Swim Inspiration for the Team and for Young Athletes

By Senior Coach David Martin

During a practice with the Varsity Swim team at Shepaug Valley High School in Washington, CT, I was trying to inspire some of the athletes to pursue the breast stroke in an upcoming Relay event with 3 other local schools.  As we worked through drills, I asked some of the athletes if they had heard of Adam Peaty.  They shook their heads and replied no.  I then followed up with Dara Torres and Greg Louganis as we have some divers on the team.  I was astonished when silence followed.  I decided to make a list for them of some swimmers I believe to be some of the top swim athletes of my generation.  I will continue to add more as the weeks pass but I thought I would share my write up with you all.  



Dear athletes,


            I have listed a group of athletes I would like you all to be familiar with.  These are current and past athletes who have influenced the sport of swimming and diving.  Try to watch videos of them on YouTube, learn about their past, and let their courage and passion for the sport be a motivator for you.  Thank you for letting me be a part of your team, I’m really proud of you all.  

“You either do or you don’t, there is no try.” Yoda


1)    Caeleb Dressel: Won his 7th Gold Medal at Worlds tying Michael Phelps.  Won 2017 Male swimmer of the year at Golden Goggles.  Current World record in 4x100 meter mixed freestyke and medley relays.  University of Florida    

a.     100 fly: 43.58

b.     50 free relay split: 17.71

c.     200 IM: 1:40.61

d.     100 free: 40.00 

2)    Adam Peaty: Incredible competitor at the breast stroke.  Current World record holder for 100m and 50 m breast stroke. First swimmer ever to break 26 seconds in the breast stroke.  British competitive swimmer.  Most successful British swimmer at a single World Championship  

a.     100 breast stroke: 57.13 

b.     50 breast stroke: 25.95

3)    Greg Louganis: One of the most well known Divers of all time and has been called “probably the best diver in history.”  Won gold medals at 1984 and 1988 Summer Olympics on both springboard and platform.  Only male diver to sweep diving events in consecutive Olympic games.  He won 17 gold Medals in his career between world championships, Olympic games, pan American games, and the summer universiade

4)    Michael Phelps: Most decorated Olympian and swimmer of all time.  World record holder in 100 meter butterfly, 200 meter butterfly, 400 meter individual medley as well as former world record holder in 200 meter freestyle and 200 meter relay.  Holds top 8 fastest ever recorded times for 200m butterfly.   

a.     100 butterfly: 49.82

b.     200 butterlfy: 1:51.51

5)    Lilly King: Swims at Indiana University.  Powerhouse in the breast stroke.  In my opinion, made it great to watch.  Current world record holder in 50 meter and 100-meter breast stroke.  She has 10 gold medals on the world stage.  Freshman year in college she was named Big Ten swimmer of the year, 4 all American honors, first-team all-big ten, and big ten freshman of the year.    

a.     100 breast stroke: 1:04.13

b.     200 breast stroke: 2:21.83 

6)    Tom Daley: Double World Champion in 10 meter platform.  Was Britain’s youngest competitor at Olympic games at 14 years old.  Won gold at the 2017 FINA World Championship at the 10m platform event.  He Has 10 current gold medals in world competitions. 

7)    Dara Torres: 12 time Olympic medalist.  First swimmer ever to represent USA in 5 olympic games.  Oldest swimmer at 41 to earn a place on US Olympic team.  In the early 80’s, held world records for 50 m freestyle and 4x100 medley relay and 4x100 meter freestyle.  Iconic Event was 2000 Sydney Olympics winning 4x100 freestyle relay.  Set the new world record at that event with 3.36.61

a.     50m free: 25.61

b.     4x100 m free: 3:36.61

8)    Mark Spitz: Nine time Olympic champion and former world record holder in 7 events.  He won 7 gold medals at the ’72 Olympics in Munich.  Indiana University Grad.  Member of the USA Olympic Hall of Fame.  Between 1968 and 1972 he set 35 world record.    

a.     200 Butterfly LC: 2:00.70

b.     200 Free LC: 1:52.78

c.     100 Free LC: 51.22

9)    Katinka Hosszu: BEAST!  45 Gold medals at World events including 13 at World Championships.  Hungarian swimmer, world record holder in 100m IM, 200m IM, 400m IM, 100m backstroke.  First swimmer to hold world records in all five IM vents at the same time.  Competed at 4 olympic games and nicknamed the “Iron Lady.” 

a.     200 IM LC: 2:06.12

b.     400 IM LC: 4:26.36

c.     200 IM SC: 2:01.86

d.     400 IM SC: 4:19.46

10) Sara Sjostrom: Has top 3 best recorded times ever for the 100 m butterfly and best time for short course 100 butterfly

a.     100m butterfly LC: 55.48

b.     100 butterfly SC: 54.61

11) Katie Ledecky: Five time Olympic medalist and 14 time world champion, which is the most in history for a female swimmer.  She is the current world record holder in the womem’s 400, 800, and 1500 meter freestyle as well as the 500, 1000, and 1650 yard freestyle.  Youngest person on Time magazine’s Time 100 list in 2016.  She has earned Swimming World’s World Swimmer of the year and American Swimmer of the year in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. 

a.     1500m free: 15:25.53

b.     800m free: 8:04.86

c.     400m free: 3:56.46

d.     200m free: 1:53.73


Other Incredible Athletes and swimmers I’ll cover in the future: Ryan Lotche, Missy Franklin, Ian Thorpe,  Kevin Cordes, Jenny Thompson, Dana Vollmer, Anthony Ervin, Nathan Adrian, Maya Dirado, Simone Manuel