The Cali Condors, with Jason Lezak as the General Manager, is headed to the grand ISL finale in Las Vegas this December, where they will be competing among the Los Angeles Current, the Energy Standard and the London Roar. “That feels great,” he admitted. “Our team had that mindset from the very beginning to make it to Las Vegas. The first two meets set us up pretty well going into the U.S. derby,” he said.
Having Lezak as the General Manager of the team is very “surreal” to him. “I would watch his 2008 Olympic relay race in Beijing, every time in high school and in college, before any of my big races, and that got me fired up,” he said.
“My favorite thing about the ISL is that it brings people together, internationally, that you would ordinarily never meet. I have people on my team in America that I’ve heard of and read about but had never met myself. The ISL gives us, professionals, a team atmosphere outside the NCAA and what we are used to, with people that we’ve never met. The ISL brings the world of swimming together,” he said.
Each day, Shebat is motivated by the lofty goals that he sets for himself. “I am finishing up classes, I have Olympic Trials, and I need to give it everything I possibly can,” he said. “Once I got to the ISL, it was so much fun. I love the people who I’m with and it was great to meet all of these Olympians. Prior to the ISL, I had never met 90 percent of my teammates. Meeting all of these Olympians and seeing their drive and what it takes to be an Olympian got fired me up even more. Honestly, the ISL made me look at swimming from a different point of view, which I love.”
Shebat is drawn to the backstroke since he finds it relaxing, especially when he is doing his underwater dolphin kick.
On the impact of technology on the sport of swimming, he said, “Technology has changed it a good amount. Video recordings and electronics are great since they help you watch your stroke.”
Regarding his use of technology in his daily routine as a swimmer, he said, “I use technology to a point. I don’t own a NormaTec myself, but we have them at the university where we train.”
For young and aspiring swimmers, he recommended they not take any shortcuts. “You don’t want to take shortcuts since those will come back and bite you in the butt. Also, you don’t want to finish swimming or anything in that matter and have any regrets,” he said. “You need to do your best, in and out of the water, all year round,” he underscored.
He expressed his gratitude to his coach, Eddie Reese (the veteran head coach of the Men’s Swimming and Diving at the University of Texas at Austin, home of the Texas Longhorns), for his guidance and support along the way. “I love the University of Texas at Austin. It has a big swimming dynasty. My coach, Eddie, got me to be as fast as I possibly can,” he said.
Shebat defined the word success as being “satisfied” in life.