Why Isn’t Caeleb Dressel A Household Name?

by SwimSwam 48

March 27th, 2018 Lifestyle

Courtesy of Elizabeth Wickham

We witnessed amazing things this past weekend watching the 2018 Mens D1 NCAA meet. Who can believe that a human being broke 40 seconds in the 100 free, or 18 seconds in the 50 freenot to mention 43 seconds in the 100 fly? Caeleb Dressel should be a household name this week after breaking through these barriers at his final meet as a senior swimming for the University of Florida.

We watched from home on the computer, something that wasnt possible years ago. The livestream was clear, the narration entertaining and professional. I remember trying to watch one of our friends kids at Trials in 2008 and the production quality wasnt great and the livestream paused repeatedly. Swim coverage has improved significantly through the years, but I wonder if the audience has increased?

Of course, Olympic sports dont get the attention at the collegiate level as the big money sports, like football and basketball. In addition, we hear heartbreaking news of universities canceling swim programs regardless of high GPAs or how many times the teams win conference meets, like the recent news of Eastern Michigan University. We have to wait every four years for the Olympics to come around to show the nation how great our swimmers are. Is there anything we can do as swim enthusiasts to change this? In all reality, probably not much. I personally dont have the power to change TV schedules or viewing habits, but I can work on several little things.

Here are a few ideas about how we can help the popularity of swimming:

ONE

Scorekeeping. Weve had friends come to meets and they dont know whats going on because theres never a score posted. In other sports, you know which team is winning. Is it possible to post scores often and prominently at meets where they are keeping team scores?

TWO

Bring a friend to the pool. Whether your team has a bring a friend dayor you ask one of your childs friends to visit practice, we can reach out to more kids and introduce them to swimming.

THREE

Keep swimming fun. One reason why kids quit swimming is its not fun anymore.By allowing our kids time to goof off with their friends around the pool deck, either before or after practice, and keeping our attitudes light, we may keep our kids in the pool for more years.

FOUR

Invite friends and family to a meet. We can share our excitement and enthusiasm with our friends and family. Maybe not ask them to sit on the deck with us for two or three days, but have them stop by for an hour or two. Explain whats going on so they can follow along and maybe theyll catch the swimming bug.

FIVE

Be an ambassador. Talk about swimming with your non-swimming friends and share how much the sport has helped your kids. Encourage friends at any age to get into the pool and enjoy the great feeling of floating in the water. Its never too late to join a Masters team.

In what other ways can we help the popularity or importance of swimming in our society?

Elizabeth Wickham volunteered for 14 years on ther kids’ club team as board member, fundraiser, newsletter editor and “Mrs. meet manager.” She’s a writer with a bachelor of arts degree in editorial journalism from the University of Washington with a long career in public relations, marketing and advertising. Her stories have appeared in newspapers and magazines including the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Parenting and Ladybug. You can read more parenting tips on her blog.

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Togger
3 years ago

Cycling in the UK grew exponentially post 2008 because the governing body capitalised brilliantly on Olympic success. It is doable.

It seems team invasion sports (football, soccer, basketball, rugby over here) appeal most to people who don’t play them, but traditionally Olympic sports can grow by creating fans out of casual swimmers/cyclists/runners etc.

2Fat4Speed
3 years ago

Because it is not the Olympics.

Tm71
Reply to  2Fat4Speed
3 years ago

Exactly his only Olympic gold thus far is in a relay. Wait till August of 2020

Caeleb Dressel Will Win 9 Gold Medals in Tokyo
Reply to  Tm71
3 years ago

He won 2 in relays

Jason
Reply to  Tm71
3 years ago

Its too early in the quad. If this was 2019 his name would be everywhere because of sponsors.

Observer
3 years ago

1 – I wouldn’t even say Olympics itself, but he needs this same kind of last week’s performance on open television.
2 – Because Michael Phelps is still to recent.

sscommenter
3 years ago

I think there are a number of factors:
1) this weekend may mean the world to us, but they are going against one of the biggest college basketball weekends of the year – it would help a little more if they could get on ESPN2 during a slow weekend in sports
2) the stakes aren’t quite as high, while many die-hards know the different teams and schools, it may be tough for a casual viewer to get invested in a ‘dressel vs schooling’ race where they may not see it as fun as ‘phelps vs le clos’/’USA vs them’ the international stage builds storylines that Big J journalists run with

I think for the future of USA swimming… Read more »

Hswimmer
3 years ago

Dean Farris

Scot Weiss
3 years ago

I think the swimming community needs to address the whole asking parents to volunteer to time. No other sport I know asks for more parental sacrifice and volunteering! Parents should be able to watch their children swim, not stuck behind a block with a clipboard and stop watch.

