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Welcome to the FM College Pipeline!

This program will help you and your swimmer navigate through their college decision-making process.   The FM College Pipeline offers a systematic approach to helping your swimmer identify the colleges / universities that meet their academic, athletic and personal needs.   Additionally, the FM College Pipeline will help your swimmer create a strong plan to prepare their swimming times and academic records to meet the requirements of those schools in order to achieve their ultimate goals.

The stronger your swimmer's plan, the more successful they will be at gauging their options.  It’s crucial to have a clear idea of each school’s academic and athletic requirements and to understand what will be expected of them as a student-athlete once they are admitted.  Early preparation will focus your search and eliminate last minute surprises later on in the process.

Going thorough the college search process may seem intimidating, but the research process can be interesting and fun.   Remember that you are looking for a college / university to fit your swimmer as a student, an athlete and a person.   Although you and your swimmer’s thoughts may change from 8th grade to 12th grade, having the swimmer know themselves and what makes them happy is crucial to choosing the right school for them.

Follow the pipeline below to keep your swimmer on track as they progress from 8th through 12th grades.  You can navigate yourself through this pipeline, or FM offers packages providing personal assistance to guide you and your swimmer through the process.  For more information call our office at (800) 266 – 5179.

Below you will see a listing of all the items you have coming up in your pipeline.  If you are unfamiliar with something check the Glossary of Terms below.

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TimeTitleCategoryStatus
0a8th Grade Fall / WinterTest Item1Academic
Incomplete
0b8th Grade Fall / WinterTest Item2Academic
Incomplete
0b8th Grade Fall / WinterTest Item3Academic
Incomplete
1a8th Grade Fall / WinterResearch Colleges Based on NeedsAcademic
Incomplete
1b8th Grade Fall / WinterResearch HS Academic RequirementsAcademic
Incomplete
1c8th Grade Fall / WinterSolidify Swimming TechniqueAthletic
Incomplete
1d8th Grade Winter / SpringResearch College Swim ProgramsAthletic
Incomplete
1e8th Grade Winter / SpringSolidify Cornerstones of Athletic PerformanceAthletic
Incomplete
1f8th Grade SpringPlan HS classesAcademic
Incomplete
1g9th Grade Summer PriorSelect Your Primary Stroke and EventsAthletic
Incomplete
2a9th Grade FallSolidify Your HS Academic PlanAcademic
Incomplete
2b9th Grade FallDo Extracurricular and Volunteer ActivitiesOther
Incomplete
2c9th Grade FallGeneral NCAA InfoNCAA
Incomplete
2d9th Grade FallStrengthen Cornerstones of Athletic PerformanceAthletic
Incomplete
2e9th Grade February / MarchCheck taper meet resultsAthletic
Incomplete
2f9th Grade JuneCheck and adjust your planAll
Incomplete
2g10th Grade FallGeneral NCAA InfoNCAA
Incomplete
3a10th Grade SeptemberRegister with NCAA ECAthletic
Incomplete
3b10th Grade FallFill Out Swimming QuestionnairesAthletic
Incomplete
3c10th Grade Fall - SpringStrengthen Cornerstones of Athletic PerformanceAthletic
Incomplete
3d10th Grade WinterExplore potential academic majorsAcademic
Incomplete
3g10th Grade WinterFollow schools and teams on social mediaAthletic
Incomplete
3h10th Grade February / MarchCheck taper meet resultsAthletic
Incomplete
3i10th Grade MarchSend Updated TimesAthletic
Incomplete
3j10th Grade JuneCheck and adjust your planAll
Incomplete
3k10th Grade May / JuneRequest HS send your transcriptAll
Incomplete
3l10th Grade Jun 15thSummer NCAA InfoNCAA
Incomplete
3m11th Grade Summer PriorDecide When to Take Standardized TestsAcademic
Incomplete
4a11th Grade Summer PriorSend Updated TimesAthletic
Incomplete
4b11th Grade Sept 1stGeneral NCAA InfoNCAA
Incomplete
4c11th Grade SeptemberTalk with HS Guidance CouncilorAcademic
Incomplete
4d11th Grade Fall / Winter / SpringTake Standardized TestsAcademic
Incomplete
4e11th Grade Fall - SpringFM Recommends: Third CoursesAthletic
Incomplete
4f11th Grade Fall / Winter / SpringSchedule and make unofficial visits Academic / Athletic
Incomplete
4g11th Grade DecemberSend Times from End of SeasonAthletic
Incomplete
4h11th Grade Fall / Winter / SpringShadow MentorsOther
Incomplete
4i11th Grade Fall / Winter / SpringResearch Graduating Swimmers Athletic
Incomplete
4j11th Grade Jan 1stWinter NCAA InfoNCAA
Incomplete
4k11th Grade MarchSend Times from End of SpringAthletic
Incomplete
4l11th Grade JuneCheck and adjust your planAll
Incomplete
4m11th Grade MaySchedule Remaining HS coursesAcademic
Incomplete
4n11th Grade MayLetters of RecommendationAcademic
Incomplete
4o11th Grade May / JuneRequest HS send your updated transcriptAll
Incomplete
4p11th Grade JuneRe-check and adjust your planAll
Incomplete
4q11th Grade JuneNarrow down your list All
Incomplete
4r11th Grade JuneRank schools and explore admission optionsAcademic / Athletic
Incomplete
4s12th Grade Jul 1stGeneral NCAA InfoNCAA
Incomplete
5a12th Grade Summer PriorSend Updated TimesAthletic
Incomplete
5b12th Grade AugustAugust NCAA InfoNCAA
Incomplete
5c12th Grade August and afterSet up Official visits with CoachesAthletic
Incomplete
5d12th Grade Fall - SpringContinue to strengthen your primary stroke and eventsAthletic
Incomplete
5e12th Grade SeptemberMeet with HS Guidance OfficeAcademic
Incomplete
5f12th Grade September and afterAttend Official VisitsAcademic / Athletic
Incomplete
5g12th Grade September and afterApply to SchoolsAcademic / Athletic
Incomplete
5h12th Grade November / AprilSign National Letter of IntentAthletic
Incomplete
5i12th Grade DecemberSend Times from End of SeasonAthletic
Incomplete
5j12th Grade AprilRequest Amateurism CertificationNCAA
Incomplete
5k12th Grade May / JuneSend Final Transcript and Proof of GraduationNCAA
Incomplete

