2016 NCAA All-American in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle; honorable mention in the 100-yard back
Gold medal in the 50-meter back at the World University Games
World record-holder in the 200 SCM medley relay
American record-holder in the 50 SCM back
Bronze medalist in the 50 SCM backstroke at the 2016 Short Course World Championships
There is plenty of room for late bloomers in swimming – just ask Ali DeLoof.
“I didn’t realize that I could be really good at swimming until my sophomore year in high school,” says the backstroke and sprint freestyle specialist from Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan. “That’s when I decided I wanted to swim in college.”
Many athletes don’t realize their potential and need an extra boost of confidence to raise the bar on their goals, and DeLoof is just the clinician to encourage swimmers to step up their game.
“I want swimmers to walk away with a better understanding of what it means to be a competitive swimmer, and that they can do anything they set their mind to in the sport of swimming as long as they put the work in!”
DeLoof took this leap of faith in her swimming abilities by signing with the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, developing under head coach Mike Bottom. This would be the team for which she would compete at the NCAA Division I National Championships all four years; however, it was not without challenges.
“I did not do double practices and had never touched a weight in my life before,” she says. “So my first couple weeks of swimming were very interesting. I didn’t think I was going to be able to be a Division I athlete with how demanding the sport of swimming was and be able to do school!”
The good news: Success breeds success. DeLoof highly valued her education and wasn’t sure how to balance everyday life in addition to elite-level swimming. But with her hard work and dedication to both fronts, DeLoof learned valuable skills of time-management and goal-setting to become a multiple NCAA championship competitor.
Swimming is one of the best tools to learn about yourself and become a resilient, goal-oriented person – not just athlete. DeLoof shares that bouncing back from disappointments and perceived failures is no menial task, but it makes you a stronger and better athlete and person.
“My junior year, I swam terribly at NCAAs and then came back my senior year to be an All-American in the 50 and 100 freestyle,” she points out. Not too shabby, considering these were her “fun” events — she was there to swim the 100 backstroke, in which she finished 11th. The experience also taught her to trust her training: “If something went wrong or I had a bad swim, I had to brush it off and move on,” she says, “which is very hard in the moment!”
Through her love for the water and all the lessons learned along the way, DeLoof has dedicated herself to giving back to the sport through conducting Fitter & Faster clinics. Utilizing her teaching background, she is able to break down components of technique in easily understandable skills.
Why not learn how to step up your swimming game with DeLoof’s next clinic? Sign up today!