Mothering A Champion – Christina Cooper Dressel

Author Eney Jones takes us up-close and personal with Christina Cooper Dressel, mother of Olympic Champion Caeleb Dressel


Michael Phelps, Caeleb Dressel – 2016 Olympic Games in Rio -courtesy of simone castrovillari

How are you able to be your child’s greatest fan and remain nurturing and supportive after a bad swim?

I am always mom and never a coach. That is my job as a mother to be nurturing and supportive regardless of a good or bad swim.


What is an important lesson you hope your child learns thru swimming?

Self discipline and to always do your best.


How has your family adjusted during this swim journey?

With four kids that swam it became a way of life for us. As the bills came in we just paid them.


How do you know when to step back and when to step in if your child has made a decision you don’t agree with?

We let our kids make their own decision if the consequences were not harmful to themselves or others. If we thought the consequences  were harmful to themselves or others we would step in with both feet.

Example: Where he went to college or whether  or not he chose to go to practice. It is his sport not mine. He also chose to get a pet ferret and pet rat and we were not thrilled about that decision. But he took great care of them and they ended up being great pets which we all fell in love with. An example is when he asked us about getting a dirt bike and we said no that we didn’t think that was a good idea.


What gives you strength? How do you pass that along?

Knowing that God is in control gives me so much strength. The best way to pass that along is to live it!!! My life is God’s story being told and his character being displayed so I try my best to apply that to my daily life.


About Eney Jones

  • Eney Jones has achieved remarkably diverse success as a leading pool, open water and Ironman triathlon swimmer, and is also a yoga instructor.
  • Masters National Champion 100-200-400-500-1500-1650 5k freestyle 2009
  • Open Water 5k Champion Perth Australia, May 2008.
  • National Masters Champion 200-400-1500 freestyle Champion, Portland Oregon, August, 2008.
  • Overall Champion Aumakua 2.4k Maui Hawaii, September 2008
  • Waikiki Rough Water Swim 3rd place 2006, second place Overall 2009, 3rd place 2012
  • European Record Holder and Masters Swimming Champion, 2005. Records included 200, 400, 800, 1500 m freestyle
  • Over twenty time finalist in U.S. Swimming Nationals, including Olympic Trials 1980
  • Gold medal NCAA 800 yd freestyle relay 1979, silver Medalist 200 yd freestyle 1979. United States National Team 1979-1980.
  • Professional Triathlete 1983-1991. First woman out of the water in every Hawaiian Ironman participated (6).

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Suzanne Dynneson
6 years ago

Such an amazing family of faith, that has led with strength, humility and grace in and out of the pool! Their generosity to us will never be forgotten! We are forever grateful to have met them!

6 years ago

How many siblings does he have?

Reply to  Carlo
6 years ago

3, it’s in the article.

6 years ago

“Always a mom and never a coach.” Best statement/advice ever.

Mike Murray
6 years ago

Thanks for everything you do for all your children’s teammates at UF, you make the college program a stronger family! We feel so thankful that your family is so supportive of all the kids!

6 years ago

Awesome article, what a great perspective from Mrs. Dressel! Would love to see more of these.

Reply to  Hswimmer
6 years ago

Great swimmers seems to often have great supportive / smart / knowledgeable parents . Here , there is no exception to that
exceptional patenring qualities .

6 years ago

Agreed, but it’s not always just elite swimmers. My mom has done every one of these things and I am very fortunate of that. Many kids get tired of their parents trying to coach them and I was fortunate that my mom was just a mom and not a coach.