PDA

View Full Version : Scholarship + Noob Q's



kombat1
February 8th, 2009, 11:30 PM
Hey everybody, I'm Alex and this is my first post.

That being said I have a few questions regarding getting colleage schorlaships and some other newbie questions as well.

I'm a sophomore in highschool and I just finished up my first season (12 weeks) of swimming at my school.

Swimming in the ocean has always been a passion of mine (I SCUBA dive as well), but I never thought I would fall in love with swimming in a pool.

I would like to take swimming a little more seriously because I want a colleage scholarship, but I don't know where to start or what a colleage scholarship requires.

I remember asking the my swim captin if he has any offers to any swim colleages and he said he only went to one. He is a great swimmer with a best time of 21.7 second 50m freestyle. I don't know if I have to surpass his time, but I'm sure it would help in getting a colleage scholarship.

If any of you who have received full or partial rides to a colleage of choice would like to share how you did it I would very much appreciate that.

Time for NOOB Questions!!!

My coach says my 2 best events are breststroke and freestyle.

Last I checked (at leagues last friday) I got a time of 1:20 on my 100m breast stroke:eek: (I know its slow for my age, but this is my first year of swimming)

And my 50m freestyle is 27.88.
I believe that my 100m freestyle is 1min 4 sec (I have crappy flip turns)

Since I'm on offseason, my biggest question is- How often should I swim to make gains?

Some people tell my as often as possible, but then again I feel that you aren't giving your body time to recover after the workout.
I'm not really sure if that can be said for swimming, but it can be said for kung fu.

At most I feel that I will commit 3 days a week at 24 hour fitness and see a great swim coach (at the Y) for 1 hour once a month. ( I don't know if that is enough time with the coach, but thats what my dad said).


There are 2 programs I would like to start soon and I fear that one might interfere with my swimming.

The first is a gymnastic strength training regimine that builds on maximal strength with a 3x3 or 3x5 set/rep scheme. I will be going Fundamental Bodyweight exercises (core, legs, pressing and pulling) for 3 days a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). I am planning to operate on 8-12 week cycles of constant load and increase my load only after I have finished a cycle.

My question about this is: Am I building the right kind of strength needed for swimming?

My strength training uses no heavy weights, but covers the whole body each training day.

Do you guys agree that this will help me become a better swimmer or do you believe something else about strength training and swimming?



My second program is a flexibility program.

I just got Tom Kurz's "Secrets of Stretching" DVD.
I want to achieve a hanging (legs elevated, like on chairs) side+ front splits.

I can already do a decent front splits from both sides on the ground and I am working on my side split.

My question about this is: Will this flexibility hurt my swimming?

Tom is all about reaching high levels of strength in a stretched position so I believe that the perceived overflexibility can be controlled because I would have reached high levels of strength in my legs for that increased rang of motion.

If you think otherwise please tell.

I probably have more questions, but I have to watch the Grammy's.

With kind regards,

-kombat

Ex-distance guy
February 9th, 2009, 01:04 AM
If you want to swim for a college swim team, your first step is to join your local club competitive swim team. Colleges only compete in 25 yrd pools using the 14 standard events of competitive swimming. Your open water backgroud is a great start, but you need to hone your competition pool skills, such as starts, turns, and particular event race strategy. You need to get your mind and body accustomed to swimming relativly high-yardage workouts in a 25 yard pool. Join your local swim team and participate in at LEAST 6+ workouts a week, since college teams practice 6 days a week oftentimes twice a day. Make it your goal to qualify for championship meets where college recruiters are present (Jr. Nationals, Sr. Nationals, YMCA Nationals, Sectionals, and i'm sure there are others as well). You can always solicit yourself, emailing the coaches of colleges you are interested with your offical times, highschool transcript, and any other personal achievements or merits. College coaches are not allowed to be in personal contact with you untill 2nd semester Jr. year (I THINK, not sure tho). This is just the bare basics, if you have any other questions, feel free to send me a personal message and I will share with you what I know. Goodluck, swimming in college can be lots of fun and can add a major plus on your resume' when you graduate.

