Timeout with… James Grieb ’19

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James Grieb ’19 starting his swim. (Courtesy of Athletic Communications)

Henry Schweber

Henry Schweber: How do you feel you’ve progressed as a swimmer and how do you feel the team has progressed since last year?

James Grieb: I think we’ve made a lot of progress in our approach to training out of the pool. We have been working really hard in the weight room, and it’s definitely been more intense than it was last year. It’s  sometimes difficult to see our progress during the year because our bodies are so beat up, but it sets us up pretty well for Patriots. I think I’ve become better at handling not meeting my personal goals as much as I wanted to throughout the season. Convincing myself to tough it out and to just trust in the training can be difficult, especially when you don’t see the times you want. But I think my first year on the team taught me that everything will end up working out at the end if I keep a positive attitude and keep training hard.

HS: As a current sophomore, how do you see your role with the team in the future?

JG: My hope is that my experience with the team will set me up to feel more comfortable taking a leadership position in the near future. As a sophomore, I feel like that responsibility is important for all members of the team, but it’s especially important that the upperclassmen set a good example. There is always an upperclassman that you can go to if you need to talk about swimming or anything else, and I just want to be able to fill in the void that’s left when our seniors graduate.

HS: What goal do you hope to accomplish, for this year and in the future, as a part of the team?

JG: My main goal for the team this year is to set some new relay records. We’re certainly capable of it, and, since our team is so young, I think having our names up on the record board would be a huge motivation boost for all of us. For this year, I’d like to reach the goal times I set for myself at the beginning of the year. Within the next two years, my major goal would be to try to break some of the individual school records, specifically the 200 IM [Individual Medley] and 200 free.

HS: Is there anyone on the team you’d consider a mentor or someone who has helped you progress?

JG: I think all the seniors last year played a part in helping me transition to college swimming. However, two people in particular this year, Sam Haines and David Perlow, helped me train much harder. Perlow trains like a machine. Trying to keep up with him was always a challenge. Sam is one of my good friends, and in addition to training next to me every day, he’s the first person to yell at me if it seems like I’m not trying that hard, and he is always there to help me snap out of a funk during a tough practice or set.

HS: What is your “ritual” before a big meet? Any specific playlist, meal, etc.?

JG: Once I get into January, I start to change what I eat overall to help the tough training schedule, so once I get to championships it’s second nature. When I’m going into a big meet, I try to keep it as casual as possible so I don’t over-think anything. I just listen to loud music until I get to the pool, stretch for a bit, warmup and wait for my race. I try to keep to myself until after I’m done.

HS: What do you do at a meet when you’re not competing?

JG: We have a really good support system on the team, so if I’m not competing I’m with everyone else cheering for whoever is racing. If I’m not watching the meet and cheering people on, I’m probably sitting on my phone looking at the results, seeing how other people did.

HS: What is your favorite part of being on the swim team?

JG: My favorite part of being on the swim team is the camaraderie. I wasn’t sure if I was even going to swim in college, but once I met the team here I decided I really wanted to, and I am so happy I did. I’ve made so many friends on this team and being able to swim times I never could’ve imagined at the end of the year surrounded by friends is an awesome experience. I’m so happy that I got involved in swimming, and I couldn’t imagine my Lafayette experience without my friends on the swim team.