The Triple Impact Competitor

Julian Morales

Coach Derek of View Ridge was recently selected to be part of the USA Swimming Girls’ National Select Camp in Chula Vista, California. He has written an awesome piece about some stuff he took away from the experience.


The Triple Impact Competitor

In October, USA Swimming invited me to participate as an assistant coach for the Girls’ National Select Camp in Chula Vista, California. Every year, USA Swimming hosts 48 young women and 48 young men from all over the country for two and a half days of in water training, classroom presentations, and team building. The camp consistently hosts future members of the US Olympic and National Teams and the 2020/2021 US Olympic team had at least one swimmer from every select camp going back to 2008 and as part of the camp former attendees and current National Team athletes meet with and mentor the current athletes. This mentorship is designed to allow the current National Team athletes to pass on the lessons they’ve learned and experiences they’ve gained over their careers and to further the development of the next phase of USA Swimming’s international success.

During the camp, I was introduced to the concept of the triple impact competitor. This idea expanded on something we have talked about in this space in the past.

In the past we discussed how no one succeeds on their own and how our success is made possible by both our own effort and focus and the actions and attitudes of our teammates. Every day when we come to practice and engage in the process of getting better, we are not only improving ourselves but also contributing to the environment that allows each one of us to become the best person and swimmer that we’re capable of being. As a team, I think SMAC has embraced the idea that our actions and attitudes have dual impacts, and you can see it in the way groups pull together and support each other during training sessions and meets.

A triple impact competitor takes that understanding a step further. A triple impact competitor recognizes that not only do we make ourselves better and make our teammates better but that we have the opportunity to make the sport of swimming better. This is the idea SMAC tries to promote through the Swim-a-thon which provides funds for current and future athletes, through the Saturday morning stroke clinics for Stroke Development and Catfish athletes, and through the foundational pillar of legacy.

But like all big things, it starts with small actions undertaken consistently by every athlete.

We can make the sport better by showing respect to the officials and volunteers who make our participation possible and by showing respect to the teammates and competitors who motivate us to continue to improve. We can make the sport better by cleaning up after our workout so that other groups, the coaches, or the pool staff don’t have to clean up after us. We can make the sport better by interacting with and encouraging the younger swimmers we see every day. We can make the sport better by showing appreciation for the experiences we have had and the lessons we have learned and by passing on those experiences and lessons to others.

Being a triple impact competitor will take work but remembering that your actions have multiple impacts will make the experience of the sport of swimming better for you, your teammates, and anyone who follows you into the sport.