Tips from Legendary Coach Dave Marsh


Dave Marsh, a Florida native and current CEO/Director of Coaching at SwimMAC Carolina in Charlotte, N.C, recently spoke with Florida Swim Network. about a number of things, including the biggest steps to achieve as a rising junior or senior in high school in preparing for college.

After winning 12 Championships at Auburn with the men and the women, and coaching numerous Olympians, Marsh’s expertise in this area hits right on the mark!

Dave Marsh’s top steps to preparing for college are:

1. Have  “reachable” colleges on your list, along with a couple of  “unreachable” colleges in your search.

When looking for a program,make sure you find the right fit. Have college swim programs where you will fit in well with the times you are currently swimming. These are your “reachable” colleges. However, you are still young, so ideally you will continue to get faster, so be sure to put a few faster programs on your list. These are the “unreachable” ones that might just become reachable! Aim for the stars!

2. Be proactive often with contacting the programs mentioned above, don’t wait for them to contact you.

Email the coaches. Introduce yourself and state why you are interested in attending their college and are interested in their programs. While you don’t want to be a pest, you still want to make yourself known. Have a big meet and make some time drops? Follow up with the coaches and let them know your progress.

3. Continue to work on your times and technique as you progress – it does matter! Coaches will find athletes that will breakout in college.

Technique does matter; not just speed. Listen to your coach and concentrate on perfecting your strokes.

4. Spend time underwater. College is yards and the fastest you will be is underwater!

This is one of the biggest skills you can work on throughout high school. College coaches are eyeing conference and national championships, and want swimmers who will score points. So, if you can perfect your underwaters to help you maximize your yards swims, this will be a big bonus.

Dave Marsh's Steps to Swim in College - read more at


David Marsh is the current CEO/Director of Coaching at SwimMAC Carolina in Charlotte, N.C.  He has been in this role since stepping down from Auburn in 2007. Marsh is one of the most successful college coaches in history, coaching Auburn to 12 National Championships between the men and the women.  Marsh and his group recently placed 5 swimmers on the 2012 Olympic Team.

Photo credit: SwimmingWorld