Tom (not his real name), an eleventh grader at MUIDS, is an accomplished swimmer. Having swum for ten years, and earned several medals along the way, he was kind enough to share key lessons he’s learned from his swimming career.
Why did you start swimming? What do you like about it?
I started swimming when I was six years old. At that time my mom and I didn’t think that I would continue to be a swimmer. We just felt that swimming would be a great building block for me if I would do any other sport when I’m older. It turned out that I fell in love with swimming and it became a part of my routine.
I love the physical part of swimming, but also the mental part. To be successful you have to count your strokes, pace yourself, and be aware of your speed at all times.
Which swimmers do you admire?
At first, my idol in swimming was Michael Phelps. He earned a lot of medals, kept in great shape, and worked hard. Most importantly, he was not afraid to race against bigger opponents.
As I swam more I found out that I liked the breaststroke the best. My icon for this would be Nuttapong Ketin who is a Thailand National Breaststroker. Last year I had a chance to race against him in the Thailand National Games in Chiang Rai.
What events have you recently competed in? What were your results?
Over ten years I have competed in 71 matches, earning 196 medals of which 50 are gold, 73 are silver, and 73 are bronze.
What events have you competed in on behalf of MUIDS?
Most recently I earned five gold medals at the AISAA Swim Gala. We competed against Concordian, Berkeley, Ekami, KIS, and Wells international schools.
What is the single biggest reason for your success as a swimmer?
I practice a lot. I swim for an hour and half to two hours five time a week. Now that I’m on the team I swim for three hours every day.
What advice would you give to aspiring swimmers?
First ask yourself if you really want to be a swimmer. Also, don’t be afraid of losing and competing with swimmers that are better than you. I always train with someone who is better than me. My goal is to match their time. Doing that has helped me improve. It will do the same for you.