“Enjoy at least one thing you do every day; make sure you have at least 5 different colors on your plate at meal times; and be coachable in your goals.”
Training advice or life philosophy? For 4x All-American Robyn Clevenger, the two are intricately connected.
“Because of swimming, I know how to truly push myself physically, mentally, and emotionally; how to manage my time extremely well; and how to communicate better with people and empathize much better than I used to.”
Robyn wants swimmers not only to improve their skills in the pool, but also grow and be receptive to all the ways in which swimming can enrich their lives. As a former Fitter and Faster attendee herself, Robyn understands the importance of mentorship in the formative years, and she’s ready to come full-circle!
I am partnered with Fitter & Faster because I was once a swimmer who went to the Fitter & Faster camps! Tyler McGill was one of the clinicians at my clinic, then ended up being one of my coaches in my collegiate career. I can thank him for helping me throughout my swimming career at a young age and at my collegiate age. My partnership with FFT is meant to encourage swimmers of all levels to develop greater confidence in themselves and in their abilities.
With this in mind, Robyn reflects on all of her most memorable coach-swimmer relationships. Swimmers in Robyn’s clinic will inherit wisdom from some of the most decorated coaches in the sport. For Robyn, it’s all about closeness:
“There have been several times where I have raced and my coach could read my mind on how that race went for me. It is a personal goal of mine to get to that level of expertise with an athlete so I know how to make them better overall.”
As a sprinter, Robyn is particularly detail-oriented, her technical sense heightened.
Some of the main skills I tend to focus on at my clinics is streamline, breakouts, bodyline, underwaters, and different start/turn techniques. I really emphasize the small details in my swimming. This is crucial in order to drop time in the “sprint” races because you only have a small amount of time to be as fast as you can. Therefore, knowing where you are in the water, out of the water, underwater, stroke count, number of breaths, dolphin kicks, stroke tempo, etc. is what can determine how well a swim may go, or it can tell you what you need to work on at practice. I also try to add nutrition facts and some dryland tips for my swimmers. Nutrition is a very important aspect to our sport, as well as, how engaged swimmers can be. All of these skills listed, have made a dramatic impact on my swimming career and have helped me be so successful in the sport.
Robyn hopes that swimmers will pick up some tangible tips and tricks along the way, while growing into themselves as athletes. The key is learning to trust your coaches, your support system, and yourself.
My ‘aha moment’ came the second I was able to trust my coaches in my training, trust my teammates to push me enough to reach my goals, and most importantly, trust myself and the decisions I made as an athlete. It can be really easy for athletes to give up on themselves when they don’t see success right away. However, this can also be a sign for you to find some type of change that needs to happen. For me, it was getting confidence in myself to race without fear. That was my “aha moment” when I finally realized that I was the one holding myself back in races.
Let yourself realize your potential with Robyn today!