We recently asked the Innovation for Endurance community to send their questions to world-record-holding swimmer Ryan
Lochte — here’s the question Ryan chose to answer:
Q: What would you say to a young age-group swimmer about the long haul with the ultimate goal of being an Olympian? — Sara James
Ryan Lochte: It’s not an easy road. To become an Olympian you must put in hours, days, and years of hard work. There will be many disappointments, but you cannot look back. Just learn from mistakes and realize that everyone loses at some point in their lives, but to be a true winner you must understand that losing is a part of winning. I spent years losing, winning, losing & winning. But I never gave up and I believed that one day I would become the Best Swimmer in the World. You MUST believe it.
If you lose, don’t get down, but get stronger! Let your losses and failures make you better. A loss is only a temporary setback, but if you let a loss, or even several losses, drive you to quit, then you have lost forever. Most important, you must love what you are doing and have fun because all the wins in the world and all the money in the world will not make you happy in this sport unless you are having fun! I am successful because, above all else, I love this sport and it is fun to me. I don’t always love the hard work, but when that hard work pays off it is worth all the blood, sweat,and tears leading up to competition. You can do it!
I think there are 10 steps to becoming an Olympic Swimmer:
- LOVE IT.
- BELIEVE IT.
- WORK HARD.
- NEVER GIVE UP.
- ACCEPT THAT LOSING IS A PART OF WINNING.
- LEARN FROM YOUR LOSSES.
- LISTEN TO YOUR COACHES, AND MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE A COACH WHO BELIEVES IN YOU.
- BE CONFIDENT.
- NEVER LET ANYONE TELL YOU THAT YOU CAN’T.
- HAVE FUN!!!!
—Ryan Lochte, World-record-holding Swimmer