View Full Version : College Swim Team Maybe???

August 2nd, 2003, 07:00 PM

I haven't had a good swimming workout since December 2002 when my High School swim team fell through. Thats about 8 months without a good workout. I was pretty good in high school a few county appearances and almost a state. I swim all the strokes and I want to improve but I know that I will need a lot of work also. I want to start swimming again this year in college and maybe join the University swim team by next year. My question here is does anyone have any good tips for someone who has been out of swimming for awhile and to stay motivated while swimming? And my second question is does anyone have good swimming or dryland workouts or tips that I could use to make the college team by next year? You could email me at mfruth1625@hotmail.com...



August 2nd, 2003, 09:24 PM
Many college teams accept walk-ons. I'd just go for it; you'll improve a lot faster than if you try to workout on your own for a year. Besides, you only have four years. You need to get back in the water now--check out the posted workouts on this site. Good luck!

August 2nd, 2003, 10:12 PM
Many college teams except walk-ins but they prefer people that workout year-round. I hate to say this but an almost state swimmer doesn't cut it at the four year level. I swam in CIF way back in the 1970's in California which is the same as state. The only level of college that I was competitive at in swimming was community college. I know only few high school swimmers that have the natural talent that workout only during the school year that make it at swimming at the 4 year. If you want to swim in college go to a club team first and swim some age group meets. Also, try out at the community college level first if your state has a program or a slower 4 year.

Phil Arcuni
August 2nd, 2003, 11:02 PM
I agree with Cynthia here. Join a USS team and get some coaching and some training.

August 3rd, 2003, 07:22 AM
I disagree. I assume you are starting college in September; swimming with a USA Swimming team is not going to be practical during the school year (but will be very important in the summers). One of my coaches used to tell us not to limit ourselves. After all, you do have competitive swimming experience and had some degree of success at the high school level. You could really flourish under a good coach. I think you should give it a shot this year and try to make the team. At the very least you should talk to the coach. You may be surprised by his response. There are a lot of benefits to being part of a college team, not the least of which is easing the transition to college life. If you have time before school starts, by all means try to workout with a team to begin building an endurance base.

August 3rd, 2003, 11:22 AM
I disagree again, this person is not in college yet. They should do a USA team until college and a summer program. But their is a big gap in college. Someone is almost state is a long ways from many college swimmers in time. In my state a 1:13 girl's breaststroker in the bigger school division didn't make state. And one coach comment that many swimmers in our state that swim around that time would not make a college team since most swimming programs in Arizona are division 1 and many colleges probably have time standards to make the team. Another swimmer stated that she didn't make the college team. So, an almost state swimmer should look at slower college programs or community college programs first.

August 3rd, 2003, 12:55 PM
I'm just trying to be encouraging. You can't make generalizations; for one thing men tend to peak at a later age. Also, not all programs are structured the same way. Is this a division I school? Even if it is, there may not be time standards to make the team. There may be a junior varsity. Finally, you might start out as a walk on and complete your college career four years later as an NCAA qualifier. Of course not everyone on the team will be a superstar. The point is, you don't know unless you try. Joining a USA Swimming team now is a great idea, however, the summer is nearly over and the college year will be starting soon. I don't dispute the fact that year round swimming will be mandatory to be competitive. I just wouldn't pass up the chance to join as a freshman. Don't limit yourself.

August 3rd, 2003, 01:39 PM
It really depends on the school -- it's not likely that any one can walk on at Stanford or Texas. But Division III schools often depend on walk-ons or have no time standards. Even some Division I or II colleges are only in those divisions because of football or basketball and run their "minor sports" as if they were in Division III.

August 3rd, 2003, 02:16 PM
The College swim team I want to join has attainable times that I can reach with a little bit of hardwork and enthusiasm. With my times now I would not be one of the slowest swimmers on the college team but I would not be any of the fastest swimmer either. I started swimming competively when I was in the 10th grade. My times made me first and second within my division meet during my rookie year. The only times that I would train for swimming would be during the swimming season which lasted about 4 months. But when the next swimming year would come around I would shread more time off on all of my times. I consider swimming as one of my natural talents and now I look back and realize how dumb I was not to swim all year around because if I did I would be be even a faster swimmer. Its not that I wouldn't be good on a college team, I would like to just have even better times then I already have. I would like to try it all year around to see the improvements and I would like to add a little muscle on also in the process. If I join any of the community colleges here they will be just slowing me down. I just want to practice swimming really hard to see if I can still be an asset to a team like I once was. If I do not feel like my mind is in the right place over the course of my freshmen year I will just keep swimming to stay in shape. If I feel like I will make a contribution to the team and my mind is in the right place by the end of the year then I will join the 2004 team. Thank you for the comments and encouragement by the people who have responeded to my post.


