Sherridon Dressel on Swimming with Siblings

Photo Courtesy: Instagram, @sldressel

By Niki Urquidi, Swimming World College Intern.

Sherridon Dressel, a key member of the University of Florida women’s swim team, understands more than most the struggles and pay-offs of swimming alongside a sibling or two. Starting when she was just six years old, Dressel has always “had siblings on deck and in the water” with her. While many sibling relationships are riddled with irritation, competition and agitation, the Dressels defy this by being a tight-knit group of athletes and friends both in and out of the water.


Photo Courtesy: Sherridon Dressel

Home Life

Dressel and her family are very well known in the sport of swimming, with their successes often being covered in magazines, newspapers and the like. But their home life may not be what you’d expect from a successful swim family.

“Since we all understand the sport of swimming, it will occasionally come up in conversation, but we hardly ever talk about it. It’s a big part of our lives, but it doesn’t define any of us,” Dressel describes her home life. Having a good, open relationship with all members of her nuclear family has definitely helped her feel confident and continue to enjoy the sport without feeling pressure or anxiety around performing.

She describes her parents as being the “perfect swim parents” in that they understand their place as being just that – parents. They do not try to act as another coach or place unnecessary expectations on her. Instead, home for her is a place of fun, family and – most importantly – support.

“We all motivate each other and are very supportive of one another, so it’s easy to perform at your best when you’ve got a huge support system like that behind you,” Dressel says.


Photo Courtesy: Sherridon Dressel

Struggles with Comparison

While Dressel has always had a great relationship with her siblings and attributes much of her success to their support, she does admit that there were times when the expectations and comparisons placed on her became a concern.

“While UF was ultimately the right school for me and I have no regrets about choosing to go here, I did have some concerns about being compared to Caeleb. I have been compared to him a lot throughout my swimming career, and I don’t take offense to it at all; I just wanted to make my own mark and be my own person,” she reveals.

It is this drive to be successful within the confines of her own career and her ability to mentally block out the comparisons that have led Dressel to where she is now, qualifying and finaling at NCAAs as well as competing at U.S. Open Nationals.


Photo Courtesy: Instagram, @sldressel

College Life

Dressel is in a unique position. Not only did she grow up training with her siblings but she also chose to make the potentially risky decision to attend college alongside her brother Caeleb. For any other family, this could cause problems with competitiveness and bickering; however, for the Dressels, this choice was almost inevitable.

“All my siblings chose to go to a school in Florida, so it made my decision a little easier once I realized that being close to my family was very important to me.” This decision and influence from her siblings’ choices paid off, as Dressel describes the impact of having Caeleb nearby: “Having Caeleb with me has been a great experience and it has definitely made my years at UF more enjoyable… I honestly couldn’t imagine a better school for myself.”

Caeleb and sherridon dressel

Photo Courtesy: John Glaser

The Strongest Support System

Dressel is driven by commitment, family values, and supportive relationships – all qualities that have made her successful in the pool, on the deck and in the classroom. Modest as ever, she attributes her pool successes to her support system: “Obviously without my parents, I would never have been introduced to this sport and wouldn’t have the opportunities that I have today, so I am most appreciative for my family. I am also thankful for this opportunity because of my teammates and coaches who have paved the way so that I am able to reach my greatest potential.”

As for her successes outside of the water, she says: “Outside of the pool, my parents are my biggest support system and I can’t thank them enough for the opportunities they have given me.”


Photo Courtesy: Instagram, @sldressel

Advice to Other Siblings

For other swimmers facing a similar situation of competing and training alongside a sibling, Sherridon offers the following insight: “I struggled with comparing myself to my siblings and feeling like I was never as good as them. I would advise younger athletes to be proud of their siblings’ successes but never doubt their own potential.”

This ability to remain confident despite a lifetime of comparisons shows how strong and capable Sherridon is and the vastness of her future career swimming alongside teammates, friends, and most importantly: family.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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