In our previous blog, we interviewed Brian Peresie, Head Women’s Swimming & Diving Coach for The University of Akron about his Olympic experience. We hope you enjoyed that interview, and we thought it would be a good idea to do another interview this month with an Olympic athlete, Andy Potts.
Andy Potts competed in the Olympics in 2004, and has since focused his energies on a variety of Ironman competitions around the country. After a bad fall on his bike at the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii on October 8th 2016, Andy still managed to place 11th. Previously he has placed 4th twice at this event. We spoke with Andy to ask him a few questions about his Olympic and Ironman experiences, as well as his commitment to using our StretchCordz® band resistance tools in his daily training regimen.
Can you tell us a little bit about your Olympic experience and background?
As you might imagine, for my entire life, going to the Olympics was a dream of mine. I represented the US in the 2004 Olympics in the triathlon event. I placed 22nd and was 1st out of the water. As a former swimmer, I always say that I won the 1500 in the Olympics.
Tell us how you were first introduced to NZ Manufacturing products?
I have used StrechCordz® brand stretch cords as part of my training routine for most of my swimming career. My coach, Mike Doane, recommended NZ products to me about 8 years ago and I have been using them ever since.
Which NZ manufacturing products in particular do you use, or have you used in the past?
I try to use the StretchCordz® resistance bands on a daily basis before every swim workout. They are one of the few things that I can say have been in my training bag for my entire career.
Have you ever noticed a drop off in your endurance when you stopped using StretchCordz® products?
The past two years I had gotten away from my regular StrechCordz® swim training tool work and my swimming definitely suffered (you may not be able to tell but I certainly can). In April, I made the adjustment to go back to doing 5-8 minutes of using StrechCordz® tools for dry-land work. I’m starting to see the results now, and my swimming will be better this year because of it. I learned that it’s too valuable to forfeit that type of work.
What are some tips for a young swimmer aspiring to make it to the Olympics?
As an aspiring Olympic swimmer, it takes a lot of time, energy, dedication and focus. It also requires many different teams at different times in your development. I will tell you the same things I tell my kids, which is applicable to everything in life: The only things you can control are your attitude and your effort. You need to have an eye on the big picture, but still focus on the small daily goals to achieve your long term goal. You always have to work towards continuous improvement.
How has your Olympics experience differed from Ironman competitions? Has the training essentially been the same, or was one more difficult than the other?
The training between preparing for the Olympics and Ironman competitions is completely different. I took a lot of what I learned and have applied it to my Ironman training, but they require different strengths. Unlike Olympic distance racing, Ironman racing, as a function of its length, requires a few key additional areas to focus on such as nutrition and mental focus. It is critical in Ironman training to stay focused for 8+ hours, whereas an Olympic distance event is under 2 hours.
Interested in learning more about the wide array of NZ Manufacturing products that can greatly improve your resistance training?
We can’t thank Andy Potts enough for taking time out of his busy schedule to sit down with us for this interview. We wish him all the best in his future competitions. If you’re looking to improve your own resistance training regimen, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team to discuss our StretchCordz® products. We can be reached by phone at 330-634-0271, or through our contact form.