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Swim recruiting questions

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Replies to: Swim recruiting questions

  • MomtothreegirlsMomtothreegirls Registered User Posts: 148 Junior Member
    As for greatest challenge? Easy - juggling even the limited D3 commitment with academics. For example, this weekend she has a three day invitational meet through Sunday evening, and on Monday has a Bio exam and an organic chemistry lab due, on Tuesday has an organic chemistry exam, and on Wednesday has a Bio project due. Crazy. It's been a challenge being a science major and balancing all of the demands that entails with her training and meet schedules. There's no question it has affected her academics at times, which is unfortunate. But she has gotten so much out of the swim team experience she would do it all over again. And so many members of the swim team are STEM majors that she has good company in her stress and anxiety ;)
  • MomtothreegirlsMomtothreegirls Registered User Posts: 148 Junior Member
    As for minimum SAT/ACT - very true that that will all be school specific. But there was one NESCAC coach who made sure she had "at least" a 2100 SAT (back in the old days - equivalent of a 1400 now) before he went further with her.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 20,247 Senior Member
    We know a swimmer at a lower D1 who hardly has time to breathe. If she isn’t at practice in the pool or dryland, she’s at classes, labs, mandatory study sessions, or working the snack bar at sport events to pay for their winter training trip, while maintaining a certain GPA to keep her scholarship. Is that what your swimmer wants? Maybe yes, maybe no.

    It wasn't quite that bad, but my D's schedule was similar for her first year. Spring sport, so fall practices were lighter. She put in a lot of time on her academics (8 hours of mandatory study tables). I thought it was the best thing ever! The NCAA's gift to a parent is having them in bed at 9:30 after 2-3 hours at study tables, to go to 5:30 conditioning. In the spring, she had a lot less time because of long road trips (coach learned and didn't schedule as many in future years).


    After freshman year, she got better at time management, more confident in her classes, so had more free time.
  • BoilerjoanneBoilerjoanne Registered User Posts: 23 Junior Member
    @Momtothreegirls I have head the same thing about intense training. A girl from our club is a Freshman at a major D1 and the coaches really liked that she hadn’t done any serious weight training in HS. She is cutting time this season with the rigorous college training. I think this holds true for girls more so than boys. To keep up with the other boys, weight training is almost a requirement. Boys also seem to peak later than the girls, who often have their best times in 10th grade. Good for your daughter to keep dropping her junior year.

    I have seen several swimmers at our club peak at age 12. They are the taller kids, usually, who haven’t had to train as hard. When the other swimmers start growing, their effort pushes them ahead of those early growers, who get frustrated. Swimming Open at age 14 is a whole lot harder than being tall at age 12. And High School is a lot different than 8th grade.
  • MomtothreegirlsMomtothreegirls Registered User Posts: 148 Junior Member
    That brings up another good point: in our experience, the coaches wanted to hear that their female recruits had NOT done vigorous weight training. I know that was one selling point for my daughter, and also one (not that she needed one, really) for her friend who was a star recruit for one of the top swimming Ivies. Although her friend had trained vigorously in high school (and was a true star), she had never lifted. Lifting in college allowed her to continue to drop time.
    In our experience at an LAC D3 swim program, the boys tend to continue to drop time in college, but the same thing is not true for the girls. Some do, whether it be because they never engaged in intense training in high school, or just that they are a natural and continuing to develop talent. Some girls plateau and just maintain their high school times, and more than I would have guessed actually never achieve their high school times in college. Perhaps this is because this is a D3 environment where some swimmers are actually training less intensely year round than they had been in high school. I don't know. But we've seen this happen year after year. College is a whole new ball game with newfound independence and new anxieties and stresses. It's all a guessing game for the coaches when they are sizing up swimmers and deciding whether they will continue to drop time. But in general, they do like to see recent progression and time drops. It shows the swimmer is still developing.
  • makemesmartmakemesmart Registered User Posts: 916 Member
    edited November 2018
    we were told that this new NCAA recruiting timeline will result in “spread” the talents, DIII schools/schools that don’t necessarily have the best swimming program but have better academics may attract better swimmers than before.

    @iaparent
    Your Olympic medalist and transfer student examples are great. I guess college coaches care more about conference points/impacts than anything else.

