The Ivy Coach Daily

May 1, 2024

Swimmers and College Admission: A Measurable Advantage

Swimmers and University Admission, Swimmers and Ivy League, Ivy League Swim Recruits

Previously Published on November 22, 2012:

All sports are not created equal in the elite college admissions process. As many would guess, football and basketball coaches have more sway than swimming and squash coaches. After all, the success of the football and basketball teams has direct ties to alumni donations and school spirit. The success of the swimming and diving team? Not so much.

But while athletes in major sports like football and basketball enjoy obvious advantages in the elite college admissions process, including to Ivy League schools, athletes in more objective sports — like swimming — enjoy advantages, too. Let’s dive into those advantages!

Swimmers Can Measure Their Value

Swim Coaches Can Rely Squarely on Times

If a college basketball coach wants to gauge the level of play of a point guard, they’ll likely want to see more than just the student-athlete’s boxscore numbers. These numbers need to be analyzed in context: the level of competition, the player’s innate athletic ability, how the player runs the floor, and more all need to be studied.

While it would behoove a swim coach to see a swimmer’s stroke, mainly to understand that swimmer’s future potential to swim faster times, a swim coach could get away with recruiting athletes without ever seeing them swim — basing their decision squarely on their official times recorded by organizations like USA Swimming.

Swimmers Can Also Rely Squarely on Times

But it’s not just swim coaches who can rely squarely on times in the recruiting process — so too can the swimmers themselves. After all, high school swimmers can peruse the results of previous college meets — the heat sheets. If a high school swimmer’s 100 backstroke time is a second faster than that school’s top finisher in the 100 back in that meet, it’s a good indication the student-athlete would be of interest to the coach.

Beyond perusing heat sheets, high school swimmers can also go through the all-time records at a university. Suppose a student’s 200 breaststroke time out of high school would land in the all-time top ten for a university. In that case, that student can rest assured that — barring disciplinary history or not having the minimum academic qualifications for swim recruits — they’d be flagged and tagged as a sought-after recruit by the coach.

Swimmers Can Gauge the Needs of Coaches

In addition to gleaning how their times stack up against current swimmers and the college’s record holders, high school swimmers can review the published rosters of a college’s swim team. If three of the top four distance freestylers graduate next year, that team’s coach will obviously need distance freestylers. Likewise, if all of the team’s top butterfliers are first- and second-year students, the coach may wish to earmark more recruiting slots for backstrokers, breaststrokers, freestylers, and IMers.

Ivy Coach Knows Swimming

Bo knows baseball. Ivy Coach knows swimming. We swam at an Ivy League school (loyal readers know we always write the royal we). Over the years, we’ve helped countless swimmers optimize their cases for admission to elite universities. And while football and basketball players enjoy so many advantages in the elite college admissions process, if they play their cards right, swimmers can enjoy their edge, too. If you’re interested in Ivy Coach’s assistance in optimizing your case for admission to an elite university as a recruited swimmer, fill out our complimentary consultation form, and we’ll be in touch.

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