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Swim Camp

Summer swim camp offers your college-bound son or daughter opportunities to improve as a competitive swimmer. The experience and training provided by a top swimming camp improves an athlete's odds of winning a coveted spot on one of the nation's university teams. With fewer than 1,000 men's and women's programs in the U.S., your child needs this kind of edge to become a college swimmer.

How do swim camps work?

Although many types of summer swimming programs are available, including day camps and sleep away programs, most offer the following basics:

  • Individual coaching time
  • Strength and flexibility training
  • Focused technique work
  • Starts and turns practice
  • Competition strategies
  • Mental development and preparation
  • Fun activities
  • Nutrition

What makes the best swim programs?

Depending upon the set up and duration of the swim camp session, participants will follow a daily schedule consisting of meals, training, talks and fun activities. The best swim camps offer a balanced of elite-level training and a fun, interactive environment that keeps campers engaged and mentally focused.

Great coaches with a real interest in your child's success have the power to inspire each participant to improve and excel. A supportive camp staff is critical to a welcoming and positive camp environment. Comfortable lodgings and good food are also important aspects of the best programs.

Are camps for swim training expensive?

There are plenty of options in swimming camps, so you should be able to find one that suits your budget. Naturally, boarding camps cost more because they provide all meals plus nightly accommodations. Also, top camps with the most respected coaches can charge more per camper than those that are not as high profile.

In general, college swimming camps such as Adidas swimming programs are well worth the cost if they help your child win a college swimming scholarship. NCAA camps, for example, start at approximately $400 for a day camp session and just over $600 for a five-day overnight session.

Stanford swim camp for ages nine through 17 costs approximately $1,100 per five-day session. Elite training camps for prospective college swimmers range higher, with some topping out at over $2,000 per session.

Find the best swim camp with help from NCSA

Is there a swim camp near me?

With high-level summer swimming camps in 40 states plus Canada, you probably do have at least one program within driving distance. However, if you and your child are looking for an elite camp, you may have to travel.

For example, Texas A & M swim camp is located on the College Station, Texas, campus. If you opt to attend a Nike swim camp or Adidas swimming program, your choices are more wide-ranging, with locations ranging from Seattle to Pennsylvania.

Where do I find swimming camps near me?

Get a list of swim camps for future swimming recruits online to find programs that are available locally using a search phrase such as "swim camps near me." A reputable athletics recruiting platform has information on programs geared toward your child's strengths and weaknesses.

What are the major swim camps in the U.S.?

Swimming World has compiled a list of its top 25 picks for 2019 swim camps in the U.S. It includes such elite programs as the Army West Point swimming camp, Navy swimming camps and Texas A & M swim camp.

The Nike swim camp is also designed for advanced to elite athletes. Nike swimming programs take place in 26 of the 50 states, so you may find one nearby.

You can look up summer swimming programs in your region by checking a state by state camp list or using the search phrase, "swimming camps near me" with your zip code. If you are not sure which options are major programs for future college athletes, contact them to find out.\

What are the main differences between various swimming camps?

Like most seasonal programs, swimming camps come in different formats based on:

  • The season such as winter or summer
  • Daytime only or overnight
  • Age groups such as early or late teens
  • All strokes or a single stroke emphasis
  • Swimming ability such as advanced or elite

Seasonal swimming camps

Summer swimming camps are the most common because kids and coaches are on a school break, so they have the time to focus on their sport. Most of the winter swim camps take place in warmer locations such as Barbados, Bermuda, Arizona, California and Florida.

Nike Swimming offers Peak Performance Winter Swim Camps in Orlando, Bermuda, Barbados and several Southern California locations. These programs are scheduled during the holiday break.

Discover the best swim camp with help from NCSA

Day camp or overnight?

One advantage of overnight swim programs is that your child joins a close-knit group of elite athletes. Participants often make lasting friendships and form social networks that will see them through college swimming and beyond.

Day camps for swimmers, on the other hand, are likely to be less expensive because their overhead is lower than overnight camps. Also, parents of younger children prefer to have them home at night.

An experience tailored to you

To get the most from the swimming camp experience, select a program that is geared toward your child's age group, ability level and skills. Youth-centric programs, such as the Palo Alto Swim and Sport Camp, accept campers between five and 12 years old. They emphasize conditioning and proper stroke techniques.

Teen swim camps like the Nike Performance programs focus on participants ages seven through 17. Because of the wide age range, these camps offer a holistic program with something for everybody, and then group campers according to ability for pool workouts.

Camps catering to high school students feature a more intensive schedule, individual coaching opportunities and stroke refinements for competitive swimmers. A low camper-to-coach ratio at many of these programs ensures your child will get individual attention.