Rykno
February 9th, 2009, 07:28 AM
Swimmig is like running, a year round sport. when i was active the longest break we got was 10 days, usually one week, in the summer and then a few days around xmas.

I second the idea of joining a year round club, it's easier to get better being coached as well as being pushed by others in your lane.

hofffam
February 9th, 2009, 11:01 AM
Alex - one thing I'd like you to confirm is whether your times are meters or yards.

If your team captain can swim 50 meters short course in 21.7 many colleges would want him to swim for them. A 21.7 is VERY fast for 50 meters. 21.7 is fast but not spectacular for 50 yards.

I think you already know that most swimmers do not earn a full scholarship. NCAA Div. 1 schools can only give out 9.9 scholarships to men. If the roster has 24-28 swimmers and divers (which are part of the 9.9) you can do the math. Some schools will give 1-2 scholarships to divers which leaves just 8 for the swimmers. So schools essentially ration the scholarships - giving 1/2 here, 1/4 there, as required. Foreign athletes often earn more scholarship money because they may need more money to come to the US to swim. Perhaps 1/2 of a team is in a walk-on situation (some earn academic scholarships).

Division II colleges have a similar situation. Division III schools do not have any athletic scholarships.

As a sophomore - your times are either average or slightly better than average depending on yards or meters.

For freestyle I will guess that a Div. 1 school will not be interested in you unless you can go below 22 secs in 50 yards free and below 47 secs in 100 yards free. Breaststrokers need to be at or below 1:00 in 100 yards. One line many Division 1 coaches use is "I'm interested in Junior Nationals times or better."

The standards get progressively easier for Div. II and Div. III.

As for your training - I agree that you REALLY should get into a club program. There really is no offseason, just short breaks, and you need to be swimming now. You cannot take summers off from the pool.

Flexibility and strength combined are very good for swimming. So your dryland program is a good thing.

ande
February 9th, 2009, 11:19 AM
Hi Alex,

you are a HS sophomore in high school
just finished up your first season
you want a colleage scholarship

your captain probably swims 50 yards in 21.7

your 2 best events are breststroke and freestyle.

you went
1:20 in the 100 yard breast
27.88 in the 50m free &
1:04 in the 100 free

How often should I swim to make gains?
at least 6 times a week preferably 9 on a great team with a great coach
ie
morns M W F S
afternoons M - F

You will commit to training 3 days a week
see a great swim coach (at the Y) for 1 hour once a month
that is no where near enough

There are 2 programs you would like to start soon

strength training is good

Am I building the right kind of strength needed for swimming?
maybe, swim if you want to improve your swimming ability
swimmers have specific exercises

My strength training uses no heavy weights, but covers the whole body each training day.

Do you believe something else about strength training and swimming?
most swimmers don't do gymnastic stuff to build strength

Will this flexibility hurt my swimming?
probably not
swimmers need flexibility in their shoulders

If you really want a college scholarship,
go for academic scholarships
there's much more academic scholarship money out there

Men's swimming programs are being cut
schools only have 9.9 scholarships
only the very best swimmers be them
to get a college swimming scholarship
you need to go
56 or 57 in the 100 breast and
20 high 21 low in the 50 fr
to even have a shot at a partial scholarship

swim to be healthy and fit

Read and apply the ideas in
swim Faster Faster


College coaches look other factors besides current times, like
1) the slope of your year over year improvement
They'd rather have a swimmer who is continuing to improve each year.
2) how tall you are and your build, the height and proportions of siblings and parents, are you a late bloomer or are you done growing
3) the kind of training you've done and the program you're coming out of

So if you show excellent improvement, you might have a chance but probably not because the kids who get scholarships are already very fast.

hope this helps,

ande

hofffam
February 9th, 2009, 12:28 PM
I agree with Ande....

