13 Things I’ve Learned From 13 Years Of Swimming

Courtesy of Katie Lafferty


There’s more to life than swimming even though much of your life has been consumed by swimming.


We’re all in this together. No one besides a swimmer/coach can/will understand what you are going through.


Swim coaches will be some of the most important people in your life and some of your biggest supporters, in and out of the pool.


Swimming isn’t a forever, it’s a for right now.


Your times don’t define the person you are.


You have to be your biggest fan, because if you don’t believe in yourself, than who else will.


90% of the time swimming is more mental than physical. If your mind isn’t in the right place than your body won’t be either.


Take advantage of everything the sport has to offer because just like anything in life, it can be taken away from you in the blink of an eye.


Have balance in your life. Swimming takes up so much of your time but it is important to do other things with your life that make you happy as well.


Never give up on your dreams and goals and always work hard to achieve them. No matter how crazy your goals are, if you work hard you will either 1. Achieve those goals and feel happy that all your hard work paid off or 2. Just miss those goals but feel good about never giving up on them and realize that your hard work still paid off because you have learned something from the experience.


The pool is an excellent place to solve all of life’s problems, study for tests, or even just ignore the world. Take advantage of the individuality aspect of the sport.


Swimming teaches you more about yourself and how you handle things than any class, person, book, or friend ever could teach you.


Although your swimming career will eventually end, no matter what pool you jump in anywhere in the world, you will instantly feel a sense of familiarity.

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Jennifer Parkes
6 years ago

And we’ll hope that sometime when you do jump in, you’ll say to yourself, ” I really loved doing this as a kid, so I might like to do it again, so maybe I’ll try that Masters program…” and you know what, you might like it, appreciate this great activity/sport, even more!

Reply to  Jennifer Parkes
6 years ago

It took me 7 years to get back in the pool and maybe 6ish months to fully convert to being a masters swimmer as opposed to purely competitive swimmer. I regret every early alarm, but appreciate the physical, social and mental benefits of swimming.

6 years ago

God bless Masters Swimming, it has certainly blessed me. I appreciate swimming so much more now.

6 years ago

that are true life lessons

jay ettl
6 years ago

Angie, I think I’ve heard this some place before. But needless to say, I couldn’t have said it better.

norm chadwick
Reply to  jay ettl
6 years ago

hey! got your classmates msg but haven’t been a member for years–someday soon we’ll actually find each other again! bruce vyverberg told me there’s a reunion for 1970 tomorrow but i know nothing further–evidently he heard this from holly heemstra. my email is [email protected], cel is 574-288-5298, and home is 574-208-4041 (no msgs on this one). have left several msgs, delta, etc, hope to see you and d’anne!

6 years ago

Took me 20 years to get back in the pool and my times stink but my strokes still look good and most of all I feel good about what I am doing because I don’t “have to be here” I “want to be here”. That’s the difference. I feel good about what I’m doing and re-uniting with old swimming friends has been fun. It’s been a great experience and I look forward to many years of fun filled competitions!