Emma Reaney


  • Birthday: October 20, 1992
  • Height: 5’9”
  • Hometown: Lawrence, KS
  • College: University of Notre Dame
  • Coaches: Brian Barnes, Tim Welsh, Mike Litzinger


  • Won a national championship in the 200-yard breaststroke as a junior in a school-, ACC-, NCAA-, U.S. Open- and American-record time of 2:04.06 Two-time member of the U.S. National Team
  • Won 14 conference titles (10 BIG EAST, 4 ACC) and 19 all-conference scrolls (14 BIG EAST, 5 ACC)
  • Competed at the World University Games in South Korea where she picked up a bronze medal in the 50-meter breast, and finished 10th in the 100.


Even after a three-year hiatus (during which time she traveled to Australia and landed a full-time job), Emma Reaney still hasn’t been able to shake the swimming bug. One of the most decorated athletes in Notre Dame history, Emma is used to differentiating herself, something she hopes to impart on the next generation of swimmers. With a spontaneous, bubbly personality, Emma is perfect for anyone looking to laugh, have fun, and learn something along the way.

“I was always the kid who never knew her splits or times. I just went out there and swam, but I was competitive, and I worked hard. It’s possible to have an absolute blast and experience success. Hang out with your friends at practice, laugh, sing, but then push off the wall and give it your best.”


This balanced approach is precisely what pushed Emma to the top of her sport. Claiming her “aha” moment came late in her career, Emma yearns to help participants get “ahead of the game” in terms of mental approach and preparation.

“At some point, you have to accept the fact that you can be really successful; you can be great. I remember telling myself the summer before my junior year, ‘You show up on time, you work hard, you have people invested in you.’ Putting that together and doing the math, I realized that there was never a reason to doubt myself behind the blocks.”

While Emma is eager to pull from her own experiences in order to help participants, she also encourages swimmers to advocate for their swimming and ask questions. As a passionate and energetic teacher, Emma is confident that she can get participants to share in her love of the sport. Inspired by her high school photography teacher’s unconventional approach, Emma likes to create a collaborative environment in which she and the participants are on a level playing field.

“I want to figure out what works for each person, and I want to do it together,” an approach Emma says allows swimmers to take more ownership over their swimming.

This individual treatment coupled with Emma’s emphasis on bodyline and underwaters is sure to produce a perfect storm for fast times. Emma is particularly concerned with how swimmers position themselves in the water, and is a guru in minimizing drag and maximizing efficiency.

“A coach once taught me how to not just move through the water, but past the water. I want to teach participants the difference.” 

Believing this concept to be universally effective for all four strokes, Emma likes to emphasize the basics before narrowing her focus. With a soft spot for breaststroke, Emma is happy to help swimmers in stroke-specific technique and racing strategies, as well as the intangible parts of competition.

Do you want to learn in a fun, relaxed environment where you’re able to play a role in your own success? Sign up for a clinic with Emma, today!

Participant Feedback From Emma's Clinics