College elite swimming camp, such as the Stanford Swim Camp, aims to hone stroke technique, improve starts and turns, and fine-tune the other skills that combine to make your child more competitive. You should expect to see some former Olympic athletes and some elite swim coaches at the helm of an elite college swim camp.

Read more on the best swim camp with help from NCSA

What other types of programs are available to swimming recruits?

Some of the other swimming events that help bring your child together with college coaches and scouts include combines, tournaments and showcases. Combines are events that give participants the chance to test their abilities and skills against peers to see how they stack up in terms of times, strength and technical skills.

Tournaments bring competitive swimmers together, pitting them against one another so each has the opportunity to show off their skills. A showcase is an event that combines various drills and actual races. It gives swimming recruiting staff the chance to evaluate team prospects both on their own merits and in comparison to others.

What about advanced programs?

If you are looking for a specialized camp with an intense focus on shaving down race times, improving flexibility to heighten performance and technology-assisted strategies, look into a program like the Somax Institute's Advanced Swim Camp. Such advanced programs aim to help elite athletes fine-tune to reach even higher levels of success in the water so that they fare better at swimming recruiting time.

How do I get invited to attend swim camps near me?

If you and your swimmer have your sights set on college swimming, it is important to get noticed sooner rather than later. In many cases, recruiters are looking at middle school students and high school freshmen as prospects for their university swim teams.

Although most swim camps accept a wide range of athletes, the top-level camps are often by invitation only. By creating a profile with a national recruiting network like NCSA, you can help your swimmer post the information online that coaches and recruiters are looking for.

Race results, times, swimming videos and third-party evaluations within that profile provide your swimmer with a competitive edge. A strong and complete portfolio shows coaches and recruiters that the athlete is serious about swimming.

What are the top college swim teams in the U.S.?

In terms of competitive level, NCAA Division 1 schools account for approximately 30 percent of all colleges with swim programs. Many Division 1 teams head the top college swim teams list. Below are some of the top-ranked men's swim programs:

  1. Stanford University, Southern California
  2. Duke University, North Carolina
  3. Harvard University, Massachusetts
  4. University of Notre Dame, Indiana
  5. Princeton University, New Jersey

The top five women's college swim teams include:

  1. Stanford University
  2. Duke University
  3. Harvard University
  4. Columbia University, New York
  5. Princeton University

What are some tips for talking to coaches?

It is perfectly okay for your athlete to reach out to swimming coaches at the colleges he or she is interested in attending. Email, text, a phone call or even a post on the coach's social media page are all good ways to get in touch.

Also, by attending a summer swimming program where a college coach is in charge, your swimmer stands a better chance of making a lasting impression. This lays the groundwork for a future recruiting call.

Learn about the best swim camp with help from NCSA

When prospective college swimmers prepare to contact college swim coaches, they should have a portfolio, which includes:

  • Race stats
  • A video showing them at their best
  • Academic information and pre-college test scores
  • Press photos/features about them, if available
  • Contact information for their parents, coaches, trainers
  • Upcoming high school swim season schedule

Your athlete's NCSA portfolio or other recruiting profile are ideal to present to the coaches you contact.

What are swimming recruiters looking for?

Top-drawer athletic recruiters are looking for speed in the pool and a strong academic record in their choice college candidates. They also consider your swimmer's other extracurricular activities that reflect character and responsibility. Primarily, recruiters are looking for the best swimmers and above-average scholars who are active in their communities.

What does it take to get a college swim scholarship?

Even top athletes need to be organized and methodical to achieve the excellence and the notoriety necessary to get a college swim scholarship offer. Your swimmer can catch the eye of college recruiters and coaches by excelling at the sport, attending camps, tournaments and events where these types of people are present, and creating a complete online portfolio on a major college athletics recruitment website.

NCSA is a leading college athletics recruitment platform where your elite swimmer can springboard into the competitive arena of top-level NCAA swimming. Coaches search our athlete profiles to find the ideal candidates to fill openings on their teams.

NCSA overview

Since 2000, NCSA has led the college athletic recruiting community with technological innovation that enhances the odds of coaches and athletes coming together to form strong, successful and competitive teams. Over the years, we have taken the lead in tech advances such as its online recruit match platform, which coaches and competitive swimmers rely upon to make connections worldwide.

Additionally, we have worked diligently to broaden our relationship of trust with a rapidly growing group of top-level coaches. They depend upon our platform to provide reliable information on exceptional middle school and high school swimmers. Our recruiting network boasts more than 35,000 coaches looking for athletes like yours.

More than 800,000 of the athletes who use NSCA services are being followed by college coaches. The coaches receive automatic updates whenever you add information to your profile.

Create a free profile with NCSA today and your swimmer will have a head start on the road to college athletics. For further information, give us a call at 866-495-5172 and speak with one of our recruitment specialists.

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