Updated: Jul 24, 2020
Getting recruited to college is a big thing, so making sure you aren't wasting time is important. With our years of research and experience, these are the 5 worst college recruiting mistakes that could ruin your chances at college. Don't make these mistakes and get to college you love.
Mistake 1: Starting to late -
Starting your recruiting journey too late can be detrimental to your journey, roster sports may be taken and email inboxes will be full. Getting a leg up on other swimmers is key, starting your journey researching colleges and learning the rules and information you need to be successful. We suggest starting as early as your High School sophomore year, you should be researching, so that when June 15th between your sophomore and junior year comes around, you already have contacted those coaches. College coaches won't be able to contact you before that date, but having your name on recruiting lists will benefit you. Once the date comes around, it's full steam ahead contacting coaches. Many athletes only start their recruiting journey in their junior or senior high school year, this can put you behind and ultimately result in you being at college that doesn't suit you as well. Athletes will often say that starting their recruiting journey was their biggest mistake.
Mistake 2: Targeting the wrong colleges -
Too many students target schools that are out of their reach, for 3 reasons
Athletics - There are some amazing sports programs in America, however unless you are very highly ranked, you most likely won't get a roster spot or a scholarship. Targeting schools that are a good fit for you will increase response and success rates. Many swimmers have the big programs as their top schools, when in reality they should be focusing on schools that are more realistic and better suited.
Academics - Many students dream of attending academically prestigious schools such as Ivy league schools, however often their GPA, test results and rankings will not allow for this. These schools accept only a tiny proportion of people, so stay realistic with your expectations. Students that attend academically prestigious schools with low test results and grades, are much more likely to struggle and fall behind in classes.
Financial - Many swimmers will need scholarships to make college possible. To make this a reality, you will have to target schools where you can contribute points at Conference Championships as well as support them with good grades. Schools that are extremely expensive will make it harder for you to get the cost down. There is nothing worse than having to transfer schools or leave college because you can no longer pay the fees. Keep this in mind when researching and deciding on your college.
Mistake 3: Dedication -
Dedication comes in many forms. Being dedicated to your swimming training and working hard so that your swimming keeps improving is vital. Being dedicated to your academic work, good grades are just as important to your college journey. Dedication also comes in the form of doing the hard work finding the schools that suit you researching them, applying and keeping in contact with them. Swimmers who don't work hard in these areas may find that they aren't as satisfied with the college they attend, some who do not do the required work will even miss out on scholarships and acceptance altogether.
Mistake 4: Organisation and communication -
Staying organised with dates that need to be met for applications, eligibility and meetings is important, missing a date may have a bad effect on your college journey. Being able to communicate positively with coaches is also vital, being polite, energetic and showing real interest will all go a long way to building connections with coaches. It is then once again your organisation and dedication that goes towards staying in contact with coaches, regularly speaking with them and moving along the recruiting process. A simple mistake recruits will make is working hard to get in contact with a coach and then losing contact for a few months, always update coaches with your results and ask questions to stay connected.
Mistake 5: Social media presence -
The easiest way to be taken off a recruiting list is to have inappropriate or undesired content on social media. Swimming coaches will often do research on a recruit and if you have any content that does not follow the colleges code of conduct or align with the schools values, then it will ruin your chances at that college and possibly others. This is the easiest mistake to avoid, yet one of the most harmful, the consequences of one poor post or comment can instantly ruin your chances. Be mindful of this and make sure to keep your social media clean and tidy, you never know who is looking.