Swimming to Success: An Interview with Trent Brigham

Last week we were fortunate enough to get EVERYlete Jack Brigham for an interview with the blog. Today, we are going to complete the two part series with the Brigham brothers in this interview with Trent!

Trent is rocking it at Charlotte Catholic High School in Charlotte, NC, with a very different sports pedigree than his older (albeit, littler) brother Jack. Rather than dominate ball sports on land, Trent blazed his own path and stuck to the pool, swimming laps and taking names. Even though he’s stopped swimming competitively this year, he’s still staying active and involved as an EVERYlete.

Read on below to see our full interview with Trent!

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R: Robbie

T: Trent

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So the big man on campus, Mr. Trent Brigham. Appreciate having you interview for the blog! If you wouldn’t mind, could you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

No problem. I’m Trent, and I’m currently a junior at Charlotte Catholic. I’ve been swimming almost my entire life up until this year, and now my days are spent hitting the books and constantly answering the question of what colleges I’m thinking about. I share a huge interest in politics and coffee and I love having long conversations about that with you.

Love having those with you too, my man! Can’t wait until I’m back in Charlotte to have another; or better yet, you could meet me up here in San Antonio! But let’s talk a little bit about your swim life. You’ve been a huge fan of the water as long as I’ve known you. What prompted you to want to zip up and down the lap pool with all those flip-turns instead of something more catered to land-based creatures like myself?

Like most kids in elementary school, I was trying out a bunch of different sports that my parents signed me up for. I played all your typical sports like basketball, football, soccer, and baseball and I didn’t like them, nor was I very good at them. I also never had the best hand-eye coordination and I eventually discovered that team sports weren’t the best for me.

Fast forward to 2009, I did summer swim team for the first time, and loved it! It felt natural for me and I liked the individuality of it. In 6th grade, after quitting football, I tried cross country. After that season, I was not a fan of running (unlike you and Nicole haha), so since then swimming became my main focus. With swimming, I like that I am the only one that’s in control and there’s something therapeutic about being underwater where you can’t hear and see anything except the water.

I’m gonna be honest. I don’t know a lot of swimmers other than Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and Missy Franklin. Do you have a particular swimmer that you follow? I only ask because even when I ran track in college, my attention to my own sport was usually limited to my own specific meets and competitions that I went to.

Honestly, I don’t really follow swimming very much beyond the Summer Olympics and I only really pay attention to Olympic swimmers. I mainly focused on my own meets too. I would keep up with how some of my friends were doing, but other than that I don’t usually pay much attention to swimming beyond that.

Image result for phelps
Trent didn’t have pictures from any of his swim meets, so enjoy this action shot of Michael Phelps

Following up on that last question, I always feel like I can relate to my fellow Olympic-based sportsters. As a swimmer, do you find it hard to relate to your friends in other sports? If so, what kinds of things do you talk about in order to bridge those differences?

I do think that it can be difficult to relate to other people about swimming because most people haven’t really experienced it beyond a summer league (if even that) and most people haven’t been to a swim meet versus a football or basketball game. That’s why it’s nice to be with my swim friends because we do have the sport to talk about and relate with.

With friends who don’t swim, I usually just bond with people over something else other than sports. Recently, I found that I’ve become close with a lot of people through music and going to concerts, so that’s been a cool avenue to explore.

That’s actually a good segue for my next question. What sort of steps did/do you take on the daily to take care of school, the pool, and your social life?

Pretty much up until the middle of Junior year, my routine was the same: school, homework, swim, more homework, and then bed. Junior year, when my workload became a lot bigger, I decided to quit competitive swim and just lift weights instead to focus more on my school work. It was kinda nice having free time after school, but it required a lot more discipline because now I no longer had coaches who made me workout; it was all up to me.

Trent casually swimming in the Caymans (a little more my speed)

That big chunk of free time that sprouted up in your life must’ve been a weird change. Can you tell us a little bit about how that transition went after you finished up your career as a competitive swimmer?

I officially quit back in the Fall of 2018 because I didn’t enjoy it as much as I used to and I didn’t see myself swimming in college, so I decided that I should move on. Quitting was hard because swimming was all I did for most of my life, and for a while I didn’t know what to do after years of doing the same thing.

This summer, I am actually going to be coaching for the summer swim team that I have been a part of my whole life. That will be a fun transition, and I’m excited to try new things in my life beyond the cap and goggles going into the future.

Hiking: an activity both track-letes and swimmers can enjoy

That’s an awesome mindset to have! Now that you know that you won’t be swimming in college unless it’s more for fun, what do you see yourself doing once you’re on campus to fill in some of that new free time you have?

In college, I just want to try new things and meet new people. For my day to day, I’m not really sure what I wanna do yet, but I have no doubt that I’ll find a new hobby or activity to pick up.  I really want to travel a lot and see the world, especially while I’m young and only have to focus on myself and I know if I did a sport in college, I wouldn’t be able to do that.

What’s the lifting situation looking like for you swimmer-types? Do you just throw the bench and squat racks in the pool and go to work holding your breath and putting up some serious reps underwater?

Haha no, I lift normally like other people (big surprise). But for swimming, you lift for strength instead of putting on weight because you want to stay lean, especially when you’re in the water. Because swimming uses your whole body, it’s important to lift both lower and upper body. I have noticed that my back and shoulders were a lot stronger than my chest, which makes me dread chest day.

If you had to describe what you think it means to be an EVERYlete, what would you say?

An EVERYlete is someone who sacrifices the time and energy to a sport that THEY love, a sport that defines them and helps them grow individually as a person.

A final question for you, Trent. Did you have anything to say to Jack about how it feels to be older than you but shorter?

He should be referring to me as his younger brother not his little brother. That’s all I gotta say.

One of the last few times that Jack was still taller than Trent

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