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spudfin
October 26th, 2007, 09:06 AM
Greetings
I know from reading many posts that some of you have swam in college. I am the parent of an age group swimmer who has his sights set on a college scholarship. I was a sportsmed guy in a a Div 1 school in college and all of us worked many long hours and traveled a great deal to earn our way through. The athletes worked very hard of course and really paid in time for the funds they received in the form of books and tuition. I would rather pay for his schooling and see him study rather than swim. I do not want to steal his dreams though as a result of my cynical view of the system. Have any of you swam in college and what was your experience? Do you view it as a worthy goal or would you have done it differently? Any coaches out there with insight? All advice welcome. This is a great forum!
Many Thanks
Spudfin

ensignada
October 26th, 2007, 09:10 AM
There are several current college swimmers here too. Blainesapprentice, Seagirl51 come immediately to mind. Both are sound students I think. You might want to pm them for their take in the event they don't see this thread.

art_z
October 26th, 2007, 09:22 AM
I did, and regret going to the school that offered me the best scholarship, rather than going to a better school. If swimming is an important part of their lives, you want to go to a school where not only will they be able to do well scholastically, but also be able to thrive athletically. I do admit I got alot more out of college than a non athelete (having several such roomates).

The Fortress
October 26th, 2007, 09:33 AM
I did as well, until I was injured. I went to a very academically demanding school, and was happier not swimming. However, I was also suffering severe burnout from a mega-yardage youth, so had probably had enough competitive swimming at that juncture. It is very difficult to combine a sport as demanding as swimming with academic excellence, but I have seen people successfully do it. It depends on the student, the program, etc. Personally, my college decision was based entirely on academics, not athletics. It worked out fine, and I have never regretted it. In fact, it has positively helped me in life. So has swimming, of course.

SwimStud
October 26th, 2007, 09:34 AM
I did as well, until I was injured. I went to a very academically demanding school, and was happier not swimming. However, I was also suffering severe burnout from a mega-yardage youth, so had probably had enough competitive swimming at that juncture. It is very difficult to combine a sport as demanding as swimming with academic excellence, but I have seen people successfully do it. It depends on the student, the school. etc. Personally, my college decision was based entirely on academics, not athletics. It worked out fine, and I have never regretted it. In fact, it has positively helped me in life. So has swimming, of course.

Hmmm "LSE" has a team? *cough*

Sadly that vessel sailed for me. No college sports....would have been fun.

Blackbeard's Peg
October 26th, 2007, 09:42 AM
Spud,
I didn't swim in college, though I did masters throughout my schooling. While I can't speak for those who did swim NCAA, I wish I had been able to. I don't doubt that athletes spend a lot more time training than studying, but swimmers in general are pretty smart kids. The extra training may lead to an extra semester or two, but in the end, I think that the value of the experience would have been a benefit to my schooling.

If your son does earn a scholarship and decides to choose a time-consuming major, he'll probably end up kicking his aquatic career to the curb midway through. We all know that since we're not Michael Phelps, we're not going to make a living on swimming, so that degree (and learning on the way to it) is our mealticket.

If he understands the time committment before and after arriving on campus, and is willing to work hard in the pool AND in the classroom, he will not fail. You can be creative with incentives too... If you're still willing to pay for his college, if he gets the scholarship and needs a 5th year to wrap up, your contribution might help take some of the pressure off him, and will also give him a bit more leeway into finding a non-basketweaving major.

Jeff Commings
October 26th, 2007, 11:33 AM
It's a question of how your professors handle the situation of you traveling for swim meets, as well as what priority your coach gives swimming and academics. The best swim schools make sure nothing suffers, whether it's swimming or school. When I swam at Texas, I never had a problem mixing the two. If I had to study for an exam, the coaches would let me out of workout a little early to study. Or if I was traveling to a swim meet, I'd get the assignments from my professor or get an extension on an exam.

I think every university, no matter what NCAA division they are in, has this attitude. It depends on how well the student works to keep both balanced.

I couldn't imagine going to school and not swimming. If anything, swimming was a stress reliever, especially during finals. And it was a great alternative to fraternities.

Donna
October 26th, 2007, 11:51 AM
The one thing I always recommend to the juniors and seniors looking into schools is to choose your school based on what you want to major in, regardless of the swim opportunity.

