“I have been a part of the Breakout Swim Clinic since it stated,” Lezak said. “For me, it has been a lot of fun, especially since I have been retired since 2012, and I don’t have to focus on training or be worried about competitions. I am able to inspire a lot more kids, so it has been a lot of fun.”
Lezak had nothing but the kindest remarks about fellow swimmer and five-time Olympic medalist, Josh Davis, who runs the Breakout Swim Clinic. “Josh is great. He has had a lot more experience than me in the swim clinic business, and I have learned a lot from him. It is fun since I get to work with a friend. It really helps you get your game together, especially when you have to teach some strokes that might not be your best strokes,” he said.
When he swam competitively, Lezak shared that he was motivated by his “desire to improve himself each time. “My motivation was to do better than I did last time. I would always figure out something to improve on,” he said. “Swimming is one of those tough sports, where the Olympics are only every four years, but you still have that motivation year after year focusing on world championships and other meets.”
At the Olympic level, Lezak earned four gold medals, two silver medals, and two bronze medals. He has won multiple world championships and he has set multiple world records in swimming.
He also won two Golden Goggle awards for “Relay Performance of the Year” in 2006 and 2008, respectively. The Golden Goggles benefit the USA Swimming Foundation. “That was neat. The Golden Goggles were pretty new back then, and it was fun to go celebrate, and it is always nice to get honored for something,” he said.
Speaking of USA Swimming, Lezak acknowledged that he has been an ambassador for them for a few years now. “They are making a huge progress in our swimming world. They are making things better for the athletes, but they are also making things better for our community, and that is helping kids, and to help decrease the amount of drownings,” he said.
For young swimmers, he encouraged them to “keep it fun.” “If you have the right attitude, show up for practice with a smile on your face, and if want to be there, then you will work hard, you will listen to your coaches, and you will do the things that it takes to achieve those goals that you set out,” Lezak explained.
Lezak shared that it was the discouraging moments and the disappointments that got him “back on track.” “They motivated me to come back and achieve something that I thought I should have achieved previously,” he said. “I would like to thank the fans and supporters for sticking with me through those ups and downs. At times, swimming didn’t always go my way, but I had a lot of support from family and friends. That was a big reason why I kept going.”
The advice he would give his 18-year-old self would be to “stay focused on your goals and do what you are supposed to do.”
He revealed that he has three children, and his two oldest ones, ages nine and seven, have been swimming for a year now on their club team.
Digital transformation of aquatics
On the impact of technology on the sport of swimming, Lezak noted that he has always been a fan of technology. “I remember when the first underwater videos came out 20 years ago, and I started analyzing that. I was always the type of person that wanted to do that and wanted to see what was going on. For me, it’s a fun thing to learn from and get better at,” he said.
He added, “These days, with technology, there is a lot more involved than what it used to be, for sure.”
The 8-time Olympic medalist defined the word success as “Achieving something that you set out to achieve.”
For more information on the Breakout Swim Clinic, visit its official website.
To learn more about Olympic swimmer Jason Lezak, follow him on Twitter.