August 3rd, 2003, 04:34 PM
Matt, I don't think you will make as much progress swimming/training by yourself as you would if you joined a team. If you don't want to do that, have you ever considered private coaching? I live in a very small town where there isn't a masters team--the closest one is a little over an hours drive. I work one-to-one with a local coach, once a week. She also gives me workout suggestions for the rest of the week. I have made considerable progress this way because each coaching session is tailored just for me--ablosutely nothing to hold me back! This option, however, is not the cheapest thing, and might be out of reach for a college student. I'd look into it though, that costs nothing.

August 3rd, 2003, 06:20 PM
You won't know until you try! I'd call or email the coach now and tell him you are interested in walking on, or practicing with the team. Swim as much as you can now until you get to school (I'm assuming that's this month, right?).

Whether you will make the team depends on the team and what Division the school is in. If you do not make the team this year, find a good Masters team, or a USS team that would let you practice with them.

Good luck!

August 3rd, 2003, 06:41 PM
Matt -- I'd second Shari's advice. Even if you're not ready (or don't feel ready) to join the team now, the coach could tell you what need to do to get ready or let you join some of the team's practices. The coach would really be the best person to advise you.

August 3rd, 2003, 09:24 PM
I forgot to mention that a girl I know just did this. She will be a freshman at an ivy-league school in the fall. She started competing in swimming in HS - later than most swimmers and I would also characterize her as a not-quite-state level competitor. Her times are still improving a lot, though they are not quite yet at the college level.

She really wants to swim, and she emailed the coach at the University about it. He got back to her within a day, telling her to stop by to see him when she arrives at school and he can let her know whether there is a spot for her on the team, and/or whether she can practice on the team. He was very positive, though not commital since it all depends on the team's numbers.

Thought a similar experience would be helpful in your planning. Again, good luck!

August 3rd, 2003, 10:29 PM
So, the community colleges would be slow for you.You didn't make state in high school. Lenny Krazenburg swam community college and he was even in community college a lot better swimmer than you. Shirley Bashashoff swam on the men's team in community college and she was also a lot better swimmer than you are Have a little more humble opinion of yourself. There are several community college swimmers at Indian River which is the fastest CC in the nation that could beat you in swimming.

August 3rd, 2003, 10:40 PM
Perhaps he has looked into the community colleges near him and the teams are not competitive. I don't find that hard to believe, as many are not.

Give the guy a break - he enjoys swimming and wants to continue the sport in college.

Matt, I hope you swim real fast, lead the team at your college, and beat cinc while you're at it!

August 3rd, 2003, 11:57 PM
That's not hard to beat me. i'm a middle aged woman and I was mediocre as a kid. I too swam JC and we had a womanl on our team that was a better swimmer than he is, she had went to nationals. I do lose my temper. But we have discuss this before, not all the JC swimmers are slow. Aaron Perisol, thought about going to Orange Coast College because his coach David Salo coaches there. There are ex-community college swimmers on this forum that made CIF in high school in California.

August 4th, 2003, 07:51 AM
Im not saying that I am the best over every community college swimmer but 5-6 thousand yards is barely even a High School swimming practice. Cinc310 if you have nothing better to do then try to insult me then don't respond to any of these threads. If there is one thing I learned from being on a swim team and being the swim team captain you encourage your swimmers instead of insulting them and discouraging them. If you ever coach a team or if you are on one try encouraging it might make you a better swimmer. All I wanted was a few tips on how to practice on making it to the college level, thats all. Everyone (even you in the beginning) tried to give me a heads up on what it is going to take to make it to that level. Community Colleges in my area were no longer an option after I saw some of their workouts, they were to easy. Im probably going to call the coach this week and get all the info on the team. Because No it doesn't hurt to try...

August 4th, 2003, 10:03 AM
Matt, where are you planning to go to school (I assume starting in a few weeks)? I went to high school in Michigan, didn't start swimming until high school, and was never close to making a state cut. I know what you mean about the community colleges in the Detroit area, they just don't have big athletics programs at all, and they don't even approach the division 3 schools in the state. I think California and a few other states are different.

After H.S., I went to a division 3 school and didn't swim my freshman year, then made the team the next 3 years. After a year of working, I'm returning to finish a master's degree and use up my 4th year of elegibility. I've still been getting better, and made finals at our conference championships four times thanks to a lot of off-season work. I'd go for it if I were you - after being a late starter, you may as well see how much better you can get through college.

Good Luck,

August 4th, 2003, 12:39 PM
wow! I realize you're a younger guy--and most younger guys have a lot of confidence. So what? No harm done. Anyway, as you age, you will humble...

If you haven't checked inot your community college--then do so. If it's worthwhile, give it a whirl...but also check in with your college too. After you see what's out there, and who you could train with, then you'll know what to do.

Congrats on being able to identify your natural talents--I don't think it's arrogant at all to know where your skills lie. After all, that's what will make you successful in business too.

Keep up the enthusiasm, and get yourself involved--it will be the very motivating, give you some friendly competition, keep you on track, provide commoradory, and give you an idea of how far you can go.

Now get out there and swim!