I my day I was limited to larger schools since in the early 80's good computer science programs were limited. And yes after 2 years I too was burned out enough on swimming and figured working at the school computer center looked better on my resume than swimming did.

Mighty Minnow
October 26th, 2007, 11:57 AM
I played tennis in college, and I LOVED my daily practice....in fact we used to show up early and stay late. We had a short fall and a short spring season, and I do not think it hindered my studies, but then we only had one session a day, and maybe a match on a weekend. We did end up doing homework on the team van, though....and exchanged data on which teachers to take and avoid.

My daughter is now applying for colleges, and while she enjoys swimming, she is not up to the 2 a days that most competitive programs require. We looked around and found a small school that only does one two-hour session per day, 5 days a week. They pretty much take all swimmers, too. This sounds perfect for my daughter, as she wants to swim, but not too competively. The emphasis there seems to be on enjoying the swim experience. (Now lets hope they accept her to the college!)

Seems like all the programs have different goals, so you may have to find something that suits your child.

aquageek
October 26th, 2007, 12:02 PM
The one thing I always recommend to the juniors and seniors looking into schools is to choose your school based on what you want to major in, regardless of the swim opportunity.

Who knows what they want to major in as a junior or senior and who actually sticks with that major? I say pick the best party school that you can find in your GPA/SAT range cause that will definitely stick with you all 4,5 or 6 years, and life beyond.

gobears
October 26th, 2007, 12:30 PM
Most of my teammates in high-school and college were great students. I've always associated swimming with high-achievers. I think swimming during both high-school and college forces kids to become good at time management. Some of those with the worst study skills were those who had all sorts of time to "study."

I will say that swimming may have played a role in my (sadly) picking a non-practical major at a fairly prestigious university. But no more than my involvement in a religious group at the time that made me think some kind of ministry was in my future. If I had it all to do over again I'd swim at the same school but challenge myself to study something more useful...

gull
October 26th, 2007, 12:55 PM
I was a walk on at a Division I school back in the late 70's. I swam for two years while doing premed, then (reluctantly) quit swimming when I hit organic chemistry in my junior year. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my college swimming experience (well, maybe not the set of 20 x 300's). I think I swim Masters to try to recapture some of that. And I was by no means a star. College athletics is about more than just the sport itself--at least it was for me.

stussy96
October 26th, 2007, 02:04 PM
I've always said what you get out of your college experience is what you put into it.

I swam D1 on a scholarship for about a year and a half. I trained with people on olympic and national teams, met LOTS of people, traveled around the country and had a great time. However, I had severe knee problems so I had to "retire" right before our winter training trip my soph. year. I stayed active with the team and lived with swimmers and divers all 4 years I was there. Even when I retired, I was still in the top school in the state and in the top 10 in the country for my major.

I had a wonderful experience. Being on a team gives you an automatic pool of friends which is nice (no pun intended), especially in a big school. It makes it feel that much smaller. You also will usually have people that share your major to help you out, or at least someone in a similar major.

If I had a chance to do it over (and I had great knees) I would have done it all 4 years. I don't think twice about it.

If you child wants to swim, don't deter them. Just make sure they are picking the school for the ACADEMICS, not athletics. If they both happen to be good, then all the better. They have to look in the long run - what is going to sustain them through adulthood? I seriously doubt they will make a living with their swimming career. If they do it for a year or two and retire, so what? They still had a great experience and learned a lot. Plus, it saved you some money. No complaints there.

Glider
October 26th, 2007, 02:05 PM
Amen, Geek. Tulane University, New Orleans. Three majors over 5 years. Depravity to the max:drink::drink::drink::drink::drink:then begin again:D


Who knows what they want to major in as a junior or senior and who actually sticks with that major? I say pick the best party school that you can find in your GPA/SAT range cause that will definitely stick with you all 4,5 or 6 years, and life beyond.

blainesapprentice
October 26th, 2007, 03:21 PM
I currently swim D2 at a college. While I don't regret choosing to swim in college-I regret choosing my college based on the swimming program and the scholarship offers. I wish I had looked at campus' more than pools, teachers more than coaches.

I don't really have a problem with grades and finding time to get my work done during swimming--though that is just how I've always been--we've lost some good swimmers to academic ineligibility and had a lot of swimmers who've had to stay on extra semesters after having a bad semester here or there. But that's bound to happen to some people whether they swim or not. And I've NEVER had a problem with a teacher regarding missing class due to a meet.

