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Smith is a 2016 Olympian and American Record Holder in the 1000 and 1650 Freestyle. He was also the first to break the 500 Freestyle American Record that was held for over 10 years by Peter Vanderkaay. “When I went to clinics as an age-group swimmer, I was always told to make multiple changes in my stroke or other changes that didn’t always make sense to me,” he remembers. Those experiences taught Smith to become better at “putting my thoughts into words without making it too complicated for kids to understand.” But ultimately, it’s the swimmer’s job to implement technique changes. “Only you can make the changes you want to see,” he says, pointing out a lesson he wishes he’d learned sooner: “Don’t expect your coach to remind you of your bad habits. It helps to pick on yourself.”
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