February 7th, 2017

From the pool to the office: Colin Underhill

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

From the pool to the office: Colin Underhill
photo provided by Colin Underhill

The Louisville Catholic Sports Network is starting a new series where we will highlight business professionals that are or once was a part of the Louisville athletic community. You can email crevell@catholicsportsnet.com if you want to be a part of the feature or have a suggestion.

Colin Underhill is a St. Xavier grad and is the first subject for our business profile feature. He swam at St. Xavier and the University of Georgia.

1) What is your athletic background (school and/or club) and education (High school-Collegiate)?

I grew up playing all sports - baseball, basketball, track and field, soccer, swimming, golf, tennis, and more - most of these I participated in at Anchorage School in K-8. At 14 years old I started to focus more on tennis, golf, and swimming. I began swimming at Lakeside Swim Club at age 7. I went to St. Xavier  (1996-2000) and played on the golf team as a freshmen and sophomore and competed on the swim team all 4 years. I was the team captain on the swim team my senior year and won four state championships. I then went to the University of Georgia (2000-2004) and was the team captain my senior year there. I competed in the US Olympic Swimming Trials in 2000 and 2004.

2) How did athletics teach you to overcome adversity in the workplace?

Lessons learned in athletics have been such a fundamental core component of my professional career. When you are not the tallest, fastest, or biggest, you must work harder than everyone else. Athletics taught me a work ethic that has stuck with me for my whole life and this helps me in times of adversity. You are not always going to feel great, you are not always going to have the best day, but with consistent hard work you can always succeed knowing you are prepared. The hard work and preparation provide confidence, and confidence is the key ingredient to overcoming any tough times.

3) What was the most challenging point of your athletic career?

The most challenging part of my athletic career was coming back my sophomore year of college after being hit by a car on campus. I was walking out of class early my sophomore year and was struck by a car walking across the street. Although there was no serious damage, the wreck limited my ability to do a breastroke kick. Adjusting to the changes and the challenges of this traumatic event was definitely the toughest part of my career.

4) What has been the most challenging point in your professional career?

The most challenging point in my professional career has been juggling an active lifestyle with a large family (I now have five kids) and a demanding career. I constantly need to check my balance in all of these areas in order to succeed. Although it is very difficult to do all three of these areas well, it is important that I do. The active side of my life allows me to be the best husband and Dad I can be in addition to being a strong professional. There are only 24 hours in a day - I need to fit it all in and execute all three at a high level in order to be the best version of me.

5) What is your advice to young student athletes today?

My advice to young student athletes is to study hard, train hard, and have fun. Being a student is fun and being an athlete is a privilege. You never know what is going to happen tomorrow so you must make the most of today - have the best practice of your life, learn a lot, and enjoy it all. Having a well-rounded life will help you reach your potential while staying "grounded". I always thought that life was tough as a student athlete because you had to go to school for a big chunk of the day and train in the mornings and evenings - now I look back and realize how fun that experience was and how many great people I was always around.


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