Some things to consider:
my swim program isn't hugely competitive--and my coach is not completely motivated to creating a demanding program, but regardless I spend around 20 hours a week at the pool (between swimming, dryland, weightlifting)--not including meet weekends which obviously up that time, and for the month or so that we are doing doubles that time goes up to about 30hours a week. Additionally, have him consider the length of the season (August-February/March) and the fact that you lose your Christmas break.

Ironically, out of my entire High School team, I am the ONLY one still swimming in college. And we are talking girls with tons of potential to go on to NCAA championships and most on scholarships. When i've talked to them about deciding to quit they all said that it wasn't worth the time and stress on top of their course loads.
I'm still shocked that these girls--all of whom were much more dedicated and invested in the sport back in HS then I was, gave it up.

Make sure he really looks at the teams for the colleges he is considering---maybe go to a meet, have him do an overnight (I know all that means for our guys team is that they get the recruit drunk out of his mind and act like...hmm....college boys--so make sure he's careful!) and maybe watch a practice or two. I know in my case, my coach is a great sweet talker and he really had me believing everything he said about his coaching, the team, and how much I would improve. I was let down greatly.

Theres a lot of great things about being a college athlete, but he should really look at all the avenues, because theres also many opportunities for it to be a suffocating situation.

craiglll@yahoo.com
October 26th, 2007, 04:11 PM
At one time we had three swimmers on our team. The school has had an All American who now teaches and coaches. Why woudl anyone go to a college where they sit in lecture halls bored? Knox college is the greatest. Yeah Flunk Day!

abc
October 26th, 2007, 04:50 PM
Don't overlook the social benefits of being on a team. I learned a lot in college swimming with regard to people skills that I feel have greatly benefitted me in my career today. These experiences were essential to me and I would recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity to join an athletic team. On the other hand, my brother was also a college athlete and had a hard time balancing "partying" with good grades. He would have been better off turning down the scholarship. To join a college team is a question that must be uniquely judjed by the indvidual. It requires a lot of discipline to balance everything, but if you can do it successfully you will be better prepared than most other college graduates for wherever your career takes you. Just my two cents.

hofffam
October 26th, 2007, 05:01 PM
I am the parent of a high school senior who wants to swim in college. He is good but not fast enough for Auburn, Cal, Stanford, etc. He might be a walkon for one of the not-so-fast Div 1 schools or perhaps some scholarship money to a Div II or Div III school.

Our guidance to him has been to choose the school for education first, and if swimming works, we'll support it. Earning 1/10 or 1/4 of a scholarship isn't particularly meaningful for the money unless he goes out of state or to a private school with much higher costs. My son is smart, a solid but not outstanding student, and has very good test scores. He seems to understand that a degree from Rice with no swimming will do him more good in life than a degree from a far lesser school that offers him a swimming scholarship. I think swimming would be good for him - especially early on in college. I'd rather he have a group to belong to that isn't a fraternity.

blainesapprentice
October 26th, 2007, 05:48 PM
I think swimming would be good for him - especially early on in college. I'd rather he have a group to belong to that isn't a fraternity.

:lmao:I wouldn't say swimmers are the best influence. I can't say for all college male swimmers obviously...but the two teams I have been on, as well as several of the teams in my conference have had MAJOR issues with alcohol and behaviors/reckless decisions on their men's teams.

Sometimes I look at our guys team as they head off to their judiciary hearings and wonder if they wouldn't have been better off next door at SUNY Albany--with all their Greek life and such.

JimRude
October 26th, 2007, 06:04 PM
In the fall of 1982, I turned down partial and full rides at a number of schools (to my parents' chagrin ) and walked on at Cal. I had great grades in H.S., very high SAT score, and wanted to swim at a top program (Cal won NCAA's in 1979 and 1980 and my AAU coach was a grad) that also offered engineering.

I quickly found out that I was woefully unprepared for the rigors of academics there. Poor grades equaled no enjoyment, and so I changed majors and kept swimming, too. It turned out to be the best decision of my life (so far). I made life-long friends, got to travel the country and the world (albeit usually only to airport, hotel and pool) and probably made myself the best swimmer I could be at the time. The only thing that kept me from swimming after college was cashflow (actually a lack thereof).

I HIGHLY recommend combining academics and athletics in college, and also to challenging yourself in both ways. I would rather be the slowest swimmer on a great team than the fastest on a crap one... The better to improve onesself.

