Most competitive swimmers share an ultimate goal: competing in the Olympics.
Team USA also works to build its roster. Scouts find and develop the best talent.
Two Tampa teens were chosen to participate in a special regional camp. The USA Swimming Zone Select Camp brings together about 60 elite swimmers for intense training. Morgan Tankersley and Paxton Rhoads spent a long weekend in the pool and in the classroom at the University of Louisville.
Training in the same lane with the best can only make already talented swimmers better.
"I like training with a big group of people my own age,” Morgan says. "It definitely pushes you to better and strive to be the best."
"It was great to just train off each other and pick up pointers here and there, and learn how everybody else does stuff differently than you do. And maybe you can take that back and improve your stroke as well," he says.
Morgan Tankersley specializes in freestyle and backstroke. The USA Zone Camp taught her how to set small goals on the way to her biggest goals.
"I actually learned that goal-setting, you have to have levels to go to, which I didn't know before. I just had one goal, start, get there…but you're supposed to have little increments to go to, so I learned that and that was kind of cool," Morgan said.
Fourteen year old Morgan's next goal: qualify for Junior Nationals.
Paxton excels in breaststroke. He appreciates the attention to detail his stroke received at the USA Zone Camp.
"Learned different sets, different angles on my pullout, try to get my hips up more, kicking, a lot of technical work," he says.
Fifteen year old Paxton is working to become more aerodynamic in the water as he works to qualify for the National meet and the finals in the 100 breaststroke.
Morgan will join Paxton on the Plant High School swim team next season. These Tampa teens already make a splash with USA Swimming.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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