Dr. G Inspires the Indiana Hoosiers to A Mighty Mid-Season Showing

Photo Courtesy: Justine Ress

By Justine Ress, Swimming World Intern

This past weekend I couldn’t help but notice the impressive results from my alma mater, the Indiana Hoosiers, at their mid-season meets. The men and women broke through barriers in both long course and short course. But it’s no coincidence that the Hoosiers continue to post best times in the middle of the season.

I know all too well how much training they do in the pool and in the weight room, but this year they’re taking a little extra time to build team chemistry to better themselves as athletes and most importantly, as people.

Sophomore Sam Lisy saw an opportunity to pick up her team’s spirit when she received an email about a speaker who specializes in team building and positive change. She got in touch with motivational guru, Dr. Derek Greenfield, through the IU athletic department.

After practice, both the men’s and women’s teams gathered for one of Dr. G’s workshops. His keynotes focus on diversity, student development and inclusion. Large organizations such as universities, the McDonald’s Corporation, the NCAA and even Hilton Hotels have all utilized Greenfield’s methods.

The workshop was a huge success for the Hoosiers judging from their results this weekend at both Nationals and Hoosierland. It turned out to be exactly what the team needed at this difficult and strenuous time of the season.

“It reminded everyone on the team how much we meant to each other,” Lisy said. “It brought the team morale up right before a big meet– a major plus! Most of all, it reminded us to listen, appreciate, understand, and not jump to conclusions.”

The team was asked to do interactive activities during the workshop. They worked in small groups, as a team and as individuals. The workshop began with light, fun and positive energy and ended with more serious topics where the team could share details about their personal lives.

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

IU team captain, Haley Lips, shared with me how she thought this activity impacted the Hoosiers.

“I think it was a very humbling experience for everyone.,” Lips said. “It was nice to see that everyone has things they go through and it definitely brought everyone together, especially at the meet. We were all cheering for each other and it was awesome.”

Any swimmer, coach or parent knows that this time of the year can be one of the toughest in terms of training and school. With finals approaching and mid-season meets wrapping up, there is a lot going on. This leaves very little time to talk about all of the other major parts of a swimmer’s life.

“As a team that spends so much time with each other, we sometimes forget to appreciate each other. We forget that we’re all humans with our own individual thoughts, emotions, triumphs and struggles,” Lisy said.

When I heard the men and women had joined forces to do this workshop I was a bit surprised. During my time at Indiana the two teams trained together but almost all meetings were separate. I was curious to see if the team enjoyed talking about such vulnerable and personal topics with both men and women present.

Men’s captain, John Winck, seemed to think it was a great idea.

“We are definitely closer now and embrace the family aspect of collegiate swimming to an even further degree,” Winck said.

Building strong relationships within such a large team is not an easy task. However, with help from Dr. G, teams and companies can learn the tools it takes to create a positive and understanding environment. With this kind of support and positivity, the Hoosiers could be pretty difficult to beat this year.

For more information on Dr. Greenfield, or if you want to arrange for him to work with your team, check out his website here.

Click here for Swimming World’s coverage of the Hoosierland Invitational.

Notify of

Welcome to our community. We invite you to join our discussion. Our community guidelines are simple: be respectful and constructive, keep on topic, and support your fellow commenters. Commenting signifies that you agree to our Terms of Use

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x