Jerrycat ;)

Matt S
August 4th, 2003, 05:35 PM

First, please, enlighten us where you are going to school. There is a world of difference between, oh say ... the Univ of Michigan--Ann Arbor and Lake Forest College. The former trains people for the U.S. Olympic Trials; the later you can walk-on with few if any preconditions. It is very hard for us to give you advice if we do not in what realm your goals are.

Second, there is a much better source of information about your college's team than a bunch of semi-informed posters on web site. Ask one of the coaches on the team: (1) can I swim for you my freshman year, and (2) if not what would you recommend so I can swim for you my sophmore year. The coaches knows a lot more about what they want in a swimmer for their program, and may be aware of local teams or resources that have eluded all of us. Go straight to the horse's mouth for this kind of stuff.

Third, as someone who went through almost exactly what you have done, I urge you to swim with the team your freshman year if at all possible. I started competitive swimming at 15, my sophmore year, with the HS team. By my senior year, I made District finals in one indivdual event and on the relay I swam. I knew I wanted to keep swimming in college and that meant Div III for me. So I kept looking until I found a school that had a Div III team and met my academic needs--Lake Forest College--and I lettered all 4 years there. I was never one of the big guns, but I contributed and being on the team is one of my most cherished memories of college.

Obviously, you have already picked your school, and I am sure you have a number of reasons more important than whether you can swim for them. However, I have to tell you that not swimming on the team your freshman year dramatically reduces the chances of your swimming for them your sophmore, junior or senior year. What I saw at LFC was lots of folks who started swimming on the team their freshman year, then dropped out later in their college careers. I cannot recall one teammate (except maybe a transfer student) who did not swim with us his/her freshman year, and then finished even so much as one complete season later on. Yes, you can work out on your own. Maybe you can find a club or a masters team that keeps you interested in swimming, and is demanding enough to permit you to improve your times, and conditions in 2003 are different than they were in 1979. But, I have to tell you, based on what I saw, it's pretty unlikely.

Moreover, why would you even want to work out on your own if you had the option to join the college team? Call it camaraderie, team spirit, (shared suffering, perhaps?); there is an inexpressible difference between the friendships you will form in college and those from any other time in your life. This makes a college team unlike anything else you will experience in your swimming career. Try to think back to when you were 10 or 11 years old. Try to imagine your birthday party, and deciding that you were going to return 1/4 of the presents, unopened, for some unexpressed reason. Could you do that? Sure, but imagine the profound sense of disappointment a kid would feel about that. That is the only way I can describe my perplexity at the suggestion you want to skip your freshman year. WHY?!!

Whatever path you take, good luck with your college career. It is your life. You get to decide what you want to pursue (in swimming, or anything else for that matter). Yes, match up your means to your ends and decide what is feasible, but follow the path that appeals to you, and not what anyone else thinks you should be doing.


August 5th, 2003, 01:17 PM
Hey Matt,
Let us know what you find out about walking on. I bet if you do it, you'll be so stoked!!


August 5th, 2003, 05:11 PM
Hey Matt-
I was reading all the replies and I say just go for it! There seems to be some debate about CC and whatnot. I'm from MN and there aren't too many CCs here that have swimming teams, either lack of funding or interest I suppose. Anyway, I swam USS and high school and then went on to swim 4 years NCAA at a D3 school. Definitely not the fastest, but not the slowest either. I learned so much swimming at the college level even at a D3 school. I learned a ton about teamwork, hard work, and dedication. I got to the point where I enjoyed a tough workout even more than I enjoyed competition. I met some of my best lifelong friends on my college team. And our team wasn't half bad either. We were conference champs two years in a row and one of our women qualified for Olympic trials and is taking the year off to train. College swimming is an amazing experience and if you can have the chance to do it I would definitely recommend giving it a shot. You sound like you are willing to work and that is really what it takes to make it at the college level. At least where I went.

Good luck!!

August 7th, 2003, 07:40 AM
Community Colleges have swim teams? Where!? What states? They must be intramural teams, eh?

I was a 3x a week 'recreational' summerfree swimmer. I made the state meet my Jr and Sr years in hs, but never made it to finals (only trials). My fastest HS times were 1:01 breast and 54 in fly. Went to Marist College my Soph year, spoke to the coach as a walk on, who sounded like Cinc here. "You can join if you want. Not sure how well you'll do here, I'd say your career is about over." By spring of that same year, I was going 57.0 breast and 50.0 fly (qualifying for Phillips 66). (oh yea, 21.0 free right up to 1:45 200). I still hold records there, from 1990.

So, don't go telling anyone that they may not make it in a new program. Especially to someone who is a 'part time' swimmer. It's very different if you have a swimmer who swims 6x a week(30,000yds/week) who doesn't quite 'cut the mustard' (whatever that phrase is) who is looking for improvement in college vs. the former.

Get in there, and do it!

Joe Bubel
"a little bit of lovin goes a long long way"