Just my :2cents:

Kurt Dickson
October 26th, 2007, 06:52 PM
I agree with Jeff, if you can go to a program like Texas (where my brother swam 81-84), they treat all the athletes excellent and make sure you excel academically (orthopedic surgeon now).

Another brother swam for Berkeley (?81-83) and was treated like crap because he was not the best. I think he bailed on his senior year to concentrate on academics (he became a high falutin' orthopedic surgeon).

I swam for a mediocre team (BYU) and would not have traded anything for the lessons learned and the level of discipline achieved in combining academics and college level swimming (although it is hard to give your best to both). It was great to get an education and to travel the world (to such exotic places as Las Cruces, NM) and have somebody else pay for it all.

It also matters if your child is a male or a female. You can say whatever you want (and I am sure this is a sensitive button to all those who think the man has kept them down for so many years--e.g. Nancy Hogshead, et. al) but title IX is blatantly unfair to males that are not football players. Most schools have half the number (or less) of scholarships for men's swimming v. female. There is absolutely no way to make it fair as programs try to "make-up" for 80 football scholarships.

Also, as some have pointed out, it does matter where you graduate. My sister went to Yale law school and she could pretty much go where ever she wanted for a job.

Bottom line: if your kid is good enough to go to a reputable school, definitely do it. Otherwise, if you can afford it, send he/she to the best school money can buy (there is always time after education and career making that he/she can become like all of us on this thread--washed up wannabe athletes).

JimRude
October 26th, 2007, 10:47 PM
I agree with Jeff, if you can go to a program like Texas (where my brother swam 81-84), they treat all the athletes excellent and make sure you excel academically (orthopedic surgeon now).

Another brother swam for Berkeley (?81-83) and was treated like crap because he was not the best. I think he bailed on his senior year to concentrate on academics (he became a high falutin' orthopedic surgeon).

I swam for a mediocre team (BYU) and would not have traded anything for the lessons learned and the level of discipline achieved in combining academics and college level swimming (although it is hard to give your best to both). It was great to get an education and to travel the world (to such exotic places as Las Cruces, NM) and have somebody else pay for it all.

It also matters if your child is a male or a female. You can say whatever you want (and I am sure this is a sensitive button to all those who think the man has kept them down for so many years--e.g. Nancy Hogshead, et. al) but title IX is blatantly unfair to males that are not football players. Most schools have half the number (or less) of scholarships for men's swimming v. female. There is absolutely no way to make it fair as programs try to "make-up" for 80 football scholarships.

Also, as some have pointed out, it does matter where you graduate. My sister went to Yale law school and she could pretty much go where ever she wanted for a job.

Bottom line: if your kid is good enough to go to a reputable school, definitely do it. Otherwise, if you can afford it, send he/she to the best school money can buy (there is always time after education and career making that he/she can become like all of us on this thread--washed up wannabe athletes).

I swam with Kyle at Cal, and he was one of the nicest - and smartest - guys I ever had the privilege of knowing!

Blackbeard's Peg
October 26th, 2007, 11:03 PM
I wouldn't say swimmers are the best influence. I can't say for all college male swimmers obviously...but the two teams I have been on, as well as several of the teams in my conference have had MAJOR issues with alcohol and behaviors/reckless decisions on their men's teams.

10 years ago, I'd've been cautioning against the same thing, but fact is collegiate alcohol abuse is everywhere, and it is not gender specific... let us not forget the Lehigh Women's Swim Team (http://www.timedfinals.com/14092007/19-lehigh-swimmers-arrested-for-party/).
If the kid is picking the college for the swim team parties, methinks dad will happily pull the plug on the financial backing pretty quickly. Hopefully he can say "no" or party responsibly.

knelson
October 27th, 2007, 12:39 AM
I swam all four years as a walk-on at a Division I school. I loved it. Yeah, it took up a lot of time, but I'm pretty confident I would have wasted that time rather than studied had I not swum. Your typical college student is quite adept at wasting time. Oh yeah, I did graduate with high honors in what most would consider to be a tough major (mechanical engineering). A smart kid with a decent work ethic can handle swimming and studying. No question.