Glossary of Terms

Terminology

NCAA: National Collegiate Athletic Association is a membership driven organization whose primary function is student-athlete well-being.  The colleges and universities that have joined the NCAA work together to create rules for safe and fair competition in college athletics.   The NCAA national staff enforces the rules, organizes national championships and provides support for student-athletes and the schools they attend.  There are three NCAA Divisions that create their own rules while still working within the principles of the NCAA.  (Guide for the college-bound student-athlete)

NCAA Division I: These schools generally have more students, larger athletic budgets and more athletic department support than DII or DIII schools.  They can offer partial or full scholarships for athletics depending on the school’s budget.  (Guide for the college-bound student-athlete)

NCAA Division II: These schools emphasize a life balance between academics and athletics.  Athletes can compete at a high level while maintaining a traditional collegiate experience.  They can offer partial or full scholarships for athletics depending on the school’s budget.  (Guide for the college-bound student-athlete)

NCAA Division III: The primary focus of these schools is academics.  They have shorter sports seasons which reduce student-athletes time away from academic studies and other campus activities.  Although the primary focus is academic, some athletes and teams compete at a high level.  They cannot offer any scholarships based on athletics.  (Guide for the college-bound student-athlete)

Unofficial Visit: Any visit to a college campus paid for by you or your parents.  The only expense that you may receive from the college is 3 complimentary admissions to a home athletics contest.   You may make as many unofficial visits as you like to a campus at any time.   You may speak to coaches while on campus except during a dead period in your sport.

Official Visit: Any visit by you and your parents to a college that is paid in whole or in part by the school.  For swimming, the recruiting budget, not the NCAA rules, often limit the degree to which the visit is paid for.  Official visits will vary in length, but cannot exceed 48 hours.  When a coach brings an athlete for an official visit, they are investing more than just time into the prospect so therefore are interested in the swimmer.

Contact: Any face to face interaction with a college coach (beyond hello) and a student-athlete or their parents off the coach’s campus.

Dead Period: College coaches may not have any face to face contact with a student-athlete or their parents on or off the coach’s campus during a dead period.  The coach may write or call you during this time.

