Getting Recruited to Sail in College

Tips to for getting recruited to sail in college

Link at bottom to Jay Keyhoe’s Do’s and Don’ts of getting recruited to college.

Long term:

  • Find a boat you feel comfortable with, coaches aren’t looking for a specific class.
  • It doesn’t matter if you’re in a 420, laser, pixel or 29er.
  • Don’t feel like you have to sail the biggest events, doing well locally and regionally shows coaches you have potential.
  • Keep your fitness up during the year and try to sail during the fall and spring if you can. This doesn’t necessarily mean joining a team that does, some JSA clubs have fall sailing and will be accommodating with boat storage.
  • Try to play other sports in high school; it’s important to know how to be on a team. College sailing it’s no longer an individualized sport, it functions by in large as a team sport.

Talking to coaches:

  • Coaches usually don’t reach out, you have to make the first point of contact.
  • Emails are always somewhere to be found via team website or try filling out a recruiting form.
  • Don’t make it seem like you’re better than a school, if a coach is corresponding with you, have an open mind it might end up being the right fit.
  • Coaches want to know that you like the college for its academics not just for sailing.
  • If for some reason you can’t or end up not wanting to sail, its important that you still enjoy other aspects of the college.
  • Regularly update the coach with any regatta results you want them to know about, it establishes communication and gives them more time to get to know you.
  • If you’re looking at a club team, it’s still important for the coach to want you on their team. Sometimes they will have pull in admissions as well.


  • If you’re deciding between a few schools all of which have sailing teams, try eliminating sailing from the picture and decide on the school based off of everything else.
  • Don’t automatically have your heart set on the first school where the coach wants you.
  • If you do love a school and know you want to be there, look at early decision as an option. ED I, II often help in admissions.

Stay positive throughout the process, it might not seem easy, but sailing is an advantage and will make you stand out to a school, don’t be afraid to use it.

Click here for Jay Keyhoe’s Do’s and Don’ts of getting recruited to college sailing.