For these high school seniors, the pool has become their life. So much so, the twin brothers, Cade and Zachary Griffith, both just committed to play water polo in college.
The brothers say their decision on where to go to school was tough and overwhelming, but they both decided on Austin College, in Sherman, Texas.
“So lucky; we got lucky on that, says the twin’s mom, Lisa Griffith.
Their choice was unexpected, because they'd never heard of Austin College before hiring the college athlete recruiting company NCSA.
NCSA recruiters knew of Austin College’s plan to start a new water polo program this fall and that they were in need of team members.
Lisa Strasman, president and COO of NCSA, and her team help student-athletes navigate the recruitment process.
“A lot of kids think the only schools that offer their sport are those they see on ESPN,” Strasman says. “Reality [is] there's so many college opportunities across the country.”
NCSA and other companies like it take the student's GPA, sport and education interests and pour through thousands of schools to find the ones that may be a good fit. They then make videos introducing student-athletes to coaches.
“People think that college coaches will just discover them. In most cases, that's not reality,” Strasman says. “It's very important that student athletes are proactive."
The Griffith's paid $1,000 for each of their sons, but NCSA helps families for free, if their parents qualify as low-income.
Many of NCSA’s employees are former athletes or college coaches.
Online reviews about athlete recruitment companies are mixed. Some families say they have successfully navigated the recruitment process themselves.
"I think everybody's situation is different. For us, it was definitely an investment," says Lisa Griffith.
Her sons are happy they had the help.
“It was just a really easy process to do,” says Zachary Griffith.