Ali DeLoof Excited for Family Feel of ISL’s New York Breakers

Ali DeLoof will swim for the New York Breakers. Photo Courtesy: Becca Weyant

Ali DeLoof, New York Breakers. In the lead-up to the first International Swimming League pro-team season, Swimming World will look at some of the pioneers of a new chapter unfolding in the sport. Today: The former American record holder in the short-course 100 back.

Pioneers Of Pro-Team Swimming

Olivia Smoliga
Katie McLaughlin
Ian Finnerty
Amy Bilquist
Ella Eastin
• Ali DeLoof

Ali DeLoof joined Team Elite for a new perspective.

After growing up in Michigan, swimming at the University of Michigan and for Club Wolverine, she had never ventured far from home.

So she took a chance and headed to San Diego with wide eyes and high hopes.

But training in a new environment takes some adjustment time, which DeLoof experienced this summer.

“I have almost been there a year now. It was a good chance of pace and scenery to move to San Diego, but there were definitely big transitions moving across the country and not being able to see my family all the time,” DeLoof told Swimming World. “My first year was just understanding what David Marsh wanted for me. This year, I have a better understanding of what I need as a professional swimmer and advocating for myself.”

DeLoof made the national team and competed at the PanAmerican Games, but after strong performances in 2016-17, she is looking for more.

“I am in a little bit of a slump and I am more motivated than I have been in a long time,” she said.


Ali DeLoof at the 2018 TYR Pro Swim Series in Indy; Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

A motivated DeLoof can be a dangerous thing for competitors. In 2016, she had a strong trials, made the national team and set the American record in the 100-meter back at short-course worlds.

So what has been different with the training?

“I changed my lifting program and the style of training is different. I just had to get used to that. Learning how to understand what he wants out of the sets, I have a better understanding now,” she said. “The biggest thing for me was building more muscle and figuring out how to use that. I have changed a lot in my backstroke and am working a lot on technique. Taking that information and figuring out how to get better every single day.”

Now that she is getting used to the training, things are getting more comfortable. It doesn’t hurt that her sisters Gabby DeLoof and Catie DeLoof have joined her at Team Elite.

“Catie came out in May after graduation and decided to stay out here. Gabby just moved out here,” Ali said. “It is really good for the three of us to be together. We really push each other in practice. My family is really important to me. They are my best friends. We really support each other to be the best we can be in the water and out of the water.  Some people think it is crazy that we are always training together, but we need each other.

“There is a little more comfort in knowing that they are there.”

Now the trio will be part of the historic first year of the International Swimming League. The only trio of siblings pioneering the first year.

“As a group, it is awesome to be together making changes in the swimming world. We are the pioneers in professional swimmers. The goal is to help give financial security to professional swimmers, and that is really awesome,” Ali DeLoof said. “I was on the national team for two years and haven’t been for a few years. It is really great to be able to earn prize money and support myself in San Diego.”

The DeLoof sisters are on the New York Breakers roster, coached by Tina Andrew, mother of Michael Andrew. That immediately gave the team a family feel, something the DeLoofs strive with.

“I am excited to be part of the NY Breakers team. We have a team with a passion for swimming. My sisters are on the team, so I am super excited about that. They have really good family values with Tina and Michal Andrew,” Ali said. “I am super excited to be able to be a part of this new league for professional swimmers that is very competitive and team oriented. It also gives more financial security for a lot of swimmers. 

“ISL is giving a chance to professional swimmers who are not just the world’s elite.”

It is elite racing, which has everyone eyeing an extra gear heading into 2020.

“(Racing) will be the key to being ready for trials and trying to qualify for the Olympics,” Ali said.


Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

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James De Loof
James De Loof
4 years ago

Great article and update on the ISL and the De Loof sisters. The slump Ali refers to was brought on from her finishing her Masters Degree that kept out of the water! I’m so proud of my Torpedoes as I’ve called them since their beginning as swimmers! I’m their Uncle Jimmy and hoping for their continuing success and stay strong Ladies ???‍♀️???

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