In a small pond, sometimes it helps to make a big splash
With just 122 colleges or universities sponsoring water polo, and roughly 70% of those schools located in California, it’s not exactly a high-profile sport for recruiting. Further, as an equivalency sport with scholarships available only in the NCAA Division I and II levels, full scholarships are rare. Finally, about 75% of high school water polo athletes live in California, so it may be even harder to get recruited if you live elsewhere. But, if you want to get recruited to play water polo at the collegiate level, and hopefully earn a scholarship to do so, there are a few things you can do to help:
Participate In Club Water Polo
While a high school water polo program can serve as a solid base, the majority of players who want to play in college also need to compete at the club level in the off-season, as well. Playing on a club team will help you gain extra experience against higher-level competition while you expand and develop your skillset even further. Plus, playing club-level water polo will put you in front of more college coaches and raise your recruiting profile. Remember that water polo is essentially a regional sport so, if you don’t live in a traditional hotbed of the sport, playing on a club team that travels to tournaments in those areas is an ideal way to get noticed by college coaches.
Go To Water Polo Camps
Water polo camps can not only help you improve your game to make you a better player, but they can also provide more exposure to the college coaches who often operate them or make appearances during sessions. When considering water polo camps, remember to honestly assess your skills to help choose the camp that will offer the most benefit and to research each camp to ensure it will suit your needs and your family’s budget.
Assemble An Online Recruiting Profile
As a comparably smaller sport, most college water polo programs lack huge recruiting budgets. That means, if you’re not already on a college coach’s recruiting radar, it’s up to you to get yourself noticed. And the first step in doing that is to put together an online recruiting profile.
Remember to include your name, position, graduation year, high school, experience level, your swim times(50 and 100 free), GPA, test scores, physical statistics, your contact information, and that of your high school and club coaches. Make sure you have it online on a clean, simple web page that’s easily accessible and tells a coach everything you have to offer. Then…
Assemble A Recruiting or Highlight Video
If you’re not in a traditional water polo hotbed, your recruiting or highlight video could have the largest impact on your recruiting opportunities. Again, most college water polo recruiting budgets are limited and a highlight video may be the only way you get noticed by coaches. Make it count!
Make sure that your recruiting video highlights your skills for your position, but include footage of your dryland drills and exercises too. Use stable, good-quality video clips, keep it simple, and keep it short – as in three minutes or less. Finally, include your basic information, such as your name, school, graduation year, and contact information at the beginning and end of the video. Then, post it to YouTube, embed it on your profile page, and…
Reach Out To Coaches
Do your research and assemble a list of target schools where you might fit, athletically and academically. Then, armed with an online recruiting profile and highlight video, reach out to coaches via email and introduce yourself. Remember you can start as early as your 8th or 9th-grade year, but a coach can’t get in contact with you until June 15th after your sophomore year.
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