http://www.digitaljournal.com/sports/chatting-with-tom-shields-olympic-gold-medalist-swimmer/article/504531

Chatting with Tom Shields: Olympic gold medalist swimmer Special

Posted Oct 8, 2017 by Markos Papadatos
Olympic gold medalist swimmer Tom Shields chatted with Digital Journal about his prolific career in swimming, and he offered advice for aspiring swimmers.
Tom Shields
Tom Shields
supplied by Tom Shields
Shields won the gold medal in the 4 x 100 medley at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. "That was great! It was a dream come true, obviously. It was super-awesome to represent my country," he said.
He had nothing but the greatest remarks for his fellow team-mates Nathan Adrian and Cody Miller. "It was cool," he said. "I've always looked up to Nathan, and Cody and I went to different schools, but I respected him, and it is great to be professional Team U.S.A. teammates."
A native of Florida, Shields holds the American records in the 50 fly, 100 fly and 200 fly.
Tom Shields
Tom Shields
supplied by Tom Shields
Shields listed such acclaimed swimmers as Michael Phelps, Jason Lezak and Aaron Piersol as his biggest influences in the aquatic sport. "Michael was the quintessential swimmer, and I've learned a lot from him. Jason is a very accomplished swimmer," he said.
Each day, Shield is motivated primarily by discipline. "I don't really like motivation, or thinking about it. I think staying disciplined is way more valuable," he said.
Tom Shields
Tom Shields
Mike Lewis
When asked about what a typical workout day entails, he responded, "I wake up sometimes between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m., and depending on where I'm working out that day, I will go to the pool, work out, and then nap a little bit. Then, I will work out again, lift and I will do yoga."
On his plans for the future, he said, "Swim as fast as I can, love my wife to the best of my ability, and cultivate an enjoyable experience until I die."
Digital transformation of aquatics
Regarding the impact of technology on aquatics, Shields said, "I didn't predict them to be so regulatory, to be honest. I thought they were going to be more accepting of it, but they put a stop to it, and now there has been a lack of development."
Shields shared that the video rules are changing, and they are getting better.
"We have perhaps the best bio-technician in the world. He has been on the cutting edge of that for a while. I've worked with him two or three times now and he has given me very helpful tips. He has a good pulley system."
On his use of technology, Shields revealed that he uses DragSox, which helps with endurance. "I feel like mastering the fundamentals is the key to getting better, so I'm trying to focus on that," he said.
Tom Shields
Tom Shields
supplied by Tom Shields
He praised his coach, Mr. Dave Durden, as a second father to him. "Dave has really helped me grow as a man," he said. "He has a good ability of being honest with stroke assessment, and where you are in your life, and what you need to do. Dave is the most honest person and that's what you want as a coach. He is very creative and finds interesting ways to take you past your limit."
For aspiring swimmers, he said, "Don't give up. Have faith in yourself, but don't lie to yourself. Believe in yourself just enough to not give up. Other than that, question everything that you do."
On the key to longevity in swimming, he said, "Don't think about it. Stay in this year and this month. Think about the next meet. Surround yourself with people who will help you control the bigger picture, so you don't have to worry about it. Other than that, continue doing what you are doing now."
Tom Shields
Tom Shields
supplied by Tom Shields
In his spare time, Shields enjoys surfing, playing chess, video games, body-surfing, as well as hanging out with his wife and friends.
Shields defined the word success as "Continuing to sleep and eat indoors."
For his fans, he said, "Thanks for supporting me through all the ups and down. It is cool that I have a good group of people that believe in me no matter what. I appreciate them."
Tom Shields
Tom Shields
supplied by Tom Shields
To learn more about Olympic gold medalist swimmer Tom Shields, check out his official website, and Facebook page.