Birthday: January 3, 1997
Hometown: Eclectic, AL
School: Auburn University
2016 Olympic Trials Qualifier in the 100 fly
“The person who has focused on the small details is usually the person who gets their hand on the wall first.”
That’s Foster Ballard’s simple breakdown of one of the most complex sports in all of athletics. While it may seem easy enough, Foster asserts that it’s the way swimmers approach the small details that separates “good” from “great.”
“One of the most important things I learned in college was that it’s important to identify your weaknesses. That’s different for everyone, but you have to home in on one piece of your race, and do it perfectly over and over again. That’s the only way to develop good swimming habits.”
An expert in diagnosing stroke errors, Foster loves recycling tips that helped his own swimming (many of which hail from the elite program at Auburn University). While participants will learn the most advanced and efficient techniques, Foster’s influence does not stop there. A huge proponent of mental training, Foster is quick to share his own “light bulb” moments to promote a positive outlook of the sport.
“One thing I really like to see kids learn is that there are a lot of variables in life that are uncontrollable, but you can control your outlook and the way you react to those variables. I remember working for two years to get my first junior national cut; I think I got it right on the money. In the actual junior national race, I went an entire second faster than I had ever gone before. The mental game can be overwhelming, but that was a breakthrough moment because I finally understood how ‘swimming freely’ and harnessing that confidence could impact my performance. I started swimming fast when I realized that the sport didn’t make or break my world.”
Encouraging swimmers to bring everything they know into the clinic (while still maintaining an open mind), Foster hopes to supplement the swimmer’s training while renewing their love of the sport. Most importantly, Foster implores participants to actively seek new and novel ways to improve.
“Even as a senior in college, I realized that there was always a way to get better.”
Inspired as a child by an Auburn alum, Foster hopes to gift a similar experience to participants, forming an important pillar in the journey to “get better.”
“I remember swimming on my club team, and an Auburn swimmer came back to coach during his gap year before medical school. He made me want to be great. Now, I want to give back and maybe inspire someone to go to college and be great, too.”
Intent on coaching every angle of the sport, Foster is sure to give participants a rich and full experience. Connecting on a personal level with each and every athlete he comes across, Foster is a key player in fostering the next generation of swimmers. This is something he certainly doesn’t take lightly, as he works tirelessly to unlock opportunities for any and all who seek his help. Don’t hesitate; sign up for a clinic with Foster today!