Private Facebook groups are a useful and very valuable tool for topics of interest or life events we encounter. College Swimming Guide is just that – for a life event like making it possible for your child to swim in college and making good decisions surrounding that – and is modeled on some of the more useful groups to which I belong. I am a member of several private Facebook groups and my level of participation varies. They serve many different purposes such as tech support, kids activities, conferences, and events. I get value out of each in far different ways.

In some of my private Facebook groups, I find that I am the expert but I still learn.  The group for parents of high school seniors is useful for dates and other tips. Since I have been through this before, I find myself answering questions and giving advice. Mostly the conversations centered around how to order transcripts, what to wear to graduation, and college application questions.

I joined some tech support groups to become more proficient with tools I use for College Swimming Guide. I learn a lot from each of the groups and I occasionally ask a question. I definitely do not post any replies since I am a newbie! What impresses me is that I often receive a reply within minutes of asking a question. Not only do people answer questions thoroughly, but they phrase them in easy-to-understand language and I really appreciate their assistance.

One of my favorite private Facebook groups is comprised of attendees from a conference I helped organize last year and I love how the members encourage each other. The women are relaunching their careers after a break from the work force and are eager to share what they learn with one another. It is uplifting to read their success stories and to see their level of enthusiasm and help.

Membership in College Swimming Guide includes our private Facebook group. This group serves as a forum for members to share information, ask questions, and help each other. How often do you wish you had someone objective to ask about a college? I was all set to take my son to visit a particular school before his junior year – it looked like a great fit swimming wise and academically. Another mom just happened to mention that she toured the school and the pool is in the basement where the air quality is terrible. My son had asthma as a child so air quality was a consideration when selecting a college where he would swim every day. Sadly, we decided to cross this one off our list but were glad we knew before spending the time and money to tour it.

Since membership is comprised of parents all over the U.S., the chances of another member being familiar with a school or specific swim program is high. You can ask any type of question, such as:

  • What is the climate like in Tempe, Arizona?
  • What are the differences between Division I, II, and III?
  • What kind of time commitment is involved in swimming in college?
  • What kind of academic support is offered?
  • What questions should my child ask coaches when he/she emails?
  • My son loves Colorado, does anyone have some good colleges to suggest he look at?

Chances are good that another member will know the answer to one of your questions or will know someone to ask.

Not only do I answer questions on webinars but I will also be active in the private Facebook group answering questions and joining in on discussions with members. Another added benefit to College Swimming Guide is the community of the private Facebook group as parents go through the process together of helping their child swim in college.

Michelle Lombana is committed to helping parents like her whose children want to swim in college.  When she’s not responding in her private Facebook group, she can be found at

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