COLLEGE SWIMMING RECRUITING
Learn How To Get Recruited.
Swimming is a very popular sport and swimming at the intercollegiate level is very competitive. As a high school swimmer, unless you’re placing at sectionals or winning state swimming titles, you will need to reach out and contact college swimming coaches directly. College swimming coaches have a small budget for recruiting and finding great additions to their team. They best way to be found by swimming coaches is through a recruiting profile listing all your athletic and academic accomplishments (and of course your best times).
There are close to 170,000 women and 140,000 men who swim competitively in high school. 8.3% of high school female swimmers and 7.9% of high school male swimmers go on to compete in intercollegiate swimming. Swimming at college is very competitive, so you must get your name out there to maximize your recruiting opportunities.
542 colleges affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association have swimming programs. There are 198 schools at D1 level that allocate 9.9 swimming scholarships for men and 14 for women. D2 colleges can award a maximum of 9.9 swimming scholarships per team for both men and women. At NCAA D3 institutions there are 254 colleges that have intercollegiate swimming programs, but no athletic scholarships are granted at this level. It is rare to receive a full ride swimming scholarship. Swimming is classed as an equivalency sport and as such the coach needs to allocate the available scholarships between a large number of athletes. The average team size at the Division I level is 29 for men and 28 for women.
There are only 23 NAIA institutions that offer intercollegiate swimming. The average swimming program team size is 15 for both men and women. Eight swimming scholarships are allocated per program and these are also classed as equivalency grants.
Only 14 junior colleges offer swimming and each school can offer 15 swimming scholarships to both men and women.
SWIMMING RECRUITING TIPS
- The first thing you need to do is register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. Swimming coaches will want to know your eligibility status when you start communicating with them. You must gain eligibility in order to compete at the collegiate level.
- Attend as many college swimming camps as you can. These camps are organized and run by many college athletic programs; swimming coaches, recruiters and scouts will usually be in attendance with a goal of spotting future talent. This is a great way to be seen by coaches.
- Versatility is a key component. If you can compete in multiple events and strokes and also fill some relay spots you will be a more attractive scholarship candidate for coaches.