Just a comment about the times required.....I think Ande is right about the times needed for any scholarship at the Div I level. My comment was really about what is needed just to get a roster spot. There is also a big difference in Div I between elite programs like Texas or Stanford vs. other Div. I schools.

The scholarship situation at Div. II schools is worse - they only have 8.1 scholarships available for men. But it is probably easier to get a roster spot.

BTW - the quality of swimming at Div. II and Div. III can be very high so I suggest there is nothing wrong with swimming for Div. II and Div. III programs.

Midas
February 9th, 2009, 04:59 PM
I don't know about more than 6 in-pool workouts a week. I think you can get plenty of training in 6 workouts, especially if you will be sticking with sprint racess of 100s or less. However, those mornings I'm suggesting freeing up should be spent in the weight room. Flexibility is good too, though I've heard that folks with overly flexible arms tend to risk shoulder injury more often.

Good luck! If those are 25 meter times, I think you're doing great for somebody new to pool competition (actually, that's true even if those are yards times).

stillwater
February 9th, 2009, 05:10 PM
If you really want a college scholarship,
go for academic scholarships
there's much more academic scholarship money out there

A very good tip.

kombat1
February 9th, 2009, 07:35 PM
WOW, thanks for all the responses. You guys really know your stuff.

About my ca pi tan, he swims an even 22 seconds on the 50m free.

This is all in meters, we swim in a 25 meter pool.

Hey ande (love your 100+ swimming tips btw, not done reading them tho),

My main motivation to swim faster and better is to pay less money for colleage (i.e. schlorships).

In light of what you have said, I don't think I will be getting a scholarship from a colleage or at most I will get a partial scholarship accompanied with A LOT OF HARDWORK.

My other motivation is that I am a water rat and I love the water, love swimming, love perfecting my technique, love getting better, and love the challenge.

Before I spend money and (A lot of) time on getting a coach, swimming 6-9 days a week, paying for a swim club, and commiting what seems to be my life into swimming.....
I need to know what I can get out of it besides better swim abilities, more friends, better shape.

In respect for my parents, who would be funding my activities, and recognizing that we are in a seemingly bottomless recession, how is this going to help me financially?


In fact, I don't know if I am a sprinter, a middle distance guy, or a long distance guy.


I am tall (6'1) and am very lean/muscular (190lbs).

I swam mostly sprints so I guess I am a sprinter, but I have no way to know for sure or determine that.


Thank you all for answering my questions on a decision that can impact my life in a very significant way.

Btw, what's the difference between all these Divisions?

+ My flexibility training is specifically aimed for lower body flexibility (splits, hanging splits)

Much respect,

-kombat

ande
February 9th, 2009, 09:58 PM
your ca pi tan, swims an even 22 seconds on the 50 SCM free.
the turn make s a big difference

glad you like swim faster faster

if you want a chance at success you need to train with a team in the best program you can find

how is this going to help me financially?
you have absolutely no assurances that swimming will help you prosper

"I swam mostly sprints so I guess I am a sprinter, but I have no way to know for sure or determine that."
you are probably a sprinter
do the following swims fast for time
025
050
100
200
you times will tell you if you are a sprinter, a 100 swimmer or a 200 swimmer


I am tall (6'1) and am very lean/muscular (190lbs).
you have a good frame

My flexibility training is specifically aimed for lower body flexibility (splits, hanging splits)
there's absolutely no need for splits in swimming

kombat1
February 10th, 2009, 12:59 AM
Thanks Ande.

I want to do swimming for fun, after reading some posts, but my true passion lies in Kung Fu (Thats why I was aiming for the splits+strength training). Although a previous swim captin of my team, Kevin Munch, won state a few times (washington) and got a full ride to a lot of colleages, but I don't think I can put in the time to be that good lol.

A few more quesitons before I go:

What does LCM stand for?

Will long distances during practices help me as a sprinter (assuming that I am one) or will it only serve to better my conditioning?

How does muscles recovery work in swimming?

