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Austin Olympian’s book helps guide little swimmers

Pam LeBlanc

Editor’s note: This article was originally published July 24, 2013

I met Olympic swimmer Elli Overton a few weeks ago, when we both swam 4 miles down Lake Austin as part of a fund-raiser for Colin’s Hope, which works to raise water safety awareness.

When we sloshed out (she was kicked back and relaxing by the time I finished), she showed me a copy of a book she published called “Jay’s Swimming Journey.”

The book reminds kids that what counts at swim practice is paying attention and working hard, and that they shouldn’t get too caught up in what their teammates are doing. (That’s sound advice, even for those of us on U.S. Masters teams!)

Overton, who has two sons, was a World Short Course, Pan Pacific, Commonwealth Games and Australian Champion, but never medaled at the Olympics. Plagued by feelings of being a loser, Elli hid from the world of swimming for 12 years after her retirement, she says. Today she runs her own coaching program in Austin.

The book, with illustrations by Jonathan Horstmann, sells for $9.24 at It’s also available at Lane Four Swim Shop in Austin or at A portion of proceeds benefits Colin’s Hope.

For more information about Elli Overton Training Systems, go to