Allison Schmitt Continues to Grow as Counselor With Eyes Still Set on Tokyo (VIDEO)

Allison Schmitt smiles after winning the 200 free. Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

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Allison Schmitt has experienced new opportunities this past year through her internship that have helped her grow as a person as she heads into next year — with her eyes still set on the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. 

A year ago at the 2018 Phillips 66 U.S. Nationals, Schmitt had only seven months of training under her belt after she decided to come back to the sport after addressing her mental health. There Schmitt qualified to represent the United States at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships and 2019 World Championships this past week in Gwangju.

Her performance in the 200 free this week at the 2019 Phillips 66 US National Championships was fast enough to make her a national champion in a time of 1:56.97.

Check out the full results here.

Her performance at World Championships was not what she had hoped for when she finished 14th place.

“It was good to see her do that,” her coach Bob Bowman said. “It was a fairly disappointing World Championships in terms of what we were hoping to do, but to come back and be substantially better really sets up well for what comes next year so I’m happy with that.”


Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

Allison Schmitt is excited heading into next year, knowing that she was capable of swimming a 1:56 this summer. However, seeing her progress in the pool is not the only thing that proves her growth as a person.

During this past year, Schmitt had an internship with Arizona State University where she was a counselor for students and the general population. These experiences helped Schmitt progress in her profession as she is currently a graduate student at Arizona State, pursuing a masters degree in social work.

“I think my job as a swimmer and as a counselor are completely different. I am definitely looking forward to a career path after swimming, but right now I am focusing on swimming,” Allison Schmitt said. “I have enjoyed the experiences and opportunities I’ve had as a counselor and in my Master’s program, and I think it has helped me both as a person and as a swimmer.”

Working as a counselor has been so rewarding for Schmitt as she aims to not only help those around her but she also has a better idea of what she wants to do next, in terms of her career after swimming.

I know it is very hard to make that first step, to come into counseling,” Schmitt said. “I know it does not get easier for those who come in everyday. That is the most rewarding part of that internship is to see those people that have made that first step to walk into that office.”

Schmitt acknowledges how counseling can be emotionally taxing, but the tremendous amount of support from her coaches and teammates have allowed her to push through and still be able to train at the highest level. Schmitt has learned how to balance the ’emotional energy’ that comes with counseling so it does not overpower the other things she is trying to accomplish in her personal life.

“We communicate really well. I think the counseling work that she’s doing has helped her to express herself better,” Bowman said. “She used to not say anything but now we can just have a conversation about it and deal with whatever is happening before it is an issue.”

Schmitt is looking forward to her next internship, but that does not seem to be in the plan until after summer of 2020. 

“Ever since I decided I was getting back in the pool, eyes were set on 2020. It is definitely still a day by day process and has its ups and downs but as a whole it has been a good journey and I am really looking forward to this upcoming year,” Allison Schmitt said. “I am OK with not even making the team. Obviously the goals are much higher than that, but at the end of the day I can’t control what anyone else in that pool does and I can only control what I do. I am going to go out there and do the best that I can and be prepared and whatever happens, happens.”

This next year will be an exciting year to watch what Schmitt can do in the pool as she continues to become a stronger person after dedicating a lot of time to bettering the lives of others and herself.

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Bob McKeon
4 years ago

I wish her all the happiness in the world –

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