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From a Swimming Parent
"In my opinion, the better the swimmer is the more she needs your services. Parents do not realize the meat market the kids are in and that not all programs are the same. It is not realistic to expect a teenaged adult to make decisions about training style, academic load, and the real personality of the school/team based on the recruiting trip alone. The higher the caliber of swimmer, the greater the temptation for a program to spin the truth. We found your advice very helpful in narrowing the search to the schools that had the best potential fit. Thanks again."
Ron Maxwell, swim parent, Arizona
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Swimming American College Connection: Swimming

The great sport of competitive swimming is ACC's signature sport.

American College Connection began in 2001 with the idea of providing a personalized approach to recruiting for the student-athletes and their parents. We vowed to never allow our company to become a recruiting factory with an assembly-line approach. We have developed a recruiting education company with the emphasis on the STUDENT in student-athlete with our main goal of helping the kids find the best fit academically then athletically.

Getting recruited and selecting a college is one of the most important times in a young person's life and yet parents and swimmers will admit that they know very little about the process. A quote from Rick Paine, founder, "I believed in my heart that if we developed a company that genuinely cared about the kids, the parents and the college coaches we would have something we could all be proud of."

Before we accept a family into our program the student-athlete must go through an extensive qualification process designed to ensure that the kids can swim in college and will be academically successful. Because of this personal approach we unfortunately have to limit the number of families that we can work with at any given time.

From Rick Paine, "It is difficult to get a call from a desperate senior who is not being recruited and yet has the times and grades to swim in college and we have to tell them that we are full and don't have any openings. Parents, don't wait until the last minute to get some help. Submit a Free Profile Assessment for your swimmer before it is too late."

Our personalized recruiting education program consists of:

Exposure to hundreds of college coaches:

As former college and Olympic coaches we are able to get the college coaches to stop and look at the student-athletes that we send to them. We supply a detailed recommendation and generally "paint a picture" of what type of person they are, what type of student they are and what type of athlete they are and most importantly, their potential. We also obtain a detailed assessment from the student-athlete's coach.

Continuous updates to the college coaches:

One of the main reasons why our program is so successful is our continuous and unlimited updates that we provide to the college coaches on the student-athlete. This not only keeps them in front of the college coaches on a regular basis; it allows the coaches to get to know the student-athlete and follow their progression.

State of the art video:

Parents supply us with video per our instructions. They send us the raw footage and our video editors edit and highlight the student-athlete as well as create a portion of each video in slow motion for the coaches to better analyze. We then deliver this video to the college coaches and point out student-athlete's strengths.

Recruiting education program:

We educate the student-athlete and their parents on how the recruiting process works and how to "play the recruiting game." We provide guidance with all aspects of the recruiting process such as teaching the student-athlete how to talk on the phone to college coaches, making sure the parents know all of the questions to ask in order to find the right fit for school and athletics, how to negotiate for scholarships, up to date NCAA recruiting rules and finding a coach who supports their international goals.

Student-athletes and parents must promise to use our program and contact us with any questions they have.

ACT online prep class:

The ACT or SAT test is a requirement for attending a US college. We provide a 7 session online class designed to help the student-athlete prepare for the test as well as test taking tips to better understand how to take the test. They will have unlimited access to the class.

Life-Skills program:

Our Life-Skill program is designed to help the student-athlete understand and prepare for life as a college student-athlete. We provide advice on everything from nutrition, communication skills and how to manage finances.

Duration of our program:

We stay with the student-athlete and their parents until the student-athlete finishes college. If at anytime they are unhappy with their current college we will guide them through the transfer process and help them find another school. For a student-athlete who starts with us in grade 10, we will be with them and their parents for a total of 8 years.

Success rate for swimming: Although we are prohibited by NCAA rules from guaranteeing a scholarship; we have had great success in helping families afford a college education. Since we started working with student-athletes at the beginning of 2001, 93% of our swimmers are on scholarships averaging approximately $60,000.

Common Myths about College Recruiting:

  1. If I'm fast enough my grades won't matter.
    College coaches cannot afford to take a chance on a swimmer no matter how fast they are if they can't stay academically eligible. That's a fact!
  2. Coaches will find me.
    Recruiting budgets are continually being cut so most coaches don't have a way to find potential recruits. They have scholarship money, but they don't have enough recruiting money to find recruits.
  3. I can wait until after my junior year to get the recruiting process started.
    All of the good coaches like to identify talent at an early age. The problem they face is how to keep up the with swimmer's progress. The key is to get on the "radar screen" early and keep the coaches updated throughout high school.
  4. I received a blank questionnaire in the mail so that means that I am being recruited.
    Many coaches do a "shotgun" approach by mailing out thousands of questionnaires to recruits they have never even heard of.
  5. If I send out my resume' coaches will start recruiting me.
    The typical college coach receives dozens of recruiting packets from well meaning swimmers and parents every week. The fact is most of the information never gets looked at and sits in a pile on the coaches desk.
  6. Nobody has contacted me so I am not good enough to swim in college.
    There are hundreds of college swimming programs around the country searching for student-athletes that they can develop. The latest we started with a recruit was a month after she graduated from high school and she was barely under a minute in the 100 yard free. After we were done, she was recruited by 29 college coaches and is currently on a swimming scholarship at a four year school
  7. D-I is the only place to swim.
    This is a huge misconception. There are many D-II, D-III and NAIA schools that offer great academics and much stronger swimming programs than many D-I schools.

Consider The Following Numbers:
  Girls Boys
Number of students between the ages of 14 and 18 who swim 159,000* 108,000*
Number of graduating high school seniors each year. 40,000 27,000
Approximate number of swimming scholarships available each year at Division I and II programs. 558 373
Your chances of getting a full scholarship. 1 in 71 1 in 72

How are you going to improve your chances?

Director of Swimming

Rick Paine

Rick is the co-founder and president of American College Connection and also holds the title of Director of Swimming. He has coached club swimming for 28 years and has served as an Associate Head Coach and Recruiting Coordinator for 17 years at a major Division I university. He most recently served as one of the Olympic Head Coaches for the Austrian Olympic Team in 2000.

Coach Paine has coached:

31 NCAA All-Americans
9   Olympians
4   U.S. National Team members

Donny Brush

Donny Brush is a professional swimming coach with over 20 years of diversified collegiate, age group, and high school coaching experience. He is energetic and a motivational leader, with a proven record of program development and designing strategies and techniques that accelerate individual achievement. As a Terre Haute native, Donny graduated with a bachelor's degree in physical education from Indiana State in 2001 and also received his master's in athlete development from Indiana State. Donny is coming to us after nine successful years at Indiana University as Associate Head Coach for men's and women's swimming and coordinator of off campus recruiting..

  • Over 100 NCAA All Americans
  • 10 USA National Team Members
  • 6 Olympians
  • 4 American Record Holders
  • 3 Individual NCAA Champions
  • 1 World Record Holder

Paul Stearns

Paul comes to American College Connection having been through the recruiting process from every angle.  He  was a recruited swimmer out of  high school,   a head swim coach at the Club,  High School  and Division 1 College levels  and, most recently, used American College Connection for his D1 college-bound daughter.   This complete college recruiting experience allows Paul a unique perspective of how recruiting works at all levels and how important it is for the student-athlete and their parents to create and take advantage of the options available when finding the right college fit.

*According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, 2001

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