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Swimming - What to expect September 1st junior year?

ahsmuohahsmuoh Registered User Posts: 1,346 Senior Member
edited September 2013 in Athletic Recruits
My DS is a junior swimmer. We know that college coaches can start contacting the athletes by email or regular mail on September 1st. He has filled out about 10 questionnaires online and has completed the NCAA clearinghouse. He is in the top 100 on collegeswimming. We have no idea what to expect as far as contact with coaches starting this fall. I know there are parents of swimmers on here that might be able to give some insight. He is not looking IVY - wants D1 program. Thanks
Post edited by ahsmuoh on

Replies to: Swimming - What to expect September 1st junior year?

  • 5amriser5amriser Registered User Posts: 149 Junior Member
    Some activities but not like July 1st after the junior year. The biggest difference is now the coaches can email you back and take the initiative to send you stuff. Continue to send email and/or call your list of schools to update them on your academic and athletic progress. This is the period of relationship building and stay on those schools' radar screen.
  • ResearchmumResearchmum Registered User Posts: 109 Junior Member
    Asmuoh, I hope 1 Sept was good for your son:)

    My son is also a swimmer. OK we knew 1 Sept was the date after which we could be contacted by Div 1 teams, but I was surprised at the no of top D1 teams that emailed him as soon as it turned 1 Sept. Having said, there was one that had been emailing before (and admitted that they thought S was a rising senior, and not a rising junior as he was) that didn't; that was surprising.

    Whilst I don't want to influence S too much, I am wondering if I shouldn't be getting him to start concentrating on the proactive ones that made contact as soon as they could, and shut the metaphorical door on the rest, or if I should just let things play out. There are really great choices in there already, and they are quite varied in terms of size, academic rep, swimming rep etc.

    My worry is that those who could have contacted him but didn't are not proactive - because if his times are good enough to attract the interest of some of those that have made contact, they are good enough for all of the teams that were aware of him.

    I really really would hate for him to end up in a school with a reactive coach, but I am not sure if I should say anything to S.

    Also, I know there is great advice on here about not letting egos get in the way, but I don't think that's the case here. S is a rather genuine (naive?) boy, and he is taking each 'relationship' seriously, and wants to invest in each one until he has to narrow down his choices in July/August 2014. It is possible that the coaches will be too busy to engage with him in that way, but my worry here is that if they do, and he has to do this with many more than he has right now, it will take up too much of his time especially as he is now following all the teams etc. etc.

    Does anyone have any views on this? Thanks.
  • varskavarska Registered User Posts: 1,430 Senior Member
    Whilst I don't want to influence S too much, I am wondering if I shouldn't be getting him to start concentrating on the proactive ones that made contact as soon as they could, and shut the metaphorical door on the rest, or if I should just let things play out.

    If your son is just beginning his junior year, I'd let things play out. I wouldn't eliminate any program at this point just because they have been late in making contact. The head coach job is multi-faceted; making new contact with HS juniors, coordinating OVs for HS seniors, not to mention working with the team that is now on campus.

