If you love Synchro and want to swim in college but there is no program on your campus, here are some steps to get you started!
- Research former programs. Possibly reactivate old programs.
- Call the athletic department. Set up a meeting with the Athletic Director, Senior Women's Administrator or appropriate individual.
- Contact the Club Sports Coordinator. You might need to be recognized as a club sport first, before varsity consideration.
- Find out administrative procedures.
- Publicize it on campus, with the help of the athletic department or club sports coordinator.
- Hold an interest meeting for students.
- Encourage all levels of swimmers!
- Find a Synchro Mentor. They could assist in coaching, faculty representative or have experience starting a club.
- Research pool facilities and their current use.
- Get to know the aquatics staff! They could be great resources.
Prepare to Make Your Case…
- Contact local synchro age groups or clubs.
- Ask Synchro Swimming USA to assist you in your efforts.
- The Education Director has available resources to help promote collegiate synchronized swimming. This National Office staff member will help guide you through the process.
- Talk with former swimmers and coaches.
- Contact and be familiar with the local sport organizing committees, sports commission, recreation and city park departments.
With the help of on and off campus connections, spend some time preparing your plan of action. Be ready to complete forms, meet deadlines and associate with higher education administration. Stay positive and convinced that you will succeed.
Prepare a Packet of Materials to present why you should be granted varsity/club status.
Be Aware of Deadlines
- Provide others with background and history information of synchronized swimming, participation at the collegiate level and success of collegiate athletes at international levels.
- Budget Forecast. (1 year, 3 years and 5 years)
- (The National Office can provide Budget Forecast)
- Set goals for the future! (1, 3, 5 and 10 year goals)
- Provide documentation for the interest of synchro on campus and in the local area.
Prepare your Plan
- Meet the deadlines.
- Start early.
- Be aware of stated and implied deadlines.
- Develop a calendar of important meetings and dates.
- Have a contact on campus to help explain important details.
Present your Plan
- Overview and history of synchro.
- Collegiate program overview.
- Number of schools involved in synchro
- Number of athletes on a team
- Facilities needed
- Detail the positive impact of the sport on the school and community.
Follow up with administrators.
- Prepare your professional presentation.
- Dress professionally.
- Bring you're on and off campus resource contacts. (They can help answer questions and support your purpose.)
- Show the Synchro Swimming USA Collegiate video.
- Follow up and Decisions
Other Tips to Continue Your Efforts
- Be prepared to wait for a decision.
- Evaluate your plan of attack.
- Contact the Education Director.
- If you don't get approval the first time, keep trying. Evaluate how to make your proposal better and to build interest on and off campus. Inquire what deficiencies exist and find solutions.
You Get Approval!
- Keep contact with on and off campus resources.
- Find other contacts to review your efforts.
- Publicize your program.
- Recruit on-campus interest in the sport.
- Contact Synchro Swimming USA.
- Market your efforts.
You've gotten approval to begin your club/varsity program. Where do you start?
Recruit Your Team
- Schedule practice times. This is always a challenge. Being the new kid on the block might come with unfavorable times. In time, your practice time slots at the pool should improve.
- Strive for better practice times. Be pleasant and cooperative.
- Request additional time and facilities for the gym, weight room and dance studio for land drill and stretching.
- Get to know the aquatics director and lifeguards, they could be great allies.
- Be creative.
- Start with a general interest meeting.
- Develop recruitment materials. Have materials available to mail and hand out to interested people.
- Link to the Synchro Swimming USA website.
- Place a notice on the Synchro Swimming USA, College Forum website: USASynchro.org
- Supply the Admissions office with copies of recruitment materials.
- Represent Synchro at booths or tables at freshman nights, club fairs, or college nights.
- Forward collegiate materials to Synchro Swimming USA for distribution at national meets.
Your funding may be limited in your first year. Here are some ideas to raise some funds on your own.
Other Synchro Specific Ideas on Fundraising
- Check to see how financial contributions can be made to your club on campus.
- Each campus is different.
- Research your opportunities on campus.
- Apply for grants:
- Through your school - Synchro Swimming USA
- Women's Sports Foundation - Local agencies, clubs, associations, etc.
- Search for online applications.
- Develop a sponsorship level program and booster club.
- Contact local clubs and associations.
- Contact alumni.
- Begin a direct mail fundraising campaign.
- Contact your institution's grant office for assistance.
Synchro Swimming USA
- Organize a Synchrothon
- Host meets
- Have a synchro show
- Let local area resorts and convention hotels know your swimmers are available to host a show and participate in parties or fashion shows.
- Obtain the Synchro Swimming USA Club Marketing Kit.
Remember to abide by NCAA guidelines. Log on to NCAA.org to review NCAA guidelines or contact USSS for assistance.
- Register your club with Synchro Swimming USA.
- Register your individual swimmers with Synchro Swimming USA.
- Coordinate your schedule with other teams to compete.
- Coaching contacts are available through the National Office.
- Contact the Emerging Programs Director for assistance.
- Get to know the rules for Synchro Swimming USA and NCAA.
Continue to build your relationship with the Athletic Director, Admissions Department personnel, Registrar, International Relations and Financial Planning. Maintain a contact sheet with phone numbers and email addresses.
Check out the Synchro Swimming USA Club Marketing Kit online: USASynchro.org for samples, guidelines, advice, etc.
Publicize the results and news about the team throughout campus.
Contact the Sports Information or Public Relations Department for assistance on news releases or general media coverage.
Send in your news to Synchro Swimming USA. Remember, anything can be news.
- New Club/Team
- Synchro Members
- First Competition
- First Win
- Continue to build support on and off campus
- Be sure to keep others involved
The National Office has a packet of materials, which includes Public Relations information, a short collegiate video, budget projections, and other supporting information for you to present.