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Swim recruit - general questions - strategy

bbasilbbasil 3 replies1 threads New Member
My son is entering senior year. He has been having phone and email conversations with several mid major D1 and D2 coaches but no formal offers yet. Most of the coaches are not scheduling official visits this fall. I think one of the schools which is probably his 3rd or 4th choice is going to be making an offer within a month or two.

1 - Does he apply for admissions this fall to the schools he is interested in and talking to coaches at eventhough he does not have a formal offer yet?
2 - If he gets the offer from his 3rd choice school and they are pressuring him for a decision should he let the other coaches know he has that offer to find out if they are serious about offering him?
3 - For swimmers, how late into senior year is safe to wait until making a decision. With the long break from the pool, I'm guessing he won't go any best times this fall.
4 - If you are holding an offer from a coach do they pressure you into deciding quickly?

We're pretty new to this so any advise would be helpful. thanks!
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Replies to: Swim recruit - general questions - strategy

  • leennpleennp 39 replies5 threads Junior Member
    I have been through swim recruiting D1 mid major with my daughter 4 years ago and ongoing with my rising senior son this year. Will try help with your questions as I can, with the caveat being that nothing is normal with recruiting currently due to Covid. My daughters and son's experiences with recruiting are totally different due to effects of covid, so most people will not have many "current" experiences to help either one of us. As for applying for admissions to schools he is interested in, my suggestion would be yes, go ahead and apply. Significant swim money for male swimmers is hard to find at mid major D1 level on a good year. If you apply for early action type admission you often will find out about merit aid early and be able to make a decision of affordability in the absence of significant athletic aid. My daughter ended up at a mid major D1 program she had not considered until she received a large merit scholarship making it affordable, this was a school she really like for academic reasons but had never heard back from coach during the fall. She contacted him again after the merit award and ended up then being able to put together a package with additional small amount of athletic scholarship and a place on the team, did not go for official visit to this school until April and committed in April. (Spring of senior year).
    She went of 4 visit in fall of senior year and did not find right fit, so waiting to spring allowed her to find to best school and team for her. That being said, for boys it is harder as there are less teams and less roster spots. But many rising seniors like our sons are in the same situation. Mine took 2 OV before Covid shut things down and who knows when will open up. The 2 programs he visited have had their budgets cut (and these are SEC schools, not even mid major) and have very little athletic money to offer.
    This will only be worsened this year due to huge economic hit all of the college athletic departments took from cancellation of NCAA basketball tournament and likely cancellation of the fall football nonconference games where higher levels schools pay millions of bucks to mid major schools to come play preseason or home coming games and make them look good. So the result is many programs are being cut this summer and many more will be cut this upcoming year. That is a conversation you son should have with any prospective coaches, do you expect cuts to program, funding, travel, coaching budgets? Do you expect swimmers to need to contribute more money for swim expenses, such as tech suits, practice suits, gear, bags, meet travel, conference travel, training trips, etc. Just be aware this can add 1-2K or more to your annual college costs, of course you are also likely not paying club dues and traveling to meets as much so could balance out.
    Your other questions mostly pertain is there pressure to commit. The answer is it depends on the coach, some coaches will absolutely try to pressure a swimmer to receive an answer, they don't want to hold a roster spot for a swimmer only to then find out in a month of so that swimmer is going somewhere else and now so are choices #2, #3, #4, etc. Other coachers feel that is unethical, each swimmer should be given time and all the information they need to make a decision. Your son should be honest and upfront with a coach if he feels he will be unable to make a decision in the time frame given, but absolutely should never feel he has to accept a spot without having time to discuss with parents, club coach, etc.

    All that being said, this year has so many unknowns that there is no right answer anymore. Some coaches are probably waiting to find out if fall football happens to prop up athletic budgets to know what they really have to offer. Nothing is set in stone until a NLI (national letter of intent) is signed, so just because in August a coach says you have 50% scholarship, does not mean in October it can't change to only 25% or less. NLI are not signed until November usually but none can be signed during an NCAA dead period which is what is going on now. You can verbally commit before than, but realize that is nonbinding on the part of the coach and swimmer.
    You can feel free to message me if you have additional questions, I know this is a lot of information....
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  • bbasilbbasil 3 replies1 threads New Member
    Thanks for the response. It's very helpful to hear from someone that has gone through this before. We've always known that there is not much scholarship money available for male swimmers. They're dividing up 10 scholarships among 30 swimmers with most of the money going to the international kids and the top 5 recruits. Just this week he had a zoom call with an in state D1 school which he's been waiting to hear from. They have his major so I'm guessing he'll be leaning to that school based on that and affordability. They don't have football so that's good to know they aren't heavily dependent on football revenue to support the non rev sports although who knows what other budget cuts are coming. Unfortunately, they are typically at the bottom of the conference standings but a couple of his former club teammates are on the team and seem to really like it.
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