    In our experience, some schools were very organized and punctual in making early contact - others not so much. But a lack of early contact didn't necessarily mean a bad coach or program. If it becomes overwhelming, your son can certainly pick and choose the schools with whom he wants to remain in contact, but there's no advantage to shutting the metaphorical door on quality programs that are a little late initiating contact.
  • ResearchmumResearchmum Registered User Posts: 109 Junior Member
    Thanks Varska. Hearing/ reading someone else's perspective always helps me. I shall try to keep an eye on how much time he is spending on this, in order to step in if need be. Thanks again - the mountain is now a molehill:).
  • swimmer24swimmer24 Registered User Posts: 51 Junior Member
    Unless you're one of the top 10/15 recruits in the country, don't expect all of the sudden contact. As you get closer to the middle and end of his junior year, DO NOT WAIT FOR COACHES TO CONTACT YOU! Be a self-starter and fill out recruiting questionnaires, send the coach an email with your stats/grades, and visit schools during spring break to see the school as well as meet the coach. Your son should figure out what he wants in a school and then come with options that fit his needs/wants academically, socially, and financially. Then narrow those schools down by swimming, because, unless he is Missy Franklin (who's still going to college) or Michael Phelps, swimming is not going to be his life. As someone who has been through the recruiting process the best advice I can give is do not wait for coaches to contact you. Put yourself out there and let the schools you want to go to know who you are.
  • 5amriser5amriser Registered User Posts: 149 Junior Member
    Most coaches are really busy with the recruitment of the class of 2014 now (especially major D1 schools) so they can't spend much time contacting the juniors. The arrangement and hosting of official visits are in full swing. They are more likely to turn to prospective junior swimmers after November.
  • ResearchmumResearchmum Registered User Posts: 109 Junior Member
    Thanks everyone.
  • swim4schoolswim4school Registered User Posts: 241 Junior Member
    I would suggest that you make a list of target schools--taking into account geographical preferences, view times on collegeswimming.com to determine if your S can contribute to a specific team, and look at academic issues like possible majors. You should take control of the process by determining the teams he might wish to swim for, then do your own outreach--not waiting until the coaches reach out to you. The coaches reaching out now may be reaching 100 or so kids for 6-8 spots on the team. You will need to indicate interest by filling out recruiting questionnaires, sending updateson progress throughout the season, etc. When it comes to July1, you do not want to be in a position of wondering where all of the coaches are that emailed you in September. Its their first outreach. Unless you are a top 25 recruit in the US, they will be waiting on some interest on your part next.
    Best of luck.
  • ResearchmumResearchmum Registered User Posts: 109 Junior Member
    Swim4school - many thanks.
  • ahsmuohahsmuoh Registered User Posts: 1,346 Senior Member
    swim4school - I appreciate your advice and understand that you have experience. So, if my DS got a large handful of emails and there are 6 or 7 of those schools that he has had "on his preliminary list", what action should he take now?
    I suggested that he just respond with a quick "thank you for reaching out and I would certainly be interested in keeping in touch". Should he write anything else about what his goals are for the winter season or anything about his practice sets etc at this point or is it too early for that specific of information? thanks
  • swim4schoolswim4school Registered User Posts: 241 Junior Member
    This is strictly my opinion, but I would start with 10-14 schools on your target list. Since 6-7 of these have just reached out to your DS, I'd recommend the response have three pieces of information in it if known at this point:
    1) Date of first ACT/SAT he is taking this year
    2) Mid season big meet date (so they know you'll report back after that)
    3) A swimming goal--of some kind. For my D it was "I am starting a new dryland program this season with a special personal trainer in an attempt to gain 5-7 pounds of muscle on my 130 lb frame." It pointed out that she knew she was skinny, she was doing something about it, and was able to report out progress on her attempt to add muscle. This kind of goal was not focused on swim times--but on improvement in the pool correlating to adding muscle to a skinny kid. It showed promise to the coaches.

    That's it. You may not hear from any of these coaches for weeks. Don't read anything into that. They are deep into the senior class of 2014 recruiting as they run up to Nov signing period. You may not receive anything until after the Nov signing period starts. Be persistent in communications--every 6-8 weeks there should be an email. After the first email, I would recommend you always ask a question of the coaches, as they will of your DS, to continue the conversation.

    For those schools that are on your target list, but have not sent email or other correspondence, I would still email the recruiting coach and fill out the recruiting questionnaire. The email can be introductory, and include the information above. Don't be afraid to show some personality or fun fact in the email. One of my D friend's has done a lot of research on the impact of swimming on autism. She shared that with the recruiting coaches, and they all loved the story. It moves you from being another email in a large pile to being a real person.

    You notice that I started my email saying that at this point, your target list should have 10-14 schools on it. I cannot emphasize strongly enough that it is in your best interest this early in the game to stay broad with your options. You never know what can happen in the next nine months. When you think of all of the angles in the process--the swim times, the GPA/SAT requirements, grades, the coaches that change jobs, the college that has the best ranking in the chosen major, the cost, the scholarship (or lack thereof) potential, the facilities, the moves other swimmers make--all have impact on where your DS lands in the mix. You want to be sure you have good options--5 or 6 really good options--when July 1 comes around, and you want to make sure you have a few back ups as well in case the first 5 don't come through as planned. And, I can guarantee you, the target 5 will not all come through as planned. They just don't--not unless you are in the top 10-20 in the US in your recruiting class. However, its just as likely that number 6 or 7 on your list moves up quickly in the rankings with a nice financial aid package, or a lot of interest, or a great new coach comes on board, etc.
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