Growing up in Vienna, West Virginia, Tim Phillips was a big fish in a small pond. Having a father as a swim coach, Phillips understood from a young age the competitive nature of the sport. As an age grouper, he competed mostly in YMCA meets and leagues, working on technique and enjoying the social aspects of being on a team.
In high school, Phillips became a full-time swimmer and his goal – to compete in college and earn a scholarship. At the Southern Zones Championships, Phillips qualified for his first Junior Nationals and would eventually go on to qualify for the USA National Junior Team. Phillips committed to the Ohio State University and his path has been one of steady improvement. Phillips emphasizes that he has had to be very patient in his journey to becoming one of the top butterflies in the world – it has not been an easy road and there were many doubts along the way.
"I’ve always been in the mix for the 100 fly. I was disappointed in 2013 because I missed the World Championships team by just a few tenths. During the 2013-2014 college season, I recommitted to the little things and focusing on technique – the result was making the 2014 Pan Pac Team. I went a lifetime best in the 100 fly and posted a top 5 time in the world.”
Coming from a small town where local athletes received a lot of attention, Phillips had to learn how to handle external pressure since he was in high school. Phillips views this time in his life as a positive and shares his experiences with the athletes he works with at clinics.
"Swimmers can expect to learn from me how to handle pressure and balance in their life. There were seasons that I didn’t drop time or improve. However, I would always find a new skill to work on, which would bring a new way for me to love swimming. That is the lesson I want to pass on to other athletes."
Member of the United States National Team since 2011
Three-Time Gold Medalist at World University Games
Competing at 2015 FINA World Championships