High School Swimming is Life-Changing
For many, joining their high school swim team is a huge accomplishment and can be life-changing!
Local swimmer, Ryan Lloyd, shares his take on how he overcame his childhood fear of the deep in and turned it into a passion for the sport of swimming.
In some people's eyes, Ryan had a late start in the sport. Seems a lot of swimmers have seasons under their belt by then. That didn't stop Ryan! He went from joining a swim team for the first time in high school to swimming in college.
Here, he shares how his journey from the gridiron to the pool changed his life.
Name: Ryan Lloyd
Favorite race? 100 Fly When did you start swimming? Freshman year of high school What sports did you play before becoming a swimmer I was a Running Back/ D Linebacker in football and ran 300 hurdles plus pole-vault in track. What was your reason to pursue swimming? I had a significant knee injury the summer before 8th grade that required a few surgeries. The doctor left me with two options: cycle or swim. Was it something you always wanted to try or did an opportunity arise? I actually hate the water. When I first started swimming, I was ignorant. I believed swimmers were not as tough as football players and I was way wrong. I grew to love swim after a few weeks in the water with my highschool team at Azle. The only problem was that I have a childhood fear of the water, especially the deep end. I spent a lot of practices closing my eyes over the deep end, only opening them when I breathed so I wouldn’t have to look down. I even did this at meets. Luckily that fear slowly went away, but it will never be gone forever. I am still very afraid of swimming in lakes even though I have done some 2-mile open water races and triathlons. It just takes me a long time to get adjusted to the water and I usually have my eyes closed for most of the race while on the lake to keep my heart rate down and to avoid panic. If you could go back would you choose to swim at an early age. Yes. Not year-round though. I would do summer league until I was around 13ish then go to year round. What would you tell someone that wants to join at 16/17 but thinks it's to late? It’s not too late. Teaching adults and through my own experiences, it’s never too late. The worst thing in this world is regret. If you think you will regret not trying then it’s time to start. Luckily I was able to swim at a D3 college in Virginia. All through school my main goal was to play NCAA in college but when I had the knee surgeries, I thought my dreams were dead, so did the doctors lol. Swim gave me a new opportunity. I picked 30 possible colleges and called the coaches every other day. I watched swim meets and sent emails to the teams congratulating their performances, anything to make it to the NCAA. Out of 30 colleges, 29 said no and 1 said maybe. I was told if I made it into that school, I could join the team. I made it and I loved it! I came in as a sophomore and was probably the worst out of the 25 guys on team when I came in! Haha but I got better and finished 7th in our conference in the mile. What is the biggest at lesson you learned from swimming? Persistence trumps everything. The more persistent I was, the luckier I got. What was your biggest moment in swimming, the moment that stands out the most when you think about your swim career? The whole thing. When I look back, the people swimming put me around was the biggest moment. At first, all I cared about was achieving but in the I hardly remember the achievements but I remember all the people.
It's never too late to join your local swim team!
Ryan coaches for a local club team in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area, Sigma Swimming. Whether you are looking for swim lessons for a beginner or swim team, you want to support local. Check out the Sigma Swimming website for more information!
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