Deciding on an Investment in Recruiting Publicity

With 7% of high school athletes making it to the NCAA level, athletes and their parents can use all the help they can get. Recruiting publicity services are athletic profile websites available for free or for a fee. But how do you know which one will best serve you?

Is there an advantage in paying for a publicity service? 

Per the NCAA, a recruiting/scouting service is "any individual, organization, entity or segment of an entity that is primarily involved in providing information about prospective student-athletes." We call these "recruiting publicity services," given that is their product.

While some paid recruiting services are smaller and sport specific, others are huge companies. There plenty of options with varying degrees of value depending on the athlete. That said, the fact is most qualified athletes can find a spot on a college roster without a recruiting publicity service.

Sparks Consulting is not a recruiting service; we do not contact college coaches with your information. As former college coaches, we know publicity services serve as a second-tier resource. 

Students who take the initiative to contact coaches directly are almost always more successful in the process. This is particularly true with selective universities. We live in a world where much occurs with the click of a smart phone. College coaches want to know whether recruits are mature enough to take the initiative and have the ability to invest in the process.

About Recruiting Publicity Services

Sports fall into two categories in their primary mode of talent identification: objective and subjective.

(Swimming (not Diving) as you likely already know - is objectively evaluated) 

When talent is identified objectively, (metrics like speed, etc.) athletes do not require publicity services. Sports that identify athletes subjectively may benefit from added exposure provided by recruiting services.

Time is the essential factor in college swimming.

Check the college team's website to see what times their swimmers are posting at meets to best inform their level of competition. That said,'s resources are excellent as well.

American college swimming is conducted in yards and colleges prefer yard to meter times in the recruiting process. In general, recruiting standards can be measured in short course yards (SCY), long course meter (LCM) and short course meter (SCM).

The primary recruiting model for swimming is objective.

Swimmers do not need recruiting services. contains everything you need and makes other sites redundant. Regardless, we break down a few resources for you below.

Divers are a different story given the subjective nature of the sport. That said, students do better contacting coaches that relying on a service.

Swimming college counseling services also exist. We are amongst them.

We provide college counseling for athletes seeking admission at selective universities. Our clients succeed in the recruiting process while going beyond it to find the best college fit for the rest of their lives.

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