To attract coaches’ attention, swimmers must show interest in the program. Because they don’t want their time spent chasing down a swimmer who isn’t interested in the program, college swim coaches need to find out if the swimmer is interested. Swimming in college is tough. Coaches will spend more time on swimmers who are most likely to say yes to an offer.
Swimming enthusiasts have many options to express their interest. Some may need to step outside of their comfort zones.
Reach out to the Coach
Contacting coaches shows more interest than waiting to hear back from them. Email is the best way to contact coaches. A good place to start is an introductory email. Then, you can get regular updates about big meets and the best times.
To make it easier for swimmers and coaches to establish a rapport, I send sample emails to College Swimming Guide members.
This is a delicate line. Your swimmer doesn’t want the coach to get too involved and be annoying, but he wants to be remembered. Swimming will be more comfortable contacting coaches via email once there has been a dialogue between the coach, swimmers.
Swimmers who are keen enough to visit a school will be impressed by coaches. It is a good idea to notify the coach that you will be visiting campus.
Coaches may not be permitted to respond to emails depending on the swimmer’s age and which division they are in. Some divisions allow coaches to speak with prospective recruits who are visiting campus. The coach cannot speak to swimmers in other divisions until after the September 1 of their junior year. If you let the coach know when you will be there, they might be able to arrange to meet you.
It happened to me when my son was a sophomore at high school. The coach could not reply to his email because it was Division I. However, at that time, he was permitted to speak to sophomores on campus. (The current rules state that Division I coaches cannot speak to recruits until their junior year). The coach arrived and spent 20 minutes talking with us. We were so happy that we gave him our arrival time and that we followed our schedule.
You must ensure that the program is a good fit.
Swimming coaches want to recruit swimmers who are able to score at Conference Championships. If a swimmer is in the Top 16 of Conference Champs, they will be more interested in a coach.
To find their place, swimmers need to research conferences. To create a target school list, the swimmer must research each school at the conference.
These are the coaches that they should contact.
It takes time to research programs so I create spreadsheets every year for College Swimming Guide members. They have easy access to all Conference Championship Meet times as well as the Top Event times at all college swimming programs. This streamlines the research process and allows them to search for the best-fit programs.
It is a good idea, especially if the coaches aren’t responding, to periodically reevaluate the target schools.
Ask questions when speaking with a coach via email or phone. Asking questions shows interest and helps swimmers decide if the program is right for them. A swimmer might consider other programs if he is looking for a tight-knit, family-like team and his coach tells him that they don’t socialize outside of practice.
It is a sign that a swimmer cares about the program and was listening when they ask a question via email.
Answer emails and phone calls
The swimmer must respond promptly to any coach who leaves a message or emails. High school students are busy and coaches understand this. However, they may lose interest in the swimmers and move on to another coach if they don’t get a response within a week.
A swimmer can respond to a question about midterms, travel for a meet, or another major conflict by saying “I have an important meeting this weekend and will update your next week” or similar.
Swimming must be responsive, that is the bottom line.
Create a Dialog
Coaches communicate in different ways, so it is not surprising that some coaches will be more difficult to communicate with swimming instructor singapore than others. Swimming should be part of the conversation via email or phone. It is difficult to communicate with a swimmer who only knows one word. A coach might choose to focus his attention on a recruit who seems more interested.
A swimmer can gauge the coach’s interest by the tone of their conversations. Although some coaches may reply to emails with “thanks, keep me updated”, this does not indicate genuine interest. If a coach is truly interested in a recruit, they will attempt to get to know the person and build a relationship with them.
As they try to gauge your true interest, coaches may ask swimmers how many schools they plan to visit.
Directory of College Swim Programs
I asked all the coaches from the U.S. 15 college swim programs questions, ranging from the qualities they look for in a swimmer to the best time to contact them. College Swimming Guide members have access to this Directory of College Swim Programs. It includes information like average standardized test scores and acceptance rates. There are also answers from college swim coaches. This makes it easier to research and allows swimmers to position themselves to talk to coaches and show interest in what they are looking for.
Although it is a good idea, you should have a relationship with multiple coaches at your school. However, this can sometimes prove difficult if one coach recruits. Many coaches make it easy to talk to swimmers and understand that they can be nervous.
Swimming will be more comfortable if they have the right information and practice.