Gutter Talk: Top Swimmers Share the Best Advice They Ever Received From a Coach


Gutter Talk: Top Swimmers Share the Best Advice They Ever Received From a Coach

Gutter Talk is a monthly feature in which athletes share their thoughts on a specific topic. In this latest edition, several top athletes share the best piece of advice they ever received from a coach.

2016 Olympic Gold Medalist
Women’s 4×100 Medley Relay
Notre Dame Associate Coach

The best advice I received from a coach was from (Louisville coach) Arthur (Albiero) leading into 2016. I started having new and exciting sponsorship and appearance opportunities, and he advised me I need to learn how to say “No” to some things. My personality is to please other people by saying “Yes” to everything, but I had to reframe that thought process.

Every “No” became a “Yes” to something else in my life. For example, if I traveled to a clinic one weekend, I was saying “No” to time with my husband or time training. While I still have a lot to learn in this area, this advice gave me permission to say “Yes” to only the things I found most important.

2022 NCAA Champion
Women’s 100 Breaststroke

My club coach told me that 30 years from now, you won’t remember the times you go or the cuts you make, but you will remember all the memories you make with your teammates. You don’t have to worry about your times, but make sure you’re enjoying the experiences you have with your teammates.

2022 World Champion
Men’s 50 Breaststroke

“You can’t win a race in the first 25, but you can lose a race in the first 25.” —Jack Bauerle

2022 World Champion
Men’s 200 Backstroke

My advice was said to me when I was 4 years old. At that age, I made an excuse to get out of every practice. My mom didn’t mind because I would sit with her instead of practicing. The coaches knew I was very competitive, so Coach André told me, “You’re not going to be able to win if you don’t practice.” Tough to disagree with that one.

2022 World Champion
4×100 Medley Relay

The best advice I’ve received was from my coach here at Bama (Ozzie Quevedo). He always says to keep the highs low and the lows high—to allow myself to reflect on a situation—good or bad—while keeping the energy consistent.

Time doesn’t stop for a chance to decide how to react, so moving on has to be instinctive in order to look at what’s coming next: the next race, next day, next breakout, next set, etc. I like this advice because I can apply it at practice and meets.

The latest issue of Swimming World Magazine
is now available for download in the Swimming World Vault!

Get Swimming World Magazine and SW Biweekly FREE When You
Become A Member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame

New! 30 Day Membership to ISHOF AND Digital Swimming World Subscription for just $10 a month!

Want more? Get a 1 Year ISHOF Family Membership With Swimming World Print AND Digital Subscription Order Now!

Non-Subscribers can click here to download this issue for only $5.94

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

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

My coach Freshman year in college: “You’ve been on swim teams for 12 years — if you were going to be elite, it would’ve happened by now — you should seriously consider that golf scholarship instead”.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x