the rules.

    We organized his top colleges into groups for visits over his upcoming spring break, and contacted those specific coaches to see whether they would be available for us to meet them. I agree with the poster who suggested filling out the online recruiting forms and emailing coaches now.
  • 5amriser5amriser Registered User Posts: 149 Junior Member
    I don't think camps are really as necessary for swimmers. However, you should definitely fill out the online questionnaires and start emailing the coaches with your academic and swim stats. They won't contact you right now but the activities will heat up after July 1st. We have experience with some schools you mentioned so I will PM you.
  • MGSM04MGSM04 Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    You probably already know this but you should be looking at conference championship results to see how your daughter would contribute, a coach wants to recruit simmers who will come in and score points right away at their championships. The DIII college training cycle is very different from club/high school because they break them down very quickly and keep them that way until champs (no mid-season rest meet for most) so how a swimmer would contribute in a dual meet with his/her best time is not indicative of the real talent against whom he/she would be competing. Also check the NCAA DIII National cuts and if she is making any of those she will be highly recruitable at any DIII school.

    I would have her email the coaches right now to introduce herself and include her best times, academic stats and an expressed interest in that particular school. Her stats are strong enough that if the coach supports her she will most likely get into her ED I school. Also fill out the online questionnaires. When you visit this spring take a copy of her unofficial transcript, her class schedule for senior year, her best times and her test scores to leave with each coach she visits. If you have a DVD of her swimming you could bring that, too, but her times are enough. Coaches will probably be there unless they are at NCAAs so check those dates and make appointments soon.

    Would her top 5 placement for the Ivies be at championships? If so then it is worth sending those coaches letters also. Fleishmo6 is right about every recruiting class getting faster so that can figure into her decision, too. Schoolhouse also offers good advice about the camps, it is a great way to make a personal connection and show work ethic. I know of several swimmers who have gotten into schools in part because of the connection they made at a camp with the coach. If a coach likes a swimmer they are more likely to go to bat for him/her and not take a kid who comes in at the last minute who is .25 seconds faster.

    A coach said to us that as hard as it is to believe when you start the process...two or three schools will rise to the top by September. She can choose her overnights then when she is invited.

    Look at DIII NCAAs to see who the strongest teams in the country are and also look within the conferences she is interested in to see who the top teams are. Tufts is generally third in the NESCAC which is a very strong DIII swim conference.
  • Carla2012Carla2012 Registered User Posts: 266 Junior Member
    Wow. Thank you everyone for all the advice. I really appreciate it; its very helpful.

    Its hard to keep my anxiety level down about this process, since it feels like everyone applying is faster, smarter, more diverse, etc. I don't remember ever working as hard at school and my activities as the kids do these days. Its really awe inspiring.
  • dentmom4dentmom4 Registered User Posts: 1,127 Senior Member
    D3 rules are different than D1 for athletic recruiting; there are no athletic scholarships for D3. You can check the rules out on the NCAA website. If you are going to visit schools in March, check to be sure the team/coach is not at nationals those weekends. Summer can be okay to visit; just contact admissions and they can make sure the coach knows when you will be on campus. Let them know early enough when you would like to come.

    You can email the coach any time. Agree with the comments to include academic info, best times (short course and long course), why interest in that school/program. If you are interested in a few specific schools, fill out the athlete form on the school's site. If you are close to any, go to the league or conference meets in February. Check your daughter's times against these meets, not duals. Also, some schools look to fill holes in their lineup so she may have strong events that they will need.

    My best advice would be to find schools that she would love even if swimming wasn't in the picture. If she can find a match of academics and athletics, she will succeed.
  • Carla2012Carla2012 Registered User Posts: 266 Junior Member
    Dentmom4- we will actually be close to one of the conference meets in February. Should my daughter email the coach beforehand that she is going to go and watch? I assume the coaches will all be too busy to talk with her then, and that you are recommending that she go watch to show interest?
  • dentmom4dentmom4 Registered User Posts: 1,127 Senior Member
    Yes, email the coach and let him/her know she will be there. Ask if there would be a good time to introduce herself, such as during warmup or diving. It may or may not work, but it shows interest. She would have a better chance to meet before or just after morning prelims than evening finals.
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