NCAA Eligibility Center (NCAA EC): Division I and II use the NCAA Eligibility Center (EC) to determine college freshmen athletic eligibility and amateurism.  High school students who would like to participate in DI or DII athletics must register for the NCAA EC and be certified by them based on the student-athletes’ HS classes /grades, test scores (SAT / ACT) and proof of graduation from HS.  The requirements for DI and DII are different and change periodically.  Look for your HS graduation year in the NCAA EC to find your requirements.  For DIII you do not need to register with the NCAA EC.  Division III schools set their own admissions standards for freshmen eligibility.

NCAA Initial Eligibility: These are minimum academic and amateurism requirements that are set by the NCAA for DI and DII schools.  The requirements for each student-athlete are certified through the NCAA EC.  Each Division has its’ own requirements which change periodically.  Make sure you know the requirements for each division for your year of HS graduation.   DIII schools set their own admissions standards for freshmen eligibility.

Core Course: Required to meet Initial Eligibility requirements.  These courses are four-year college prep classes in one of the following areas: English, Math (Algebra I or higher), Natural / Physical Science, Social Science, Foreign Language, or Comparative Religion / Philosophy.  These classes must be taught at or above your High School’s regular academic level and receive credit toward HS graduation.  Cyber and Home School students must make sure that their curriculum meets the minimum requirements prior to taking them.

Qualifier: Is a first year student - athlete who is academically eligible to practice, compete, and receive athletically related financial aid.  This student has met the core course, test score, and HS graduation requirements of the NCAA division of the college that they are attending.

Partial Qualifier: For student – athletes at DII colleges who have met one but not both the requirements for HS core courses and test scores.  They may practice with the team at the college’s home facility and receive athletically related financial aid but may not compete during their first year of college enrollment.

Non-Qualifier: This student – athlete is not eligible to practice, compete, or receive athletically related financial aid during their first year of college enrollment.   They did not meet the core course or test score requirement of the NCAA division of the college that they are attending.

Amateurism – final certified: NCAA Eligibility Center has determined that you meet amateurism standards.

Amateurism – final certified with conditions: NCAA EC has decided that you must fulfill certain conditions to be eligible to compete.

Amateurism – final not certified: You may not practice, compete, or receive athletically related financial aid in the division of the school you applied belongs.

Fluid Mechanics' Programs

FM Technique - For over 30 years, thousands of swimmers have elected to work with Fluid Mechanics because our level of instruction and approach to teaching is different than anything they would find elsewhere.  Through our proprietary training system, our instructors work one on one with your swimmer to break bad habits and master advanced techniques.

  • Keystones Track: 13 x 1 hour classes covering 4 topics with 3 classes in each topic (ex. Freestyle).  This program is meant to develop the basic structure (6 – 10 most important aspects of the stroke) of the topic being covered.  FM offers stokes, turns, and starts tracks.  At certain tier levels, topics can be mixed and matched during a track.

  • Dimensions Track: 13 x 1.5 hour classes covering 1 topic at a higher level of learning.  These classes cover the basic Keystones followed by classes in Advanced Structure, Hydrodynamics, Force, Timing, and Blending, with additional classes devoted to stressing the skills that have been learned so that they can be cemented in practice.

FM Strength - Fluid Mechanics’ private strength training courses are designed to gradually build your core muscle groups so you can compete more effectively against other swimmers.  We have been working with competitive swimmers for over 30 years and are experts in helping these athletes train to their maximum potential while reducing the risk of injury.  Our training not only focuses on sport specific exercises, but the precise work out you need to prepare for your individual events.  Here is a run-down of our course offerings and how they can help you build strength, speed, and endurance.  

  • Primary Movers - These three sessions lay the groundwork for the high-performance swimming capability desired by peak athletes.  We base our instruction on the ILS Triad, which is designed to 1) identify the motion involved for each particular movement; 2) locate the muscle being used; and 3) select the appropriate exercises to strengthen these muscle groups.

  • Dryland Variations - This three-session program expands upon the Primary Movers course by introducing multiple exercises for each primary muscle group.  We focus on body-weight exercises, such as specialized push-ups, pull-ups and sit-ups, to gradually build muscle throughout the body’s key target areas.  Swimmers in this course will continuously modify their approach, enabling them to work key muscles from various angles, and quickly ramp up their strength and endurance.  

