5 Signs You Might Be A Swim Nerd (And that’s OK!)

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

5 Signs You Might Be A Swim Nerd (And that’s OK!)

By Cathleen Pruden (From the Archive)

As I write this article in between stalking results and writing meet recaps, I already know I’m a Swim Nerd. I love this sport and I love learning more about it. I love seeing the crazy things people’s bodies can do, and I like watching the unimaginable become reality. I love getting to know the people who also enjoy staring at a black line. And, I also know I’m not alone.

Here are five signs you might be a Swim Nerd, too…

1. You’re Reading This.

Photo Courtesy: Swimming World

Photo Courtesy: Swimming World

If you thought, “I’m going to go to Swimming World to see what’s hopping in the aquatic sphere,” and happened upon this article, then that earns you the title of Undeniable Swim Nerd. If you happened upon this in your social media feed then you, too, are a Swim Nerd. You care enough to follow the swimming news! And, for those of you currently arguing that you only saw the article because a friend shared it…too late. You’re the one who read this far. Welcome to the club.

2. You Will Have a Reaction to Some (Probably All) of These Names:

NCAA Women's DI Swimming

Photo Courtesy: Evan Pike – USA TODAY Sports Images

Michael Phelps
Kelsi Worrell
Reece Whitley
Kathleen Baker
Ryan Hoffer
Katie Drabot

Do you recognize them? Yes: Swimmer, Swim Parent, Coach.

Do you know their best events? Age? Team? Yes: Swim Nerd.

Can you name a fun fact? Calm down, we’re not stalkers. (But good for you-it’s probably just because of reason #3…)

3. Your Instagram Feed is Full of Swimmers.


Photo Courtesy: Team Elite Instagram

You don’t personally know any of these Olympians or National Team members, but you convince yourself, “This isn’t weird. They’re Swim Famous and have tons of followers.” These athletes post cool pictures of ring bubbles and international travel. Whether you’re simply fascinated by their life outside the pool, or admire their passion and drive, following these accounts surely contributes to your base of knowledge, and strengthens your status as a Swim Nerd.

4. You’re a Numbers Nut.


You’d retweet an infographic about the number of 14 & Under girls currently qualified for Olympic Trials. You’ll tell anybody who will listen about how Katie Ledecky swam the last 50 yards of her American Record 1,000 faster than the first 50 yards (which she dove into!!). If splits, and qualification times are your thing, you’re also a Swim Nerd.

5. You’ve Spent an Evening Watching the Livestream of a Meet.


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

It’s okay. It happens to the best of us. There is a tweet about the first relay of the night setting a record, so you take a look at the live results, curious to see the splits. Suddenly you’ve watched an entire finals session, and learned a little bit more about those swimmers in your Instagram feed. And, because you’re a Swim Nerd, you’re not even that upset about this use of time.

If you’ve just now realized you’re a Swim Nerd, don’t fret. Everybody is passionate about something. For us, it’s swimming. Just blame it on the hours you’ve spent dowsing yourself in chlorine– chemicals do funky things to the brain.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.


  1. avatar
    Gerald Macedo

    You are a swim nerd if you know that Sam Kendrick is the very best announcer in swimming!

    • avatar
      Apparent Swim Nerd


    • avatar

      Rowdy Gaines is better

    • Jennette Lee

      Adrienne this came up on my FB feed and I was gonna tag you .. til I saw you wrote on here ?

    • Kimberly Hoodin

      WHO, ME? Is the fact that I know the name of the announcer (not Rowdy, who any run-of-the-mill fan knows!) in that picture any indication of my swim nerdiness???

  2. Frances Miller Adair

    Well…. the reality hit that it has been too long since our swimmer was at a meet, when her Dad and I were watching last years meet videos. Yep swim parents in detox too long! Need a real meet soon!

    • Jeannine Juskalian

      Frances Miller Adair I totally agree what the hell everything is opening up and if philly can have indoor dining than a meet can happen

  3. Paula Garner

    Caroline Webb oh dear I think I’m a swim nerd

  4. Ja Bounce

    Well after my 23+ coaching Water Polo & Swimming. I still catch myself taking splits, stroke counting, watching races unfold (mostly comes down stronger discipline on turns IMO). Still constantly looking up new training methods & all that jazz…

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