Some athletes get lucky – a growth spurt can turn an average high school sophomore into the NBA’s next big thing, a big game in front of a scout can have colleges tripping over themselves for a QB, and being on one of the nation’s best teams can help put you on the road to a scholarship. With swimmers it can be more difficult as swimming isn’t one of college sport’s most watched sports. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t recruiters out there! If you’re a swimmer, keep reading for five tips on how to get the scholarship you deserve.
This may seem rather simple; you enjoy swimming and spend your time training to be the best you can be at it. But training does not simply mean getting in the pool and swimming lengths, it’s all about variety; strength training, spring training, out of the pool cardio and studying the greats for small tweaks to your own technique. Pushing yourself constantly to be the best you can be needs to involve all aspects of training not just in the pool but all-around as an athlete.
2. Find the Right Coach
By finding the right coach you will be able to ensure that all the above training is done in the correct way. Some of the world’s top swimmers are coached by family members and this may be the case for you. However, a professional coach will help you refine your technique and further your talent, and perhaps more importantly, he may be well connected. College swimming is like a fraternity and if your coach is well connected you may be able to pick his brains for contacts to help you move forward.
3. Attend the Right Meets
There are high profile meets all over the U.S, which attract scouts from large numbers of colleges and further education schools. If you are looking to be recruited, it is vital to attend these meets and prove yourself in front of the people who can offer you a scholarship. This does not necessarily mean you have to win an event, as you will be competing against the nation’s other elite athletes, but by attending and holding your own, you will be proving your ability against the best.
4. Don’t Neglect Your Education
Your education is of utmost important to your college career. Almost all scholarships will require you to maintain a GPA, and if you fail to meet it you may lose your scholarship. The NCAA also has rules regarding student-athletes meeting GPA’s. Your GPA could also be your edge over another prospect, so it’s important to maximize it.
As mentioned above, a well-connected coach may be able to speak to the right people to get you a scholarship. But this is not always the case, and there are alternatives if you look in the correct places. Companies such as Athletes USA can offer connections to the administrators in colleges who offer scholarships, or even provide a scholarship directly to you.
If you’re a dedicated swimmer, these five simple tips can help to maximize your chances of landing a scholarship.