It wasn't so long ago that we saw Brendan Hansen churning through the water, racing to get his hands on the wall in the 100-meter breaststroke at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Now, we're more likely to see Hansen on the pool deck, teaching young swimmers about the sport he's loved for more than 31 years.
Yes, Hansen has traded in his goggles for a stopwatch, and he's using his unique Olympic experience to help young swimmers achieve their goals. In fact, for young swimmers, goals are an integral part of a training program, Hansen said.
And the first step in achieving those goals? Accountability, he said.
"I think the hardest lesson that a swimmer learns is accountability. You're accountable for your actions. You're the only one on the swimming blocks, the clock never lies, and so you have to learn that," Hansen said during an interview with Swimming World TV.
"And so goal setting is so important in the fact that you need to… have the opportunity to show a kid 'hey, this is what you wrote down on a piece of paper. This is what you said you were going to do, now it's your job to do it. I, as a coach, am going to help you get to that level, but this is your decision.'"
And according to Hansen, accomplishing a large goal is the result of accomplishing a series of smaller goals. In fact, swimmers should have a goal every time they dive into the pool, he said.
"Always go to practice every single day knowing exactly what you want to do," Hansen said during the interview. "The focus of what you're trying to accomplish that day (is important) because … you've trained for 8-12 months for a race that's sometimes less than a minute. So that focus that you bring to practice every day is what's going to make you successful."
During his Olympic career, Hansen won three gold, one silver and three bronze medals.