Dana Vollmer: Training for 2020 Looks Different as a Mom of Two

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Photo Courtesy: Melissa Wolf

By Melissa Wolf, Swimming World intern.

This weekend at the TYR Pro Swim Series Meet in Knoxville, Dana Vollmer chipped away at the times she posted from November at Winter Nationals, improving her 100 fly time by .11 seconds, setting an example for swimmers and women everywhere. After giving birth to her second son in 2017, she has returned to the sport she loves with a passion to find a way to be both the mom she wants and the competitor she needs to be in order to reach her 2020 goals.

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Some practices are rough and we leave the pool feeling disappointed in ourselves. Maybe we didn’t hit the times we wanted to go or faded throughout the practice. While some disappointment is natural it’s up to us to then mentally turn it into fuel for the next practice. Don’t let it defeat you, beat you down, lower your self confidence. Most “bad” practices I can still say I gave a good effort, I tried to go fast, and through that I did become a better athlete on some level. Yes it wasn’t the time I wanted, but that doesn’t make it a failure. Focus on what you did accomplish, the effort you gave, turn your disappointment into motivation, and know that tomorrow is a new day!! ❤️💪🏻 * * My boys met me at the pool at the conclusion of practice and we got to go to brunch in San Francisco! ❤️

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At the Knoxville meet, Vollmer swam the 100 fly, 50 fly and 50 free. In her opinion, it was a good meet; she was happy with how her strokes felt and the power that she could feel in them. After coming off the national meet, she spent time working on her starts and underwaters, which she felt were improved at this meet — and shared in an interview with Swimming World how she used the 50 fly to work on how she wants to take out the 100 fly and the breathing pattern of every four strokes that she used.

“To be the best in USA Swimming, you have to want it from your core,” says Vollmer, as she talked about how her normal has changed since becoming a mom of two boys. Just like other working moms, Vollmer must juggle schedules: sometimes that means bringing her own cheering squad to practice. Her determination to find a way — and if there is no way, to make a way — is a beautiful example that there is no limitation except that which you put on yourself.

“It’s easy to be motivated when you feel good. It is when you feel exhausted and the work feels hard that you have to remember what goal is pushing you,” Vollmer says as she shares about her training and how things have changed since becoming a mom of two boys.

She reflects on how she does not have the time to make her training just about the yards. But when she is training, she has to bring more intensity, more focus and improved technique.

What keeps Vollmer coming back?

“It changes all the time. I still feel like I’m figuring out stuff. How can I walk away feeling like I felt a faster butterfly, and I think I can do a faster butterfly? Also, I have to be able to have the time and do the work. So as long as I am enjoying racing and it’s working for my family.”

Vollmer is a trailblazer and proud to be an example for women in whatever they are pursuing.

“If you want something, don’t feel like other people’s expectations or the way that it was done before is a limitation. We can create how we want it to look. And it might look different than anyone has done it before, but if you’re loving it and you’re happy in your life, that’s the motivation you need to bring to work out. We can make it look how we want it to look.”

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Photo Courtesy: Melissa Wolf

USA Swimming has not seen the end of Vollmer. As long as she loves the sport and feels that there are things she is still learning and improving, then she will keep training, competing and being a role model for girls and women to look up to.

 

5 comments

  1. Margie Auer Golden

    She is amazing but I would like to hear more about her training specifics. How many workouts a week? How many meters? New techniques. Stuff like that.

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