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Haley Anderson

Inside with Brett Hawke: Haley Anderson

Haley Anderson will be making her third Olympic appearance at Tokyo 2020 after qualifying for the first time, at the age of 20. Competing in open water, Haley offers a unique approach to competition that seems to have given her the edge and mental stamina needed for her events.  

Listen in as Haley shares her experience growing up in a family of professional swimmers. She shares what makes open water swimming a particularly rewarding challenge as she talks about potential obstacles (hot water temps & bacteria) headed her way in Tokyo. Find out how she made a name for herself, navigated life as a USC swimmer and her thoughts on the ISL’s chosen events. 




Key Takeaways:

  • How Haley Anderson is preparing for her third Olympic cycle.
  • Insights into open water swimming.
  • Haley’s thoughts on the ISL and her future in swimming.

Episode Timeline:

  • [00:00] Intro
  • [00:29] Haley Anderson on approaching her 3rd Olympic cycle
  • [02:04] Qualifying for the 2012 Olympics at 20 years old
  • [03:25] Her experience in the London Olympics
  • [04:57] Growing up in a swimming family
  • [08:55] Haley’s mentality going into events
  • [10:48] Training for 2 hour swims
  • [12:47] Practicing in pool and open water
  • [14:11] Gym, lifting and mobility 
  • [17:31] Haley's approach to nutrition 
  • [19:43] Overtraining and fatigue
  • [20:55] How breaks and recovery have changed for her over time
  • [22:20] Haley's strategy for open water events
  • [25:30] Rules, etiquette and drafting in open water 
  • [28:24] Navigating variables and gaining confidence in open water 
  • [32:15] Sponsorships
  • [33:22] Choosing to go to USC
  • [34:36] First American to be chosen for the 2020 Olympics
  • [38:01] Warm water, e-coli and other course drawbacks 
  • [40:17] Thoughts on the ISL and swimming after Tokyo
  • [42:34] Outro

Key Quotes:

  • “There's a lot of strategy involved in open water and a lot of growth in each race. Even when you do really well in a race you can still learn from it. If you do bad you can learn a lot more from it.” -Haley Anderson [31:31] 
  • “For them to then create this new opportunity but then leave out a big chunk of swimmers... for a new thing to say they're this great new thing to create opportunities but then 'oh but it's not for everybody' is pretty frustrating.” -Haley Anderson [41:00]  


Find | Brett Hawke


On Instagram @hawkebr

Find | Haley Anderson


On Instagram: @swimhaley

On Twitter: @swimhaley

On Facebook: @haleyandersonUSA


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Special Thanks:

Inside with Brett Hawke is presented by Fitter & Faster. Host a swim camp. More than 1,000 swim clinic sessions in 46 States plus Canada & the Bahamas in 2019.

Inside with Brett Hawke is produced and promoted by Swimnerd. Connect your phone to your pace clock with the Swimnerd Pace Clock. Digital, affordable, and Bluetooth programmable from your smartphone.