I ask this because 6-9 days of training a week seems hardcore and I am wondering when your body gets adequate time to recover.
(Although I am comming from a bodybuilding perspective where you should train on nonconsecutive days to give your muscles time to recover, so feel free to enlighten me on the process of recovery in swimming)

What swimming books (educational rather than a novel or inspirational) do you reccomend?

I already have Swim to Win by Ed Nessel, but I kind of bought that on impulse at Barnes and Nobles.

Last question,

My swim captin who sims the 22 50m free always had his butt out of the water. A mom pointed it out and said he is the only one in the meet who has his butt out of the water.

How does that translate to speed?


Thank you for your patience in answering my questions.

-kombat

knelson
February 10th, 2009, 01:28 AM
About my ca pi tan, he swims an even 22 seconds on the 50m free.

This is all in meters, we swim in a 25 meter pool.

I'm 99.9% certain you're wrong about this. It's 25 yards, not meters.

Rykno
February 10th, 2009, 03:48 AM
High school national record 50SCY 19.49.

Which is roughly 21.75 in SCM. so if the captain of you swimteam swims 22 SCM then there would most likely be more than one college/univeristy looking at him.

other record times
50 free scm
world 20.48
American 21.18

50 free SCY
american 18.87

ande
February 10th, 2009, 10:46 AM
don't think Kevin Munsch went 22 in the 50 SCM free but it looks like he's a good breastroker / IMer
http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/14764.asp

What does LCM stand for?
long course meters = 50 meter pool

Will long distances during practices help me as a sprinter
(assuming that I am one) or will it only serve to better my conditioning?
possibly, but I don't consider 200's to be long distance

How does muscles recovery work in swimming?
not really sure what you're asking,
swimmers become great with talent, great coaching and hard work
can't think of any outstanding swimmers who trained on their own in their early years

if you want to be the best swimmer you can be you need to train often
swim 6 - 9 times a week
weights 3 times a week
dry land 2 - 3 times a week

instead of reading about swimming just train hard often




Thanks Ande.

I want to do swimming for fun, after reading some posts, but my true passion lies in Kung Fu (Thats why I was aiming for the splits+strength training). Although a previous swim captin of my team, Kevin Munch, won state a few times (washington) and got a full ride to a lot of colleages, but I don't think I can put in the time to be that good lol.

A few more quesitons before I go:

What does LCM stand for?

Will long distances during practices help me as a sprinter (assuming that I am one) or will it only serve to better my conditioning?

How does muscles recovery work in swimming?

I ask this because 6-9 days of training a week seems hardcore and I am wondering when your body gets adequate time to recover.
(Although I am comming from a bodybuilding perspective where you should train on nonconsecutive days to give your muscles time to recover, so feel free to enlighten me on the process of recovery in swimming)

What swimming books (educational rather than a novel or inspirational) do you reccomend?

I already have Swim to Win by Ed Nessel, but I kind of bought that on impulse at Barnes and Nobles.

Last question,

My swim captin who sims the 22 50m free always had his butt out of the water. A mom pointed it out and said he is the only one in the meet who has his butt out of the water.

How does that translate to speed?


Thank you for your patience in answering my questions.

-kombat

Redbird Alum
February 10th, 2009, 03:17 PM
...
If you really want a college scholarship,
go for academic scholarships
there's much more academic scholarship money out there

...

Alex -

Ande has hit the nail on the head with the above comment.

I swam for a Div I school, but never saw any scholarship money. One guy on our team came in with a swimming scholarship, did something stupid on a weekend and hurt himself, and ended up dropping out.

My daughter went to a private Division III school with an academic scholarship that picked up half her tuition, while she studied coursework she loved. She swam for a great coach on a very competitive team, and went to conference meets with them every year she swam.

Find coursework you love, hit the books and make your academics count.