Admin
Reply to  Scot Weiss
3 years ago

Scot – it’s really quite a simple solution. You just have to pay more money. If you’re willing to pay more money on your entry fees to bring in paid ‘professional’ timers, I’m sure you could find plenty of high school kids who would like to do it.

Or, for that matter, just hire someone to fill your chair. Call up your babysitter, see if he or she wants to make a couple of extra bucks on a Saturday to fulfill your obligation. I’m sure you’d find a taker, and unless your team is super petty, they shouldn’t care one way or the other so long as your obligation is fulfilled.

Hswimmer
Reply to  Braden Keith
3 years ago

Lol

coacherik
Reply to  Scot Weiss
3 years ago

So, your answer to why CD isn’t a household name is because you have to time for your kid’s swim meet?

DashRiprock
Reply to  coacherik
3 years ago

No, but yes. Age Group swimming is boring and tedious for both the swimmer and parent. 4 to 5 hour sessions are ridiculous. This IMO kills our sport. Duel Meets. Duel Meets. Duel Meets.

Joe
Reply to  DashRiprock
3 years ago

Dual

Taa
Reply to  DashRiprock
3 years ago

yeah if they used guns or swords for the duel it would be more interesting

JudgeNot
Reply to  DashRiprock
3 years ago

I found age group meets neither boring, nor tedious. Not as an age-group swimmer, nor later as a parent. Heck, I still watch them now when there’s a livestream – and I’m years from any personal connection.

Methinks it’s swimming you find boring and tedious? Not a problem, but you’re probably on the wrong site for that.

Swimforlife
Reply to  Scot Weiss
3 years ago

I make my teens time for their younger siblings’ sessions when they don’t have much school work / breaks . The little guys have sat through so many of their older brothers’ practices and meets. It’s only fair. I don’t mind timing. After 12 years and 4 kids in the sport you just adjust and learn that their are bigger problems in life. As far as Dressel I agree with the Olympic Year and NCAA comments. I also think CB doesn’t really seek attention. Quite a humble person. Seems to have a simple joy and love about him.

Admin
Reply to  Swimforlife
3 years ago

This is a great solution! So long as you keep having children, you’ll never have to time a swim meet again!

SwimPop
Reply to  Scot Weiss
3 years ago

I solved this timing problem by getting trained to officiate. The meets go by so much quicker. I get to see all the team swim. And nobody asks me to time anymore. Did I mention the food?

SVIRD
3 years ago

Dressel could win 9 golds at pan pacs or worlds and the general public wouldnt care. It’s kind of unfortunate for our sport that to most people, the only meet that “matters” is every four years.

Caeleb Dressel Will Win 9 Gold Medals in Tokyo
Reply to  SVIRD
3 years ago

Michael Phelps changed the sport of swimming by making it more popular. Now maybe Caeleb can do the same by making it popular as it is during the Olympics in non Olympic years.

Ben
Reply to  SVIRD
3 years ago

The sport is growing in popularity. Just look at how many people watched last year’s World championships live compared to the early 2000’s. But unless you’re in Australia where it’s extremely popular, most people still only care if it’s an Olympic year.

Sqimgod
Reply to  SVIRD
3 years ago

Look at kosuke hagino. Multiple gold’s at pan pacs 2014. Multiple gold’s at Asian games 2014. Gold 400 im 2016. Swimmer of the year 2014 and probably the most versatile swimmer since Michael phelps one knows or cares abt him.

Joedirt
3 years ago

Because he’s a swimmer. Because it’s difficult for people to relate to something they’ve never done. My friends who don’t swim have no idea what a time means and could care less. Actually, a lot of my swimming friends could care less sometimes.

Daniel Carr
Reply to  Joedirt
3 years ago

Yes, my friends were about the same, after I’d proudly tell them my results “well have you swum the English channel yet”, “no, of course not”,
“Well you’re crap then”…?