May 2, 2011
Club Excellence Swimmer Profile: Matt Patton
Club Wolverine has been designated a Club Excellence Gold Medal Club for the 2009-2012 quadrennium. We recently caught up with Club Wolverine swimmer Matt Patton to talk about how things are going and what its like to swim at the gold medal club.
Name: Matt Patton
Club: Club Wolverine in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Races: Mid-distance freestyle, the 200 butterfly and the 200 backstroke.
Accomplishments: Patton is a two-time 2009 Big Ten Champion and an NCAA All-American in the 500-yard freestyle, the 1,650-yard freestyle and the 800-yard freestyle relay. He won a gold medal as a member of Team USA in the 400-meter freestyle at the Pan-American Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2007.
What inspires you or drives you to train to the best of your ability?
What inspires me is knowing that I can do always do better than I have and that I haven't reached my full potential yet.
What are your goals?
This summer I'd like to make Pan Ams (Pan-American Games) and qualify at U.S. Nationals.
How do you get amped up for a race?
I really enjoy listening to music because it gets me in the mind set to race. I listen to anything with an up beat, just to get my heart going and get me pumped up. I enjoy anything from 311 to Slightly Stoopid. I listen to a lot of mainstream stuff.
What kinds of things do you think about when you're practicing?
Typical things. My technique and making sure that my stroke is efficient and powerful. I try to make changes throughout practice to make sure that I'm using the stroke that I want to use in my race. Other than that, just pushing through the pain and trying my best at every practice.
How did you end up at Club Wolverine?
I went to (the University of) Michigan and I just wanted to stay in the area.
Where are you from originally?
I grew up in North Carolina.
What did you study at U of M?
Why do you think Club Wolverine is the ideal place for you?
I just really liked the area, and really like the people, and it's just a great training environment. It fits in with what I want to do and where I want to be.
How long have you been swimming and how did you get started?
It started in the summer when I was around 6 years old, and I was pretty good at it from an early age. My parents encouraged me to keep going. It was fun and I liked competing, so that's how I got involved.
What do you think has been the secret of your success?
I'd say hard work. Staying motivated and working hard have basically been the keys to my success. I just keep things fun. The more fun I have swimming in training, the better I perform. The more I treat it like a job or chore, I tend to not see the results I want.
How do you keep things fun?
Mostly with other teammates. Just hanging out with teammates, making practice enjoyable, keeping the mood light. Just joking around.
What is one thing you do that sets you apart from your teammates?
I'm not really too much different. I think that I'm very good at knowing what I'm doing in the water in terms of technique. I like to put in a lot of effort into that. Outside the pool, though, I'm just your average guy