August 24, 2009

Got another great e-mail from a recruit.  He expresses some of the same sentiments that a lot of guys have so I thought I'd share it along with my response:
My summer is already over and I am back to the grind of AP classes. Swimming starts next Tuesday.  I am still weighing my options for college, really trying to figure out what is best for me, should I try for Division I, II or III??  There are pro's and con's to all. It's pretty overwhelming. Please keep me in the loop with Carthage.
He's right - there are pro's and con's to each Division. I've coached at Division I and III, but think the differences aren't always as big as people think.  In reality teams are spread across a spectrum that one  coach I respect explained as "Competition-Based" and "Participation-Based".

In Division I, there are "Competition-Based" programs like Auburn, Stanford, or Purdue.  At the same time, there are also "Participation-Based" based teams.  You won't find me naming them, but you also won't find them at the NCAA Championships.

Division III also has "Participation-Based" teams like Buena Vista College (where I went) and highly-competitive Division III teams like Carthage.  Trust me, you never saw Buena Vista scheduling the likes of Purdue, Northwestern or Arizona State the way we have this year.

The key isn't what Division is right for you - its what environment is right for you?  Am I as competitive as team is (and vice versa)?  Does the school have the academic resources you need?  If you can answer yes, then the process doesn't have to be so overwhelming.



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