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Texas A&M Men's Swimming & Diving

Jay Holmes discusses how swimming phenom Baylor Nelson chose A&M

July 7, 2023

Texas A&M Swimming & Diving is sending rising sophomore Baylor Nelson to the 2023 World Championships as the Aggie standout will represent the Red, White & Blue in Japan. On Friday, head coach Jay Holmes spoke to TexAgs Radio about what makes Nelson special and more.

Key notes from Jay Holmes interview

  • I’m really happy with the results that we’ve had. A lot goes into everything we do. We had some really good results at nationals.
  • Baylor Nelson is a current athlete that is going to the World Championships, but we have other athletes that train with us that are going as well. It’s a big event, so it’s special to be there.
  • You have hopes and expectations for every athlete you sign. Nelson had expectations put on him from the outside world. To his credit, he comes to work every day, and when the lights are on, he’s really good.
  • We got to know Baylor Nelson through his sister, who is on the women’s team. That helped us sign him. He comes from a close family. They’re tight and enjoy being around each other. Baylor took a visit, but a lot of things had to happen right to get him. He had so many opportunities and could have gone anywhere. The people around us make a huge difference.
  • In practice, Nelson is really good. He has a good work ethic, but he’s not so incredible in practice that nobody touches him. He gets pushed and beaten. What you can’t coach or teach is the competitive fire. You try to create that environment, but it’s tough. Nelson is low maintenance. You don’t have to get him psyched up for a race. We don’t have to spend a lot of time getting him focused. He knows what he has to do, and he can get it in gear and go.
  • Our college season goes from the end of September and then March. After that is when we get into the USA Swimming meets. For us, we knew we had to count on this group of freshmen. We had a lot of good seniors, but they knew their roles and where we need them. Connor Foote is a big part of the freshman class with Nelson. Both of them had 20 nominations for high school swimmer of the year, so we were really excited to get both of those guys.
  • For us to do what we want to do, we have to count on our divers. All of our guys made a real difference for us.
  • The SEC is the premier conference. There are usually eight or nine SEC teams in the top 25. We’re fighting to win the SEC. Florida has won it ten years in a row. They have a good team. Between us and a few others, we’re fighting to get better. We focus on it a lot. The regular season is important, but it all comes down to the one conference meet. Everything is centered on that.
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Jay Holmes discusses how swimming phenom Baylor Nelson chose A&M

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