Team Speedo swimmer, Caeleb Dressel is one of the sport’s brightest stars. The 24-year-old is famously fierce between the lanes but when it comes to life on dry land, the Florida native is charmingly relaxed. Now, after a year-long wait, he’s finally ready to make waves this summer.
In this three-part series, we had the chance to sit down with Caeleb and find out more about the multiple world champion and world record holder. First up, we jumped right in and got to know more about the mindset of a champion.
Speedo: What does it feel like to celebrate a world record?
Caeleb: “It’s actually a very short-lived feeling. It comes and goes very quickly, as I feel like it should. You want to take parts of that race; you want to put everything in your career into that one moment and learn from that race as much as celebrate it. Give yourself five minutes, feel good about then you’ve got to move on. You’ve got to learn something from the race. That’s more important than just being happy with it.”
It’s clear that for all of Caeleb’s charisma, at his core he’s got a determined focus that’s constantly searching for improvements. Efficiency, dynamism, whatever it takes to gain the sharpest edge.
Caeleb: “I don’t think [winning’s] worth much if it’s not partnered with learning something from the race or learning something from practice. If you’re on top of that podium and you didn’t learn something from that race, then it’s a throwaway. That’s why I also consider the bad races, you can take something away from them as long as you learn something.”
You can’t help but feel encouraged by his balance. Through all the clear water, there’s a clear head – perhaps that ease and positive self-talk plays just as much of a role in a winner’s mindset as the obsessive focus on the tiny details. It’s something that’s evident in his famous lane line celebration.
Speedo: Tell us about your famous celebration. How did that come about?
Caeleb : “My first official lane line sit was [at the] 2017 World’s [Championships]. But I never plan a celebration, I think that’s against the rules. I have a lot of unspoken rules within myself. I never had anything planned, you just kind of go for it and that’s it. I’ve fallen off once. That was a little embarrassing. But I just got right back up.”
It’s great watching an athlete take so much joy in their craft as well as connecting with the crowd as much as he does. Whilst at the time of writing, there’ll be a limited crowds at events this year, the thought of having just the pool in front of him, doesn’t faze him one bit.
Caeleb: “It doesn’t change anything. The pool’s still going be 50 metres, the blocks are still going be blue and white… If I had a preference, of course I’d like to have a packed stadium to really thrive and feed off that energy but the only energy I really need, I think, is the pool.”