Getting recruited as a diver can be a difficult process and most of the time a positive result depends on the efforts of the diver, not the college coach. Budgets for swimming and diving are not what they are for football and basketball, and as a result college coaches love to be contacted by a prospective diver. More often than not, if you are a diver that shows interest in a school, you have a leg up on the competition.
Use these seven tips to help you in the process of choosing the right school for both a productive athletic career and a long lasting educational experience!
1. Consider What You Want from the Collegiate Athletic Experience
Before you decide to enter into the melee that is college recruiting, decide what you want out of a collegiate athletic experience. Ask questions of not only the coach, but of yourself.
- Do you want to compete at a division I institution, or division II or III?
- How important will receiving athletic aid be in your decision?
- How much time do you want to devote to diving in college?
- Do you know what you want to study in college, and is it realistic to combine athletics and your particular major?
- Are you self-motivated, or do you need a coach and program that will push you to get the most of you athletic ability?
- Big state school, small private college, or somewhere in between?
- Are top-notch facilities important?
2. Do Your ResearchFind schools that match up with your level of interest in diving and that have academic programs that you are interested in. Division I schools may not offer that same opportunities as divison III schools, and vice versa. Talk to your college counselor and current coach about schools that may be a good fit, and explore the opportunities available by going to the school and athletic department websites.
3. Correspond with the College and the CoachDon’t wait for the coach to contact you – be proactive and contact the coach! A prospective diver, defined by the NCAA as any high school student who has entered the ninth grade, can contact a college coach. Depending on what grade the prospect is currently in, that coach may not be able to return the favor, but at the very least it lets the coach know that you are interested. Recruiting budgets are limited and many times a diver may go unnoticed unless they make an effort.
4. Make a DVD of Your DivingThis is one of the easiest and most effective ways to assist the recruiting process. Have your coach or a family member film a meet or practice and then turn it into a DVD. If you can’t do that at home, there are many small businesses that specialized in creating tapes or DVD’s. Send these tapes to every school you are interested in. It is a small expense for what could produce a big dividend in the form of athletic aid!
5. Attend Summer Camps or Clinics
Many colleges offer summer camps
and clinics that can giver a diver a chance to be noticed by college coaches. Many coaches use these camps as a major tool for recruiting divers.
6. Visit the College or UniversityDon’t be afraid to visit the school. Whether your visit is a self sponsored trip, or a school sponsored recruiting trip, it is important to see what you are getting yourself into. A school that appears to be a perfect fit on paper, may not turn out to be perfect in person. Don't go to a school site unseen! It may work out, but then again it could turn into a disaster and a freshman year you might regret!
7. Use Your Friends, Neighbors and High School or Age Group CoachYour current coach may be one of the most valuable assests that you have. He or she may have a good relationship with the coach at a college in which you are interested. Don’t be afraid to use that coach to break the ice, get an introduction or send a recomendation. The same goes for friends and neighbors. If you have an acquaintance who attended the school in which you are interested, find out what they thought of the school. They may be able to provide valuable insight that you can't find in the school's literature or website.