This week’s conversation is with American Swimmer and Olympic Gold Medalist Conor Dwyer.

You wouldn’t know it looking at him now, with his 6’5”, athletic frame, three Olympic medals and four World Championships titles to his name, but success in the pool didn’t come easily to Conor.

He was a multi-sport athlete throughout his youth, settling into swimming as his main focus late in high school. He was good but never quite great and the self described ‘very late bloomer’ struggled to get any collegiate coach to look his way as graduation approached.

Unlike most of his teammates now on the U.S. National Swim Team there were no red carpet swim scholarships rolled out in his direction. But what Conor may have lacked in head-turning results early in his career he made up for with a gut- wrenching work ethic.

What changed for Conor? His mindset. His environment. His training.

In this conversation, we discuss how Conor transformed his swimming career: from unrecruited to winning multiple gold medals  at the Olympic Games,

I hope this conversation reminds you that success doesn’t come early to everyone.

Conor is a great example of what happens to those who build up the capacity to persevere until they get where they want.

“I’ve had a chip on my shoulder since I was 5’9” and no college coach would take me.”

In This Episode:

  • Learned to swim at the age of 2
  • Wasn’t ready to fully commit to swimming and took a break from age 10-16 to pursue other sports
  • How his personal experiences shaped his views on single sports specialization
  • Returning to competitive swimming in high school, but being impacted by not hitting puberty till very late
  • Why he didn’t get distracted by partying or other social endeavors in high school
  • How his family and grandfather shaped his curiosity and value of work ethic
  • The significant impact environment had on his performance
  • How he’s manages the rigorous training required to become an elite swimmer
  • What allows him to be a self-driven competitor
  • Where pressure comes from
  • His mindset heading into the Olympics
  • How he trains imagery and applied it during the Olympics
  • What it’s like the moment before a race begins
  • Why it’s important to find a mentor


Listen via: Apple Podcasts | Android | Stitcher | Pocket Casts |  RSS



“I live for competition.”

“It all comes down to determination.”

“I live for performing on the biggest stage. I’ve always wanted to be on the biggest stage. For me the Olympics is the pinnacle.”

On what would haunt him before a race: “The thought that haunts me is not doing the work to get there. Taking shortcuts. Not having the mindset that I’m ready to swim by best time or win a gold medal. You don’t ever want to have self-doubt walking up to the blocks.”


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Conor Dwyer is an American competition swimmer and Olympic gold medalist. He competes in freestyle and medley events, and won a gold medal as a member of the winning U.S. 4×200-meter freestyle relay team at the 2012 Summer Olympics.