Mike Shelby | Assistant Coach | Women’s Swimming | Bowling Green

Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?

We are looking for student athletes that want to be a part of a team that works hard in the classroom, pool, and weight room.

Could you give us an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?

A former swimmer of mine came into our program as a pretty good HS swimmer, but didn’t have times that would qualify for the NCAA Championship Meet. During her freshman year, I could see that this individual was a lot faster than her HS times indicated. At our first big meet of the year, she broke two team records. Later that year at our conference meet, she rebroke both, and had, at the time, the fastest 50 Fly relay split in the country. During her sophomore year, she continued to improve, this time making the final heat at NCAAs in her two best events. During her Junior Year, she broke 4 team records, was on an additional 4 record breaking team relays, and made the final heat in all three of her events at NCAAs. She improved each year because of her work ethic–plain and simple. She was someone that I considered to be an “animal trainer.” She pushed herself in practice, the weight room, and in dryland about as hard as she could. I push my swimmers on a daily basis, but also design practices that will allow each individual to push themselves as much as they want. I never questioned her effort, and in some instances, I almost felt bad for her because of the pain she would put herself through. Coming into college, she didn’t expect to achieve a sliver of what she ultimately accomplished. In addition to all her individual awards, she was a integral part of turning around the program from not scoring at NCAAs to finishing 5th her Junior Year. I’d rather have a less talented athlete who has the desire to be great, and is willing to do what it takes to be great over talent any day. This individual knew what it took to be great, and she worked towards greatness every day. She was a pleasure to coach. I wish I had more like her, but unfortunately, people like that don’t grow on trees.