"My Focus" is a weekly photo series in which TeamUSA.org (and @TeamUSA on Instagram) takes fans behind the scenes with some of the top Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls. Fans can get a glimpse into a day in the life of an athlete and see the hard work, dedication and sacrifice that is required on a daily basis to represent Team USA. In the eleventh installment, follow open water swimmer Haley Anderson as she trains at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
1) Fully Focused
“It is a huge relief that I qualified for Rio a year out," said USA Swimming's Haley Anderson, who earned her spot at the 2016 Olympics by finishing ninth at the world championships. "Now I can really focus on that one race and the conditions we will face there.”
2) Dialing In
“I have really been focusing on lengthening my stroke and being as smooth as possible.”
3) Hitting The Gym
“I do three gym workouts," said Anderson. "Two are more of a lift while the third is a circuit.”
4) Making A Splash
“My first memory of competitive swimming is my first summer league team, and I most vividly remember refusing to tuck my hair or ears into my cap so I looked so goofy.”
5) Heavy Lifting
“The gym circuit I normally do involves some cardio combined with ab exercises with either med balls, physio balls or slide boards."
6) Keeping It Light
“My coach Dave Salo makes practice so fun because each one is unique," said Anderson. "Being a distance swimmer can get monotonous, but he always makes it fun to race in practice.”
7) Stretch It Out
“My gym workouts start with a warmup that focus on stretching and mobility exercises. I have been working on strengthening my shoulders lately.”
8) Going The Distance
“London was probably one of the most amazing places to race," said Anderson, who won a silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games. "It was free to watch in Hyde Park and was the most spectator-friendly race I have had.”
9) Staying Strong
“My workouts normally consist of two to three exercises focusing on a group of muscles going through them three times and moving onto the next group of exercises.”
10) Olympic Dreams
One of Anderson's favorite memories of swimming at the Olympic Games is all the support from the Team USA fans. “I remember all the American flags I passed as I was swimming and it was such an incredible feeling,” said Anderson.
11) Out Of The Water
“The only pre-competition ritual I have is I like to either get my nails done or do them myself with a bunch of the girls.”