Best Regards

nkfrench
February 10th, 2009, 05:39 PM
USA Swimming has Kevin Munsch's times for USAS club meets. He does have some SCM times but his best 50y free is :21.59 and 50m LC free is :26.09. He doesn't have a 50m SC time but has 100m SC :55.00

So there are SCM pools in the area. Kevin's posted best times are Dec 2007 and prior. Decide for yourself if Kevin's gotten that much faster in the past year.

nkfrench
February 10th, 2009, 05:43 PM
About financial reward - I've heard that a college scholarship turns swimming into working your way through college except you're in the pool instead of selling burgers and fries. The best reason to swim in college is because you love it.

kombat1
February 10th, 2009, 11:00 PM
Thanks guys,

I do love swimming very much and will probably swim in collage.

Hey Ande,
What I meant about recovery in swimming is:

When does the swimmer's body get to take a break and recover from training if the swimmer is swimming 6-9 times a week coupled with weights and dry lands?

By recovery I meant muscular recovery.

Jazz Hands
February 10th, 2009, 11:17 PM
You swim yards, not meters. Twenty-two flat SCM is not something high schoolers do.

Forget the scholarship and just train. Work on speed, strength, and technique. You absolutely need a good coach to help you with your technique. One-on-one instruction, join a club, whatever. Just make sure someone who seriously knows swimming is watching you swim every day and telling you how to do it better.

hofffam
February 11th, 2009, 10:22 AM
Thanks guys,

I do love swimming very much and will probably swim in collage.

Hey Ande,
What I meant about recovery in swimming is:

When does the swimmer's body get to take a break and recover from training if the swimmer is swimming 6-9 times a week coupled with weights and dry lands?

By recovery I meant muscular recovery.

During the heaviest phases of training - the body really doesn't recover much. Muscles are constantly torn down and TRYING to recover. During other phases of training more recovery occurs - and during the taper phase muscles are generally not broken down much at all.

Not every workout is the same of course - so a good coach will probably alternate workouts - maybe long aerobic work every other day mixed with stroke focused work, or recovery type of swims on other days.

kombat1
February 11th, 2009, 09:21 PM
Okay, I see.

So a swimmer doesn't actually take a day off from swimming to recover the tears (micro tears) in the muscles received from practice.

Instead their muscles recover via "active recovery".

Although even in these taper phases your muscles are still being broken down (just not as much) and if they are still being broken down, how are they recovering?

But at some point, wouldn't that cause overreaching (or overtraining) if a swimmer never takes a day off?

hofffam
February 11th, 2009, 09:28 PM
Most swimmers not named Phelps do take a day off. It might be Sunday and/or Saturday.

Microtears probably occur when you are walking up the stairs so healing from them is a normal process that occurs everyday. The human body is constantly recovering.

I am willing to bet that most swimmers that make it on the roster of a college team trained more than 5 times a week during their high school years.

I didn't swim in college but I definitely trained more than 5 times a week during my high school years. And many here DID swim in college and can confirm what their training was like.

FWIW my high school son (a junior) swims every weekday morning with his high school team and MTThFr and Saturday morning with his club team. Other kids his age probably are close to overtrained (different club programs that pound the yardage) but my son is not.

Jazz Hands
February 11th, 2009, 11:06 PM
Microtears probably occur when you are walking up the stairs so healing from them is a normal process that occurs everyday. The human body is constantly recovering.

Yeah, it's a bodybuilder's myth that you absolutely need days off to recover from microtears. We don't subscribe to that in swimming :)

ande
February 12th, 2009, 11:43 AM
what college coaches look for

David Marsh on Getting Noticed by College Coaches (http://stacktv.stack.com/video.aspx?videoID=1546350852_285)

Key Physical Attributes for Swimmers (http://stacktv.stack.com/video.aspx?videoID=3923295001_294)

David Marsh on Recruiting (http://stacktv.stack.com/video.aspx?videoID=1546350821_285)

University of Texas Swimmer Jeremy Harris on Recruiting (http://stacktv.stack.com/video.aspx?videoID=1358294858_27)