shark
October 29th, 2007, 09:49 AM
I would not trade my college swimming experience for anything. The experiences that I obtained from being on a team were second to none. Sure, the workouts were tough. Running, lifting, throwing med balls and shotputs, running around the natatorium in your suit in the snow trying to blast anyone with a snowball, especially coach, racing through the entire NCAA line-up to see if you could win a shirt, those kinds of things. Your teammates become your family. Your coach becomes, well, your coach for a time, and hopefully your friend for life. I would encourage anyone to compete as a member of any level of collegiate athletics. There is no other experience like it in the world. Of course it was difficult, but what isn't. I believe the effect on future employers is enhanced if you have competition listed on a resume. It can be more beneficial than a 4.0 on the grade card. It shows time management and the ability to adapt to long hours of hard work. A teammate of mine got a very good high paying job after telling a story of a very time consuming and mentally challenging workout. The employers wanted to hear about the hardest thing that he had ever accomplished. It wasn't an exam in some Econ class. It was a 5 1/2 hour swimming workout that crushed peoples minds. When you made it through, you knew you could do anything. College athletics is a way of life that allows for great opportunities after you move on to whatever you move on to. The people who can make it through and still have a 4.0, are genius'. There are a lot of distractions. A LOT. But what college doesn't have distractions. If my kids grow up and are good enough to compete at the collegiate level in anything, Div I, II, III, NAIA, or whatever, I will know that they have a built in support group 24/7, The Team. Sorry if I rambled. I'm on my second week of Jury Duty.

BabsVa
October 29th, 2007, 12:08 PM
Snicker. Did not swim in college. Went to art school. We had Ultimate Frisbee. That and potsmoking, those were our sports. ;-)

Hey, I hear you about swimming on the team in college. My kid's coaches swim on the university team and knowing how hard they work and what they miss out on (lots of stuff, ex. semester abroad) I would encourage my kids to not go out for swim team.

craiglll@yahoo.com
November 1st, 2007, 03:52 PM
I am the parent of a high school senior who wants to swim in college. He is good but not fast enough for Auburn, Cal, Stanford, etc. He might be a walkon for one of the not-so-fast Div 1 schools or perhaps some scholarship money to a Div II or Div III school.

Our guidance to him has been to choose the school for education first, and if swimming works, we'll support it. Earning 1/10 or 1/4 of a scholarship isn't particularly meaningful for the money unless he goes out of state or to a private school with much higher costs. My son is smart, a solid but not outstanding student, and has very good test scores. He seems to understand that a degree from Rice with no swimming will do him more good in life than a degree from a far lesser school that offers him a swimming scholarship. I think swimming would be good for him - especially early on in college. I'd rather he have a group to belong to that isn't a fraternity.

There are many small schools that have very good swim programs. And Remeber in most small schools between 80 & 95 % of the students receive some aid from the college. I went to knox in Galesburg, IL NO good swimming but a very good water polo team. Some of the other schools in the ACM are very competitive in swimming. I think Grinnell & Coe have good teams usually. There also schools that people know.

My big question is ,"How many people went to US News & World Reports top 100 undergrad schools & swam?"

hofffam
November 1st, 2007, 04:00 PM
There are many small schools that have very good swim programs. And Remeber in most small schools between 80 & 95 % of the students receive some aid from the college. I went to knox in Galesburg, IL NO good swimming but a very good water polo team. Some of the other schools in the ACM are very competitive in swimming. I think Grinnell & Coe have good teams usually. There also schools that people know.

My big question is ,"How many people went to US News & World Reports top 100 undergrad schools & swam?"

You make good points. The real issue is not the size of the school or which NCAA Division they are in. Most, but not all, of the smallers schools do not have good engineering or business programs. They tend to be liberal arts, which is not what we are looking for.

There are some very interesting schools, like UC-San Diego and Emory. Very strong swim teams, not Div-I, and strong academics.

The Fortress
November 1st, 2007, 04:01 PM
My big question is ,"How many people went to US News & World Reports top 100 undergrad schools & swam?"

I did, and previously said that it was difficult to balance both. However, several people on my team managed to swim 4 years with pre-med majors, so it can be done. You have to give up a conventional social life though.

Hofffam: I know a very smart kid happily swimming at Emory and doing very well in both endeavors.

quicksilver
November 1st, 2007, 06:18 PM
My big question is ,"How many people went to US News & World Reports top 100 undergrad schools & swam?"


I swam and played water polo at Fordham on a full scholarship. It was both a great experience and hard work.
We trained often...2x per day...and once on Saturdays. The tight schedule taught discipline and time management.

