SwimSwam Podcast: Olympic and World Champ Tom Jager, The Godfather Of Speed

On SwimSwam Podcast, we’re giving you an in-depth listen at all things swimming. Host Coleman Hodges welcomes guests and guest co-hosts alike to get perspective on our ever-changing swimming universe and break down the past, present, and future of aquatic sports.

We sat down with Tom Jager, the man who held the 50m freestyle world record longer than anyone else to date. He got into the nitty-gritty of how he developed speed, including learning to listen to his body and do what he needed to do, not necessarily what every coach at the time thought he needed. This eventually evolved into his trademark set, 10×50 all out (this was in the late 80’s… sound like anyone else in our current swimming community?).

Jager also enlightened us on what he and Matt Biondi tried to change in terms of swimmers getting paid, by USA Swimming and by outside sponsorships. He speaks openly about how upset he was that athletes were getting scraps compared to what coaches or officials were taking home.

Music: Otis McDonald


Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
T Hill
11 months ago

great interview it’s good to share the history and struggles. Out of conflict can come progress if we’re willing to listen and care about our future & others.Yes, swim all the events as age groupers, you’re best events will find you. Coaches insurance ? Keep bringing some history & forward/creative ideas, weather they are right or wrong, no limits will stimulate better ideas.

Reply to  T Hill
11 months ago

…thanks T HILL…. Tom was an exceptional team captain and leader. Being the man to hold the 50m free WR the longest in history is impressive, but it’s those moments of his leadership that sticks with me.

Reply to  T Hill
11 months ago

The Dash for Cash races were great to watch. Remember one at a Juniors- so cool to see legends like that up close. Swimmers have been clawing for $ to support themselves with as way back as the 80’s. Been some progress but not enough.

John Leonard
11 months ago

Great Job Mel and Tom! Tom you were and are a fabulous leader for our athletes and now for your teams!

Great interview, honest, direct and RIGHT! (and love the hair man!) All the Best, John Leonard

11 months ago

Swimming 10×50 all out with 5 minutes rest in between each 50 is not USRPT training.

Reply to  anonymous
11 months ago

Very true…but most people think it is….

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

Read More »