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Men's Diving

firstwavemomfirstwavemom Registered User Posts: 302 Member
I'm not sure if there is much interest or knowledge out there on this topic. As a former (female) D1 diver, I was not recruited but contacted a few coaches (after advice from my HS swim coach-not dive coaches...times have changed), and perhaps it was helpful in gaining admission to 2 o the schools where I was accepted. I prefer to think of myself as a non-recruited athlete rather than a walk-on. My son is in a similar situation. I was wondering if it would be helpful for him to contact coaches at schools of interest. His grades are good, waiting on SAT score. He has some talent and has been diving for year but not super-competitively. With hard work, I think he would improve quite a bit. Some schools only have 1 or 2 male divers and he might just be a nice addition to a team. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Replies to: Men's Diving

  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,853 Senior Member
    If he's considering diving in college but isn't letting that drive his college choice, he can reach out to coaches at schools he's considering with video highlights and meet scores to see if they are interested. He should have those SAT scores and be a solid academic fit. He can meet them when he visits. It sounds like he's at the level where a coach might put in a good word for him to help his application move out of the "could be a good fit" to "yes".

    I think that if you read through other recruiting threads, you'll get a feel for the process. It sounds, though, like he should pick his schools first and then look at teams - not the other way around.
  • firstwavemomfirstwavemom Registered User Posts: 302 Member
    @gardenstategal Yes, that is exactly what he is doing. He has 2 schools of interest with diving programs. His other choices do not. My feeling is that it wouldn't hurt to reach out. He will need to compile some videos. Thanks for the input.
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,853 Senior Member
    If he's going to meet the coach, he could also ask what would be helpful in assessing whether he'd be a fit for their program. It might be on the team's recruit me form. The other thing to do is see whether they have a summer camp. Good way to meet the coaching staff, and particularly for someone who is easily coached, an opportunity to let them see that he could improve. It sounds like your own background could be very helpful to him.
  • iaparentiaparent Registered User Posts: 211 Junior Member
    I was a division 1 diver as well and coach high school on a voluntary basis (my wife is the head diving coach). Here is what we have found over the last couple of years with athletes of various abilities.

    On the girls side, especially looking division 2 or 3, almost any program will take a walk on as the cost is almost nothing and helps to balance things from a title IX standpoint.

    The boys side has changed considerably since my days of diving. Last year we had a boy that was a state finalist (led the state meet for the first 7 rounds) and all american. He wanted to dive and dive at the highest level possible, knowing he was not a top tier recruit and it would be extremely rare if he received any money for diving. We worked our connections and were surprised at the interest and where it came from. He was told there was no room for a walk on at mid level power 5 schools (including my alma mater) which was a surprise. He was given a "roster spot" at a local mid major school as he had done some club diving with that coach but he wanted to aim higher. He ultimately received walk on interest from Texas, Auburn, and several others that are near the top of the NCAA Championships every year which was a huge surprise. He ended up at one of the top schools for swimming and diving and absolutely loves it.

    My impression, on the boys side, is Title IX has placed roster sized limits on each swimming team (and others I am sure) and the head swim coach in turn places a limit on the number of divers a team will carry. This roster limit played to our favor as the middling programs did not have roster space but the top programs did and he ended up not only at a top program but also at his top academic choice from day 1. I have not talked to him since spring break but I know he was concerned that if a big recruit comes in this fall that he will be cut due to these roster limits, I have not heard if this is going to happen. He has improved tremendously but is really not at the level you would expect to see at a top program.

    My advice is reach out to the coaches at any school your son is considering to see if they have a spot. Our diver's spot really did not come available until late spring. I think this had to do with the coach waiting to see if a true top level recruit was coming, when they did not get the diver they were after, they had a walk on spot. Even if the initial response is that there is no spot I would keep in touch with the top choices as things may change by spring due to injuries, transfers, striking out on the recruiting front, etc.
  • firstwavemomfirstwavemom Registered User Posts: 302 Member
    @gardenstategal Thanks again for the advice. One of the schools is my alma mater, daughter goes there and would I have actually met the coach while visiting. D will be the Student Manager for that team in the Fall. So, that one would be easy to contact the coach. No summer camp though.

    @iaparent You shared a whole side of college athletics of which I was unaware. I didn't know about roster spot numbers. Both schools of interest tend to have 5 or 6 female divers and 2 male divers. I didn't count the number of swimmers. The women's program at one of the schools is much stronger than the men's program but it is on the rise. I am just hoping that his interest in this "niche" sport could give him an admissions boost. He is not looking at Ivy League or small LACs. Two of the schools he likes are within his range, but every little bit helps.

    I, too, am a voluntary HS dive coach for my son's team and know a lot of the local club coaches. S19 is not looking at top programs. He does well in our competitive HS region--made States this year--but there are the top divers that train 5 days a week and he is the next level down. I will suggest that my son reach out to the coaches. He really has nothing to lose by putting himself out there. Thanks!
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