And yes there was big time drinking...but probably because the legal age to act stupid was only 18 back then.
The entire campus went into party mode from Thursday evenings until Sunday.

In all honestly the swimming kept many of us away from the pitfalls of too much extra-curricular activities. Having a coach to answer to kept us in line both personally and academically. Sure we had our share of fun, but the routine and responsibilities were a welcome thing. In no way did it compromise the educational experience.

rtodd
November 1st, 2007, 07:26 PM
Did open swimming after happy hour on Friday's (drinking age 18). Amazing the kind of dives you can do after a few beers!

Midas
November 1st, 2007, 08:11 PM
Swam 2 years for a Division III school with an up-and-coming swimming program. My father died during my freshman year and it really changed my whole perspective on things. I took some time off and also got badly out of shape--from which I never fully recovered. After 2 years I decided that I wasn't going to the Olympics (hah!) and even if I could train hard enough to be an NCAA Div III All American, there was more to life than swimming. I became very active in student government (which met during swim practice), I met my future wife, etc.

As we all know, elite level swimming is extremely time consuming (or at least it was 15 years ago when I was in college). There's so much to be experienced in college that it can almost be a shame to waste it all on one pursuit. To each his or her own, I suppose. I have no regrets for quitting swimming and I think it made me a MUCH more well-rounded person.

My advice would be for your son to go to the best school he can possibly get into, regardless of swimming. If he can't walk on and swim (or if they don't have a team), then he can always join a local masters or USS team. If he decides swimming isn't everything (and it's obviously not) he'll want to be in the best school possible, not just the best swimming school...

PS at my school many of the swimmers were in the same fraternity, and I know many schools where the teams were per se fraternities (if not actual fraternities). Unfortunately, there's going to be no way to avoid the drinking...

Good luck!

hmlee
November 1st, 2007, 08:16 PM
I am currently in my senior year in college and I was on the team here for a year, but it's Div 3, so I'm not really sure if anything I have to say about it would be useful to you... :)

hmlee
November 1st, 2007, 08:24 PM
Hoffam: Div 3 schools do not provide scholarship money for athletics. Not sure about d2, but if that's important your son should check it out with the individual schools....


I am the parent of a high school senior who wants to swim in college. He is good but not fast enough for Auburn, Cal, Stanford, etc. He might be a walkon for one of the not-so-fast Div 1 schools or perhaps some scholarship money to a Div II or Div III school.

Our guidance to him has been to choose the school for education first, and if swimming works, we'll support it. Earning 1/10 or 1/4 of a scholarship isn't particularly meaningful for the money unless he goes out of state or to a private school with much higher costs. My son is smart, a solid but not outstanding student, and has very good test scores. He seems to understand that a degree from Rice with no swimming will do him more good in life than a degree from a far lesser school that offers him a swimming scholarship. I think swimming would be good for him - especially early on in college. I'd rather he have a group to belong to that isn't a fraternity.

spudfin
November 1st, 2007, 08:27 PM
Wow! What great answers from both sides of the issue. Don't know where it will all end up for the lad but his Mom and I read all of your posts with great interest. I think the common thread is the focus on the classroom choices first and swimming second if at all. My son is very academic so I have great confidence in his ability to make academic choices. Just have know idea how he will incorporate swimming. It will be a great time for us to watch listen and learn while he sorts it all out. End of the day, it is nice to have choices in life . Thanks again for all of your insights. Great forum!
Regards
Spudfin

hmlee
November 1st, 2007, 08:28 PM
God, I really need to read these threads before replying. Three replies in a row is just sillyness.

Anyhoo, I'm at a US News top 10 undergrad and swam... not that that particular distinction matters at all :laugh2:


There are many small schools that have very good swim programs. And Remeber in most small schools between 80 & 95 % of the students receive some aid from the college. I went to knox in Galesburg, IL NO good swimming but a very good water polo team. Some of the other schools in the ACM are very competitive in swimming. I think Grinnell & Coe have good teams usually. There also schools that people know.

My big question is ,"How many people went to US News & World Reports top 100 undergrad schools & swam?"

allenhighnote
November 1st, 2007, 09:18 PM
Dear Spudfin,

You don't know how much that resonates with me. Swimming in college and the Olympics was my dream.

I was a promising age grouper back in the late 70's and early 80's. Team records, state records, etc.

