Birthday: June 6, 1965
Hometown: Louisville, KY
College: University of Texas
Qualification for the 1984 Summer Olympics in L.A., with a second-place Trials finish.
14 All-American swims
Six individual NCAA Championship Titles
University of Texas Women’s Athletics Hall of Honor Inductee in October 2015
A top 5 finish at the 1984 Olympic Games
Tori Trees Smith developed a swimming career on the humble beginnings of back-yard swimming lessons with her older sister, and she brings the same child-like energy toward teaching athletes at the Fitter and Faster Swim Tour!
Smith has a broad racing and training background to draw from, competing in the 100 and 200 back, 200 and 400 IM, 200 and 400 free, 200 Fly, and the mile. She also has a deep understanding of effective dryland exercises to add strength and power to athletes: “I think the dryland and weight program really helped my swimming at the University of Texas compared to my club team,” she says.
Without any professional female swimmers to look up to, Smith blazed the trail to the 1984 Summer Olympics in L.A. with a second-place Trials finish in the 200-meter backstroke from lane 8 (considered a “slow” lane), and a top 5 finish at the Olympic Games. She was inducted into University of Texas Women’s Athletics Hall of Honor in October 2015.
With her competitive swimming career far behind, Tori Trees Smith now focuses on developing others not only into successful swimmers, but also into successful people. She summarizes long-term goals for her students to embrace in two simple phrases: to make sure the kids have fun swimming, and to pay attention to the details of technique every swim session.
What sets Tori Trees Smith apart is not her extensive Olympic and college achievements, but her perspective and wisdom regarding a swimmer’s mental, physical, and emotional approach to swimming. Having over 25 years of experience coaching and connecting with age-group and high school-level athletes as well as being the parent of an Olympian, she recognizes the importance of kids enjoying the process of learning proper technique and working with others. The delicate interplay between knowing how and when to push and when to step back and celebrate accomplishments is a skill Smith desires to teach other swim parents.
As an empty-nester, Smith can be found spending leisure time with her husband exercising at the fitness club, walking, biking, occasionally swimming for the local Masters team, or snuggling with her bulldog and cats. Her three children, Megan, Clark, and Samantha, have all pursued swimming to various levels and completed college degrees.