Swimming World Presents “Moms at Meets: Erica Worrell”

Photo Courtesy: The Worrell Family

Moms at Meets: Erica Worrell

Sponsored by TriSwim 

Erica Worrell just competed in her rst Masters swim meet, where she learned the value of having a secure, comfortable pair of goggles. Erica became aware of “the goggle situation” by first wearing her pair too loose, then too tight. She was able to identify firsthand with her six children, who are all swimmers and have all had goggle struggles in their careers.

Of her four daughters and two sons, the name, Kelsi Worrell, may sound familiar. You know—the American record holder/ first woman under 50 seconds in the 100 yard fly? In addition to her swimming prowess, the 2016 University of Louisville graduate is also known for reaching the hearts of fans, competitors and coaches with her heartfelt gratitude and humility.

Those qualities can be attributed to her parents, Erica and Bob Worrell, who are always encouraging and leaving the competing to their kids. Here, Erica gives Swimming World a glimpse into the mind of an Olympic mom:

How has swimming shaped Kelsi’s character?

Kelsi has always been Type A and very athletic, with a “let’s- get-’er-done” attitude. Swimming has taught her really good time management skills. And she became much more intentional when she started college swimming. For example, she used to eat when she was hungry; now she eats to fuel her body. Before practice, she thinks, “What am I going to focus on today?” She’s not just swimming lap after lap. She’s also taught me compassion for other competitors.

What advice do you have for new swim parents?

Let the coach coach. Leave swimming at the pool. Encourage them and love them. Volunteer—either on deck or behind the scenes.

When my 7-year-old complains about her goggles, I now know to help her and find some goggles that don’t hurt. I don’t want her to hate the sport. There are certain things I can fix. If I can try to make her enjoy the sport more by fixing a little thing, I want to do it.

Encourage your swimmers to make friends with their competitors. If they’re in it for the long haul (e.g., through college), it’s nice to see familiar faces when they’re away from home.

How do you handle competitive swim siblings?

Taylor (her younger sister) didn’t even talk to Kelsi at one point! It was right around the New Jersey State Championships. Taylor won the 500, but Kelsi won something else…and Taylor felt like it was her event. My next son, Kyle, is similar to Kelsi, and our youngest, Jared, is similar to Taylor! Both are good swimmers. There is just so much pressure…

I’ve really tried to make sure they know swimming is not their identity. As a Christian family, we remind them that their identity is in Christ. My value for them is not dependent on how they do. If they decide not to swim, that’s ne by me.

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Take a tour through the current Swimming World Magazine…

FEATURES
010 A RED, WHITE AND BLUE DANUBE WALTZ
by David Rieder, Brent Rutemiller, Taylor Brien and John Lohn
Team USA danced circles around its com­petition in Budapest’s (Hungary) beautiful Duna Arena at the 17th FINA World Cham­pionships, July 23-30. Beginning nine days earlier on July 14, the city came alive, sup­porting all the aquatic sports—open water, diving, high diving, synchronized swimming and water polo.

020 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS PHOTO GALLERY
All photos courtesy of SIPA USA

028 POISE AND CONSISTENCY IN THE LONG BLUE LANE
by Annie Grevers
Men who have been fortunate enough to be a part of the legendary St. Xavier High School swimming tradition in Cincinnati, Ohio know what it means to belong to the “The Long Blue Lane.” But the members of the exclusive group also realize how instru­mental their years as St. X Aquabombers were to their character development.

032 THE X FACTOR
by Annie Grevers
St. Xavier swimmers knew they could do something pretty impressive during the 2016-17 high school season. By “doing the work and putting in the time,” Coach Tim Beerman’s Aquabombers won Swimming World’s boys’ national high school champi­onships, securing its fourth title to go along with team victories in 1973, 1992 and 2001.

036 EMBRACING THE CHALLENGE
by David Rieder
Carmel High School (Ind.) once again won Swimming World’s girls’ national high school championships—for a fifth straight year and for the sixth time in the last seven years.

COACHING
040 LESSONS WITH THE LEGENDS: BOB KIPHUTH
by Michael J. Stott

044 SPECIAL SETS: TRAINING FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY
by Michael J. Stott
This is the first of a two-part series on train­ing for the individual medley, which requires time, sacrifice, incredible endurance and speed to achieve world-class status. This month, Coaches Ted Knapp and Jeff Kostoff share “the Stanford way” of training their IMers. Next month: North Baltimore Aquatic Club coach Paul Yetter will provide some of his IM training secrets.

046 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE MISCONCEPTIONS: STROKE COUNTS
by Rod Havriluk
This month’s article addresses the miscon­ception that a lower stroke count represents a more effective technique. While stroke counts can provide meaning­ful feedback about technique, swimmers often make technique adjustments that lower their stroke count, but do not necessarily make their tech­nique more effective.

049 Q&A WITH COACH JON CARLSON
by Michael J. Stott

050 HOW THEY TRAIN: TANNER SONNEK
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING
043 DRYSIDE TRAINING: THE IM STROKE SERIES—BREASTSTROKE
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER
053 UP & COMERS
by Taylor Brien

COLUMNS
008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT
048 MOMS AT MEETS
054 GUTTER TALK
056 PARTING SHOT

3 Comments

3 comments

  1. Debbie Sheehan

    Great article, Erica Faison Worrell.

  2. Peggy Barnes

    Nice article. Gives credit to someone who deserves recognition.

Author: Taylor Brien

avatar
Taylor Brien is the Circulation and Operations Manager at Swimming World. A native of Bettendorf, IA and a 2015 graduate of Illinois College, she has covered a variety of events since joining the SW team in 2015, including the NCAA Championships, World Championships, Olympic Trials, and 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

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