Chat Wrap: Shelly Ripple

Oct. 25, 2001

Shelly Ripple: (4:09 PM ET ) Hello Everyone! I am excited to chat with ya'll. So, lets begin...

Nick (Pasadena): Hi Shelly, in the past years, several standout swimmers have emerged from this program (Jenny Thompson, Catherine Fox, Misty Hyman, etc.) It seems like this is your year. You have emerged as a go-to leader and scorer for the team. How do you feel about having such responsibility on your shoulders and how do you motivate the youngsters on the team? It's great to see that Stanford finally has the depth this year to win the NCAA. Go Stanford!

Shelly Ripple: (4:13 PM ET ) Hi Nick!
Thank you for your question. I am very excited about the opportunity that our team has this year. We have some unbelievable freshman and they are all excited to represent the Cardinal this year. Yes, we have an amazing tradition here at Stanford...I am excited as well as honored with the challenge of having such a big responsibility. I love swimming everyday with our team and that alone is what motivates me. There is nothing in the world like college swimming. Have a good day Nick! Shelly,

What's the toughest event to train for? How much time do you spend training every week?Also, what do you think of Stanford's chances to win an NCAA title this year? Has coming so close to a title last year served as motivation for your team?

Megan from Crawfish

Shelly Ripple: (4:16 PM ET ) Hi Megan!
I would say that the toughest event to train for is probably the 400IM..just because you have to train all four strokes all of the time. I spend about 4 hours a day in the water training and we also do a lot of training outside of the water. That includes weights, biking, and pilates.
I think our chances are great to win an NCAA title this year....we are keeping our eyes on march every single day in practice but we believe that goal is reached every single day in practice when we are working hard and supporting one another. Last year really motivated us to want to win this year even more =)

Rick Yang (Palo Alto): Hey Shelly, I'm one of your biggest fans! I was just wondering...what are some of the nicknames that people call you? I've heard that people call you 'ripples'. I think that's very cool!

Shelly Ripple: (4:17 PM ET ) Thank you Rick...'ripples' is what the men's team at Stanford calls me. My nickname on our team is 'killer.'

Candice Sullivan: What type of other exercises do you do to keep in shape? Do you follow a special diet or do you just eat a well-balanced meal?

Shelly Ripple: (4:19 PM ET ) Hi Candice--thanks for your question.
Our team stresses the idea of a well-balanced diet. We don't have a specific plan for what we can eat every day of the week but we try to always eat healthy and balanced.
Other exercises that we do include pilates (for flexibility and strength) and spinning (for leg endurance). =)

Fenwick Island, DE: Dear Shelly,You are now in your last year at Stanford. I am sure you want to put that fine education to work in June when you join the work force. Do you still want to make an Olympic team? If so, how are you going to manage training and a job? Will you stay in California to train or do you want to go elsewhere?

No matter what you do, I wish you happiness and success. KA

Shelly Ripple: (4:23 PM ET ) Hi KA,
Yes, the education I am receiving at Stanford is definitely invaluable. I would love to fulfill my dream of making an Olympic Team in 2004. I have to say, however, that I do not know what I am going to do after I graduate. Right now I am concentrating on this year and I will cross that bridge when it comes. I just want to help our team win a national title and enjoy my senior year here at Stanford. Thank you for your question. =)

Rhett Reese (Los Angeles): When you swim and swim and swim in practice, what's going through your mind? Do you daydream, plan, hum little songs, what? =)

Shelly Ripple: (4:25 PM ET ) Hi Rhett-
In practice I love singing while I swim. But mostly, I am concentrating on the set we are doing and I don't really have time to focus on anything else. Richard's sets are very when it is very painful, I think about the NCAA and what I would love to accomplish there...that keeps me going. Thanks again Rhett=)

kyle , BR: hey, I was wandering, I know you are a great swimmer, but how about your brother, I heard he was unbelievable? please, let me know, love Kyle

Shelly Ripple: (4:26 PM ET ) I love you too Kyle! I hear my brother is an AWESOME bball player...=)

Rory (Baton Rouge): Big Cardinal fan back here in Red Stick. I'll be over in Austin in March, cheering on the Card towards a national championship. I still remember that 1.5 point difference from last year.

A trivial question of sorts, I've seen Avery back in the spring, the complex is nothing short of majestic. What do find the biggest differences are in swimming indoors and outdoors. The noise and weather conditions are usually typical responses. Anything else?

Good luck on your season and I quite naturally would like to see you hoist a certain trophy at the NCAA's.

Finally, those Parkview Eagles are again #1 in football.

Shelly Ripple: (4:29 PM ET ) Hi Rory,
I find that swimming outdoors is much healthier mentally and physically. You can get a tan too! We actually have never missed practice due to weather conditions...I love swimming outdoors...