  • Devices - After the first two courses, you will be ready to move on to use additional equipment to beef up your training and continue to gain strength.  Devices like medicine balls, physio balls and stretch cords can be extremely helpful in preparing swimmers for more-advanced weight training with reduced risk of injury. Under our expert guidance, we will lead you through these exercises, tying each movement to the specific muscle groups that need attention.  

  • Weight Lifting - Our private weight training program is designed for advanced swimmers who are looking for significant gains in strength and endurance.  We use free weights and cable systems to increase the resistance that a swimmer’s muscle must overcome to propel them forward and greatly improve their power.  As a prerequisite to this course, swimmers must first complete both the Primary Movers and Devices programs.

Conceptual Brain - Fluid Mechanics has developed a proprietary Conceptual Brain program that helps swimmers hone in on the areas of their brain that need training and transform them into intensely focused athletes.  The use of motivational words of encouragement, goal-setting techniques and generic platitudes often fall short of what is needed to succeed.  Our experts use visual methods to develop better focus, accelerate progress, and harness emotion to supercharge your performance.

  • Exploring the Brain - This course, a prerequisite to other FM Conceptual Brain courses, teaches participants about the five major sections of the brain and how they interrelate.  Participants gain an understanding of the flow of thoughts and emotions, as well as insight into the brain’s primary functions.  This course lays the foundation for more advanced work in discerning how specific brain processes affect performance.  

  • Focus - “Focus” is ideal for those who sometimes experience a lack of focus at critical moments during training or competition.  To gain a crucial advantage and achieve important goals, swimmers learn to channel positive thoughts and emotions while screening out ones that have a negative influence on performance.  In our Focus course, we teach participants how to control and improve their ability to concentrate using proprietary techniques that employ proven visualization methods.  

  • Accelerating Progress - Our “Accelerating Progress” course helps each swimmer gain the knowledge and skills needed to achieve their goals.  Whether you have reached a plateau, want to develop faster, or need to effectively apply constructive changes, this course is exactly what you need to continuously move forward.  

  • Harnessing Emotion - The human is the most powerful living being on the planet.  Learn just how powerful your emotions are and how they impact performance.  This course will help you tackle emotional obstacles that can hold you back from achieving success.  Whether you experience anxiety during competitions, have trouble managing emotion, or want to gain a mental advantage over your competitors, this is the course for you!  Through our unique training methods, you will gain the necessary tools to accomplish your goals.  

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Research Colleges Based on Needs

8th Grade Academic

Before researching schools, think about the type of college / university that would make you happy.  Being successful at college requires that you like the atmosphere of that school and can live there for four years.  Choosing a school based on what other people want may not make you happy.  Your ideas may change as you get older and closer to attending college, but to start this process consider the following:

Based on your answers to the questions above; make a broad list of the colleges / universities that you may be interested in attending to encompass all majors that you may be interested in right now.  It will be trimmed down later.  The more information you gather and options you have early, the more options you will be left with when your list starts to trim down.  Your list should include dream and safer schools both academically and athletically.

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Research Colleges Based on Needs

8th Grade Academic

Before researching schools, think about the type of college / university that would make you happy.  Being successful at college requires that you like the atmosphere of that school and can live there for four years.  Choosing a school based on what other people want may not make you happy.  Your ideas may change as you get older and closer to attending college, but to start this process consider the following:

  • Where regionally in the country you would like to be?
  • Would you rather be close to home or further away?
  • Would you like the atmosphere of a big university or smaller one?
  •  What kind of setting would you enjoy: rural, suburban or urban?
  • Do you want a university that is weighted heavily academically, one that is more socially focused, or one that emphasizes cultural experiences, etc?
  • What is your style? You will want to fit in and feel comfortable with the other students so it will be important to know yourself and which schools have students similar to you.
  • Are you interested in a public or private schools?
  • What types of majors would you be interested in studying?
  • For athletics, in what division do you hope to participate and how much time are you willing to allot to swimming per week in practice and travel?

Based on your answers to the questions above; make a broad list of the colleges / universities that you may be interested in attending to encompass all majors that you may be interested in right now.  It will be trimmed down later.  The more information you gather and options you have early, the more options you will be left with when your list starts to trim down.  Your list should include dream and safer schools both academically and athletically.

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