Birthday:September 15, 1996
Hometown: Santa Fe, Argentina
College: Auburn University
Coach: Gary Taylor
“I like our sport because you decide how far you want to go, how far you want to push yourself.”
Santiago Grassi touts the autonomy afforded to athletes by swimming, “I can’t expect to be an Olympic athlete if I don’t train like one. I can’t be the best on my team if I don’t train like that.”
On the macro scale, it’s simple math, but Santi knows all too well the intricate nature of our sport. Is there such a thing as trying too hard? Caring too much? Are the three pillars of swimming hard work, discipline, and…fun?
According to elite clinician Santi, yes, yes, and yes.
“In the past two years, I realized I was training too hard, but when it came to racing, I was too nervous. I was putting too much pressure on my back, expecting to do well because of all of the hard work I put in, but at one meet, I tried to enjoy the race and trust the process. Ever since, I have enjoyed my races, swimming good times, and bringing motivation to my career.”
While Santi hopes that swimmers commit to their ambitious, long-term goals, he also encourages athletes to be present at each step along the journey. With a view from the top of the sport, Santi is able to offer a unique and wise perspective to up-and-coming swimmers.
“Being an Olympian is fun, but it’s not the best part. The best parts are the things that happened in the process of becoming an Olympian: the limits I have pushed, the friends I have met, and the experiences I have had.”
A humbled teacher, Santi does not take his role on deck lightly. Feeling an intense responsibility to enrich young athletes’ experiences within the sport, Santi adopts an eclectic approach, one that educates the entire person.
“I like to build relationships when I teach. I always try to make my swimmers feel like they can trust me, and because of that, I can’t let them down.”
Santi is yet to come up short in this promise. Emphasizing body line, underwaters, and catch, Santi tackles the basics before moving into detail work. In fact, Santi is not far removed from being a student of these fundamentals himself, something he hopes to help his swimmers master early on.
“I was a good long course swimmer when I came to college, but I quickly had to learn the power of underwaters and how to use them. It took me some time to figure it out; I want kids to learn when they are young–not like me!”
These experiences give Santi a unique sense of empathy and closeness with his learners; one would be hard-pressed to find a teacher as dedicated as Santi! Merging his intensity with kind delivery, Santi is the perfect clinician to get your swimmer more motivated than ever. All he asks is that you “not only bring your body, but also your mind, so we can work on details.”
Do you want to learn from an Olympic athlete in the peak of his career? Invest in your athletic experience today. Sign up for a clinic with Santi!