Baton Rouge: Hey Shelly. You are like my idol. I intend on being on the swim team at Parkview Baptist because that is where I go to school I want to thank you so much for inspiring me to go for my dream!

Shelly Ripple: (4:29 PM ET ) Your welcome...I wish you the best in all you do! =)

Matthew rist (Baton R: Before a swim meet how do you relieve stress or nervousness? PS: I go to parkview baptist the same you went to

Shelly Ripple: (4:31 PM ET ) Hi Matthew,
Before a swim meet, I try to stay in the same state-of-mind that I am in on a daily basis. That means talking with my teammates, laughing, smiling, etc....I find that when I do not allow myself to get too nervous and start to analyze my race, I have more confidence when I step up behind the blocks. Just smile and have confidence in your training and your abilities. Good luck and God bless =)

Laura (Stanford): Playing off Rhett's question. What is going on in your mind when you are competing in an actual event? By the way besides being a talent swimmer, I know you are a good scholar and have nothing but excellent choices in the future. Your fan Laura

Shelly Ripple: (4:33 PM ET ) Hi Laura,
Once I hit the water, I am totally focused on my race plan and my technique...I just try and let the training take care of itself at that point. Thanks Laura...=)

Morgan BR: Hey Shelly I have a really good friend who's name is Laci and she was an awesome swimmer and now she is in a wheelchair and she cant swim anymore. What would you do if that happened to you ?

Shelly Ripple: (4:36 PM ET ) Hi Morgan,
Thank you for your question...when I think about what I would do in that situation, it seems to put everything in perspective. I believe that everything happens for a reason and I know your friend Laci has the ability to do something powerful or touch someone else with her life now. I would hope that I could do something great even in that situation whether it be to just touch people with my story and make them thankful for what they do have.
Thanks again Morgan and tell Laci hello for me. =)

Christina (Los Angeles): First of all, congratulations on your win yesterday. My question is, what kind of workouts do you do besides swimming? Do you weight lift, run or do any type of cross training? And if so, which do you feel is the most beneficial?

Shelly Ripple: (4:39 PM ET ) Hi Christina,
Thank you. The win yesterday was a lot of fun...everyone on our team stepped up and raced tough. =)
We do spinning, pilates, weight-lifting, and dryland work (medicine balls, pull-ups, etc...).I feel like they are all very beneficial during certain points of the season. I do not think one is more important than another...=)

River Ridge, La.: Shelly, With the Stanford 2001-2002 team comprised mostly of freshmen and sophmores, this presents a tremendous challenge to the senior leadership. How difficult has this been for you and the other two seniors on the team? Good Luck and 'Go Cardinal'. plm

Shelly Ripple: (4:41 PM ET ) Hello plm,
Actually, it has not been very difficult for the other two seniors and myself because we have an amazing group of freshman who are very motivated and eager to do their best and try to win a NCAA championship this year. Every single day at practice we have so much fun...especially since our team has almost doubled in size this year. =)

Tree (Los Angeles): From the moment you stand on the race blocks to the moment you hit the water how do you manage nerves? How does a false start impact you? Is there a trick to staying focused?

Shelly Ripple: (4:44 PM ET ) Hi Tree,
Again, I focus on what I have done up to that point in training and that gives me the confidence to know that I am going to swim well.
When there is a false start in the race, I just take a deep breath and try not to let that affect me in any way.
I don't believe there is a trick to staying focused...for me, it is all about confidence and that comes from training hard every single day in practice. Thanks tree =)

Abbie (Palo Alto): Can you tell us something about Richard Quick's coaching style?

Shelly Ripple: (4:46 PM ET ) Hi Abbie,
I have to say that Richard's coaching style can be described in one word: INTENSE!!! Every single day he comes into practice so excited and ready to go. It can't help but make us excited and willing to give it our very all on every set. He is a wonderful coach =)

Nick (Fresno): Shelly, why did you pick Stanford? What other school recruited you?

Shelly Ripple: (4:47 PM ET ) Hi Nick!
From the moment I came on my recruiting trip, I fell in love with Stanford. It is the most beautiful campus I have ever seen and I could not ask for a better academic/athletic school. I was recruited by many other schools, but signed early with Stanford because I loved it so much...

Scott (White River): What is your major? What is your favorite non-athletic hobby to do?

Shelly Ripple: (4:49 PM ET ) Hi Scott,
I am majoring in communication and I am hoping to do broadcast journalism or print journalism in the future. I love to read books, watch movies, and listen to music also.

TWheezy: Shelly, I have been one of your hugest fans of your since the fall of '99, What keeps you motivated in the water when you know you have 3 more hours of practice left and the water is warmer than the air outside. Do you think Cal Poly has a chance for the National Championship? I heard they were good or something...

