Does doing a sport for three years help?

I recently joined the swim team and am aiming for HYPSM and the like. I was wondering if doing a sport your sophomore, junior, and senior years of high school would be a disadvantage, since colleges could view it as resume padding. I don’t really have a chance of going to state or being captain, but I enjoy swim nonetheless.

Thats really weird reasoning I don’t think a college would look down on you for doing an activity you enjoy just because you won’t go D1 or be captain… padding is when you do things you have little interest or little involvement in not stuff you actually enjoy.

Yeah but they might see my late involvement and think I did a sport just to impress, which I kind of did TBH, but I like swim more than I thought.

Late involvement isn’t sophomore year thats more junior or senior year and sports don’t really impress unless they want you on their team

Agreed. 3 years vs. 4 years will not make or break your application. Unless you are a recruited athlete, 3 or 4 years + captain is more or less the same as 3 or 4 years without being captain, as long as you show leadership somewhere else in your activities.

It won’t hurt you but it won’t help either unless you are competitive at a college level.

Do any activity you enjoy. Swimming will count as a nice EC (it won’t help more than other ECs unless you are a recruited athlete).

You are overestimating how much EC’s actually will help. Grades and test scores are the most important. EC’s will help separate yourself, but keep in mind just doing a sport for 3 or 4 years is seen as average.