Alex Basile has been a part of the DVE Aquatic Squad for 8 years. In 2018, Alex was selected for Swimming Victoria's Performance Pathways Program. More recently, Alex represented DVE at the 2021 Australian Age Championships on the Gold Coast, finishing 7th in the Boys 16 Years 100m Butterfly. Alex has enjoyed many achievements poolside and we are excited to have him share his experiences with us today!
1. WHAT LED YOU TO SWIMMING? HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SWIMMING FOR?
I’ve been swimming for 8 years, I started back in 2014 with DVE. What led me into swimming was when I was back in pre-squad, I’d competed in their small meets, and the owner had ties with DVE. He asked both myself and my sister, Zoe, if we’d both liked to try out for DVE, and I've never looked back honestly.
2. DESCRIBE YOUR JOURNEY WITH SWIMMING SO FAR IN THREE WORDS.
Sociable, memorable and rewarding.
3. WHAT SKILLS OR LESSONS THAT YOU LEARNT WHILE SWIMMING HELPED YOU OUTSIDE OF THE WATER?
Some of the main skills I’ve learnt have been discipline and my extensive social skills. One of the main lessons I’ve learnt has been to push my limits. Through swimming, the discipline required to, for example, go a certain distance underwater off each wall. Or to breathe every 4 strokes can easily be translated into study habits for school, and attention during class. In respect to socialising, swimming forces you to interact with people much older, younger than yourself, and also interact with people from all walks of life. Being able to interact positively with all these different people, has helped me be able to confidently converse with people outside the sport, school is a prime example, but job interviews is another scenario in which these skills can help. The main lesson I’ve learnt, push your limits, has not only helped me excel in this sport beyond what I’ve ever hoped, but it’s also helped me understand that when outside the pool, so at the gym, or needing to study that little bit harder before a test, this message has helped me get through those tough times.
4. HOW DO YOU JUGGLE SWIMMING WITH SCHOOL?
It took a lot of trial and error, but it really boils down to time management and negotiations between classroom teachers and your coach. My school load (especially in year 12) has already proven to be extremely time consuming, but I have managed to keep swimming at least 6 times a week, whilst also making time for study and a social life. Using some sort of planner has also helped me visualise what needs to get done, and when too.
5. WHAT DID YOU DO TO KEEP YOURSELF MOTIVATED IN THIS SPORT?
In staying motivated, whilst it is important to have a strong support network, whether that be family and friends, or school, or your coach. An important factor is self motivation, there’s no denying that it can get tough to get out of bed and come to training everyday, but when you actually reflect on why you get up and what your goals are, it makes it worthwhile. Personally, my goal is to make open nationals, so, when some mornings I feel like I can’t be bothered. I try and remember that the reason I’m doing this is to achieve what I’ve set for myself.
6. WHAT STEPS DO YOU TAKE TO PREPARE FOR COMPETITION/SWIM MEETS?
In preparing for competitions, I make sure I attend as many sessions as I can, either weeks (in terms of local meets) or months (for states or nationals) in order to give myself the best chance at performing my best. With this, making healthy choices is really important as well, especially on the day, like making sure there’s a good spread of both proteins and sugars.
7. ANY FAVOURITE FOOD OR NUTRITIONAL TIPS FOR PRE-SWIM OR POST SWIM RECOVERY?
My usual favourite pre-swim foods is strawberry jam sandwich or toast, usually this is because it gives me the needed energy to make it through the sessions. In regards to post swim recovery, I try my best to eat a lot of carbs and fruits, in the morning, I’ll eat an oat and raspberry slice (homemade by my sister!), and if it’s an afternoon session it’ll be bread and peanut butter before dinner.
8. WHO IS SOMEONE THAT HAS BEEN A ROLE MODEL FOR YOU AND WHY?
In complete honesty, I don’t really have a role model in the sport. While it might sound cliche, I try my best not to idolise others in case I begin to compare myself to their achievements. But if I were to choose someone who pushes me to do better by myself and others, it would have to be my coach Brian, he’s shown me that being a good person regardless of your achievements is better in the long run of life.
9. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE EVENT AND WHY?
My favourite event is either 100 butterfly, or the 1500 freestyle. The 100 butterfly is one of my favourites because I tend to do well in the event. But the 1500 freestyle to me is always interesting, every time I have swam the event, I’ve ended up with a greatly different result and it’s also just something vastly different to my usual racing lineup.
10. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
My plans for the future, in terms of immediate plans, after year 12 I hope to achieve a high ATAR, and get into either Monash or RMIT university. In other plans, I’d like to see how far swimming can take me, but after, I’d like to pursue a career in electrical engineering, majoring in renewable energy sources or hybrid/electric car manufacturing i.e. Elon Musk’s Australian counterpart!