Shelly Ripple: (4:51 PM ET ) Hi Travis,
I hope you are doing well. I stay motivated because of my teammates around me and because we want to win the NCAA's this year. I do not know if Cal Poly has a good chance this year but I did hear that they were pretty good =)...

Laurie (Baton Rouge): What do you like most about swimming and what do you think is your biggest accomplishment?

Shelly Ripple: (4:54 PM ET ) Hi Laurie,
I love swimming in college meets and looking at the side of the pool and see them cheering you is the best feeling in the world. Also, I love coming to practice everyday and spending 6 hours with 25 other girls who are working as hard as you are...but making me laugh the entire time. These are the types of things I will remember about the sport.
I have to say that I do not have a 'biggest accomplishment'...or at least I cannot name one. I strive to make myself better every day and each time I step up on the blocks...swimming for my team is all that really matters right now . I have so much fun doing that and that makes it all worth it =)

Ruth Dover Ohio : congratualtions to Jessica and you for being captains this year. How are you two coping with the large amount of new swimmers this year?

Shelly Ripple: (4:56 PM ET ) Hi Ruth,
Jessica and I are having the time of our lives this year. The team is amazing and we love the fact that our team is so large. We are excited and looking forward to the NCAA champs in March. =)

TJ (Indianapolis): Since you're a senior and Olympic Trials are just less than three years away, are you going to continue to train after graduation with hopes of going to Athens? Or are you done with swimming after NCAAs?

Shelly Ripple: (4:58 PM ET ) Hi TJ,
I do not know what my plans are for the next three years. I know that I am really excited about swimming this year and when the time comes to make that decision I will. I would love to go to Athens and represent the USA though. Thanks for your questions...=)

Denver, CO: Shelly,When you think beyond your Stanford career is it difficult to imagine still swimming and not being part of a team?How much of you r motivation comes from the team atmosphere?

Shelly Ripple: (5:00 PM ET ) Hello,
Yes, it is hard to imagine not being part of a team. I would say that most of my motivation comes from swimming with my teammates everyday. I love swimming with a group of 'sisters' who have the same goals as I do and who are sincere enough to want everyone to achieve their goals. =)

Tubby (Stanford): Oh Shelley, you are so tiiight. How does it feel to be part of the Stanford tradition and to be so cool

Shelly Ripple: (5:02 PM ET ) Hi Tubby aka Marcus,
I hope you are doing well. I love being part of the Stanford tradition...have a good day! =)

Ronson (Baltimore, MD): RIIIIIPPPPPLLLLLLEEEEEEEESSSSSSSS, What up Ripples. How the season? Any good kick ball games lately? Tell everyone the rest of the team Ronson said whatup!

Shelly Ripple: (5:03 PM ET ) Hi Ronson,
How are you doing? I will definitely tell everyone hello for you. No, there have not been any kickball games lately. I hope you are doing well. =) thanks for the questions..

Caroline Metairie,La: Hey Shelly I was wondering if it's hard to keep up with school and do you find the time for all of this stuff.

Shelly Ripple: (5:04 PM ET ) Hi Caroline,
It is sometimes hard to keep up with school and training at the same time...but they are both manageable if you stay disciplined enough. Hope you are doing well =)

Phoenix, AZ: Has the team changed with Ross leaving? I always thought that Ross and Richard were a perfect 'team'

Shelly Ripple: (5:07 PM ET ) Hello,
The team has changed a lot since Ross has left. Ross was an amazing coach who taught me many things in the past 3 years. However, Jason Turcotte, (our new assistant coach) is a wonderful replacement for Ross and is doing a great job. Ross and Richard were a 'perfect team' but things change and Ross and Jason are working awesome together =)

New Orleans: I know that nutrition is an important part of being an athlete. What do you eat for breakfast?

Shelly Ripple: (5:08 PM ET ) Hello,
Nutrition is a very important part of being an athlete. I love to eat oatmeal or eggs for breakfast. A good omlete is probably my favorite breakfast..=)

Kate Ripple: Hey Shelly, I just wanted to say hello and let you know that you are the best sister in the whole world and I love you..... Oh yeah, tell Coach Nelson hello for me!

Shelly Ripple: (5:09 PM ET ) I love you too Kate=)

Swimmingkiller2008: I love you so much i go to PBS and i just want to say i am insired to join the team because i saw how far you got YOU are my hero thanks you really pushed me to go for my dream!

Shelly Ripple: (5:11 PM ET ) Thank you! That means so much. I wish you the best in all you do. =)

Shelly Ripple: (5:12 PM ET ) Thank you everyone!! =) I really enjoyed chatting with you today. Sorry I could not get to all of your questions...I have to go to practice. I wish you all the best in the future. =) Have a good day!
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