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August 29, 2016

Swimming Recruiting Advice from a Parent

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Over the past few weeks, we have shared interviews with parents who have gone through the recruiting process with their child. This week, we talked to a parent of a female swimmer. This parent talked about what they looked for in their daughter’s potential school, how important their relationship with a potential coach was, and how they wish they knew more about the recruiting process.

What sport does your child play, and when did you start looking at schools and contacting coaches?

My daughter swims and we started looking her junior year after she had been contacted by some coaches after her spring club season the year before.

How many official visits did your daughter go on?

She went on three. She chose what schools she liked the best and then went to experience what the swimming was like. We wanted it to be both good for her academically and athletically.

How involved were you?

I was involved in the sense that I made it all logistically possible. I got her to where she needed to be, I helped her figure out scholarships and academic opportunities and looked over the season schedules with her. I let her do the contacting and the choosing, but I wanted to give her all the pieces for her to put together.

What were you looking for in the college?

I was looking for a top tier school that would allow her to be both a success in swimming and academics. I wanted a program that traveled a lot to meets because I feel that is important for her to experience and to learn to balance work and swim. I wanted a school that I could drive to in a day so that I could watch home meets, and to be honest I didn’t care the type of place it was in (city, rural, town), I left that more to her since she would be the one living there. She was offered good money at all three schools so I was more flexible with the tuition which was great.

How important was your relationship with the coach of a school/program your child was interested in?

Not too much. That is a relationship for her, not me. I want to know they are a good person but other than that, she is twenty and is allowed to form these relationships alone.

Do you wish you personally knew more about the recruiting process?

Yes! I felt a little lost and found myself really getting caught up in the stress of reaching out to coaches and I didn’t want to budge into that, that was for her to handle. I also wished someone would have told me not to worry too much about schools she didn’t hear back from, it isn’t the end of the world. What is meant to happen, happens.

What role should parents play in their child’s recruiting process?

Definitely be a guide, not a decision-maker because it frustrates them. This is not easy for them either so be there as a helping hand and make sure they are knowledgeable and aware of their choices, but remember it is their choice.

Photo taken from USASwimming.org