    @Boilerjoanne
    Seeing the same thing here at our club, early bloomers (mostly boys) who were stars under 12 sometimes under 14, plateaued once the late bloomers catch-up and surpass them in height. Some of them even quit swimming once the “winning halo” is gone and the early morning grind is in. Of course there are also those really late bloomers who might start to shoot up in Junior/senior year, which doesn’t suit well for this “accelerated” new NCAA timeline as they are just starting to drop times.
    Size definitely matters in swimming, esp for sprinters. Which is why I think it is so important to not to focus on one sports too early.
  • AcersaccharumAcersaccharum Registered User Posts: 212 Junior Member
    @makemesmart I’m trying to understand how this new accelerated time line will affect my D21. What do you mean about D3 programs attracting better swimmers? In our college search for D19, it became obvious that good swim schools are good academic schools and she did not have the stats for admissions at many schools where she would have been an athletic “fit”. D21 will be looking at more selective schools and I’m worried about how much harder the recruiting process will be.
  • MomtothreegirlsMomtothreegirls Registered User Posts: 148 Junior Member
    Just one point of anecdotal reference: our D3 league is getting significantly faster. Definitely includes swimmers who could easily be swimming D1. So if you're looking at a program, assume that each recruiting class is getting faster and try to find one where your swimmer's current times put them at the top (of course keep an eye on who is graduating and whether it will leave any "holes" in the program).

    On the other hand, one thing that became readily apparent to me when we started the recruiting process is that, especially for girls, there are so many teams out there in so many difference ranges of speed and ability. If your daughter truly wants to swim, there's likely a college swim team out there for her (your daughter might have to be a walk on though). The trick is finding one that lines up with where she wants to go.
  • iaparentiaparent Registered User Posts: 211 Junior Member
    @Acersaccharum I am just guessing but I think the new timeline will allow the top programs to "lock in" their recruiting class a year earlier than in the past. Once the top D1 programs lock in the trickle down starts to happen. I think with the process starting earlier those left out at the top will start looking at D3 earlier than today and will take some spots away from the walk on/roster filler swimmers that generally are at the end of the timeline today.

    My feeling is the solid swimmers D1-D3 will still have spots, they just have to commit earlier and then the lower half will have limited choices on where there is a roster spot and an academic fit.

    From the outside looking in I think this will be great for the D3 programs as they will have more access to fast swimmers that may have been shut out of the top D1 programs at an earlier point in the process with a better ability to sell their program. I think D3 will continue to get faster as a result.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 20,247 Senior Member
    The 'lock in' can't happen any earlier than it does today. No recruit can sign an NLI until mid-Nov in any sport. The visits can happen, the verbal commitments can happen, but nothing is permanent until that NLI is signed. DIII have always been able to 'steal' the commits, even after they sign.

    I don't think the changes in recruiting schedules have changed anything.
  • AcersaccharumAcersaccharum Registered User Posts: 212 Junior Member
    I see juniors giving verbals and then changing their minds, but I think they can also sign NLI as a junior. Doesn’t that lock them in? Good point about the “trickle down” though . It seems the hardest part about the recruiting may be to get my D to think realistically about college options. My D19 has always known what she is looking for, but with higher stats and faster times, D21 has more options and is all over the map. She is only 15, and has so much maturing to do. The new NCAA timeline is just putting more pressure on her that she doesn’t know what to do with. However, I can see how it benefits the schools.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 20,247 Senior Member
    but I think they can also sign NLI as a junior.

    No, they can't. http://www.nationalletter.org/signingDates/

    If they are going D1 or D2, they can't fully commit (sign) until Nov of senior year. Even then, they can 'de-commit' and go to another school with permission/release, or can go to a D3, or can go to another D1 program and not compete for a year. I think the new rules are to allow students to start looking a little earlier. The D3s have no moral issue with trying to steal players. My daughter got a ton of calls after she'd signed and the D3s all said "But you can come here even if you signed, and play right away."

    In lacrosse the rule change went the other way and now no students can take OVs or discuss recruitment with the coach until Junior year. In the past, students were committing in 8th and 9th grade, talking about recruiting before they even had an SAT score. Honestly, the new rules don't seem to have changed anything. The top recruits are still noticed at freshmen and sophomore camps and showcases, the college coaches can talk to club and hs coaches, and come Sept 1 of junior year the formal commitments are cocked and loaded. They still can't sign until senior year, and there is still a lot of switching.

    Don't think the verbal commitment is binding on the school either. Coaches change, ADs change, programs are closed or underfunded. Right now there are a lot of D1 football recruits finding out that they won't be signing on Dec 19 as their coaches have been fired.
  • AlwaysMovingAlwaysMoving Registered User Posts: 30 Junior Member
    In regards to the earlier commitments. it's important to remember there are the same number of roster spots as there were before the rule change. If faster swimmers are trickling down because of earlier commitments that means elite programs are signing slower swimmers. They won't be elite for long doing that.

    Kids are swimming faster in general and there are a lot of fast kids that are choosing academics over program quality.
  • makemesmartmakemesmart Registered User Posts: 916 Member
    @jmtabb congratulations on your DD’s EA acceptance! So excited for her.
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