I received two full swimming scholarships from two separate schools but was gently encouraged (manipulated) by my mother to stay at home because the family could not afford to send me "away" to school. That abruptly ended my career. Being the naive 18 year old, I did not see the shear stupidity of not being able to afford a full scholarship. On the other hand, my father made to much to qualify for financial aid.

My mother placed her needs above my needs, hopes, and dreams. Our relationship never recovered and now she's gone.

While I had great success in college and have been self employed for over 20 years, the decision to turn down those scholarships was the worst decision of my life and I will always regret it.

The same temptations exist on every campus. If your son has something he wants and has to work hard for it, isn't he less likely to get into trouble? If he's denied what he loves, won't he be more likely to get into trouble?

It will be a lot of hard work. It is supposed to be! It's training for life. Swimming gave me more than I can ever repay! The coach really sets the tone!!

I feel that it is far better to strive for your own goals and fail, than to strive for someone else's goals and succeed. I was a successful IT consultant for over 20 years and recently quit to go back to coaching and swimming.

I would trade everything except my partner to go back and do it again!

Best wishes to you and yours,

Allen

Maui Mike
November 1st, 2007, 10:58 PM
"There are some very interesting schools, like UC-San Diego and Emory. Very strong swim teams, not Div-I, and strong academics.[/quote]"

I was the first water polo and swimming coach at UCSD back when they were just getting started, ('67 - '68). It was pretty low key, didn't even have water polo goals! Because we we so short handed, and the fact that the academic competition was particularly fierce, I was allowed to use graduate students in our water polo games, didn't matter much, we still got creamed every game. An interesting sidenote was that after the away games we'd stop for dinner and the grad students would go into the bar for a pitcher. You had to be 21 back then to drink alcohol and none of the undergrads were old enough. The funny thing was that I was only 20 myself. But never got carded!
Had one guy who made the NAIA National finals, 100 breast. He transferred to Cal Berkely and I went to coach for a couple years at San Diego State, where academics didn't interfere with sports.

Michael Heather
November 2nd, 2007, 08:56 AM
I swam at a college rated in the top three by Playboy Magazine as a party school (Arizona State University). Fortunately, I did not know of that rating until after I was already in classes.

The school also had some serious academic credentials, as well as very good law , business and engineering colleges.

I never regretted going to school and swimming at the same time. In fact, I believe tht the rigors of sport training force the young students to better manage their time, making the whole experience more rewarding.

Alan, I am very sorry to hear your story. Until my coach had a serious talk with my parents, I was very nearly in your shoes.

craiglll@yahoo.com
November 2nd, 2007, 04:13 PM
Both of the colleges I went to undergrad I swam. they are both int he US News & World Reports top 100. The first was a terrible time. I hated every minute I was there. The second was great. Don't discount what is available at small schools. Many have really opened up what majors they offer. When I was at Knox, one of the business profs wrote a book used at both Harvard, UCLA and many other universities around the country. It was one of the first very small schools to offer a computer divisionin in its math departmetn major. Besides it is located in the center of the universe. How mamy places in the world can clain the invention of the Ferriswheel, the only standing building that held a Lincoln Douglas Debate (you can actually sit inthe chair Abe Lincoln sat in during the debate), and Flunk Day!

Also, now I work at a large state university that is supposedly known for it Engineering Dept. Most of the classes are huge and taught by TAs. Why woudl you want that? Moxt of the students who have part-time jobs under me complain constantly about how boring their large classes are.

knelson
November 2nd, 2007, 04:31 PM
Also, now I work at a large state university that is supposedly known for it Engineering Dept. Most of the classes are huge and taught by TAs. Why woudl you want that? Moxt of the students who have part-time jobs under me complain constantly about how boring their large classes are.

I went to a similar school and I think this is not the true case at all. Yeah, there are some huge classes, but these are generally 100 level courses such as math and chemistry. Once you get into the classes specifically to your major the classes aren't typically that large.

runner girl
November 2nd, 2007, 08:13 PM
My big question is ,"How many people went to US News & World Reports top 100 undergrad schools & swam?"

I went to MIT and swam. Yes, they even had a women's team way back in the early 80's when the school was only about 25% women. The men's and women's teams swam together, we had lots of fun and were a team, but ultimately we were all there for the education. Our coach was totally supportive of our class schedule. It's kind of ironic that he was the best coach I ever had, and yet he was coaching a team of nerds.