Annam Olasewere makes a splash at USA Swimming National Select Camp

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Photo contributed by Annam Olasewere ’25

Annam Olasewere ’25 participated in the USA Swimming National Select Camp in order to improve her mindset both in and out of the pool.

With her Staples girls’ Swim and Dive backpack draped over her shoulders, Annam Olasewere ’25 strolled into the Colorado Olympic and Paralympic Training Center to participate in the USA Swimming National Select Camp. Starstruck as Olympians and Paralympians from various sports passed by, Olasewere and 50 other elite teenage swimmers made their way to the pool. Their flip flops squeaked on the pool deck as they timidly sat down on the bleachers, ready to embark on one of the most impactful experiences of their swimming careers. 

The camp is designed for the top USA swimmers in the nation to have a once-in-a-lifetime  experience and learn about post-race recovery, drug and supplement rules, psychological training skills, nutrition, race strategy and more. Olasewere was invited to attend the camp due to her various successes in the pool. 

“Last season, I was the fastest in the nation for the 50 Meter and 100 M Freestyle for the 13-14 year old age group. As of Aug. 31st 2022, I was also the fastest swimmer in the nation in the 50 M Freestyle for the 15-16 age group that was eligible for this camp,” Olaswere said. “As a result, since I was in the top three eligible athletes in the 14-17 age group category in the 50 M Freestyle, I was invited to attend the camp.”

The swimmers were told that a large percentage of the camp attendees make it to the national teams, and that around one to three olympians come out of each camp session. Being some of the nation’s top, these athletes are not foreign to the pressure to succeed in the sport, but the best swimmers are the ones who are able to overcome these mental blocks. Attending the USA Swimming National Select Camp is not only an amazing swim training experience, but it also paves a path for the swimmers to learn how to improve outside of the pool.

[The coaches] gave constant and direct feedback, introduced new techniques, helpful equipment and led by example.”

— Annam Olasewere ’25

“At the camp, I was able to listen to speakers who spoke about sports psychology and how to prepare yourself for races,” Olasewere said. “They also covered mental health, and how to keep a growth mindset and seek help to keep yourself both mentally and physically healthy, and much much more.”

In addition to the great speakers the swimmers heard, the camp was also led by some of the top coaches in the United States which was extremely influential to the training process of the swimmers. 

“They gave constant and direct feedback, introduced new techniques, helpful equipment and led by example,” Olasewere said. “They were truly passionate about the sport.”

After coming home and starting the Staples swim season, Olasewere is building off of the lessons she learned from the coaches and speakers at the camp, and she has proved to be an important and impressive teammate to work with. 

“It is a privilege to watch Annam swim her races, and even swim against her sometimes. It is undeniable that she is the fastest in the pool at her speed, and I always look up to her as a person and to her abilities,” Staples girls’ Swim and Dive captain, Emma Maddoff ’23, said. “She is humble, kind and puts everyone on the team first. Just like she is now, I know that she will continue to do great things in the world of swimming.”