AUSTIN (KXAN) - When 15-year-old Austin swimmer Mason Tenney jumps out of the box, he visualizes Michael Phelps, the gold-medal swimmer he has modeled and analyzed for the past seven years.
"I just go on YouTube and search Michael Phelps swimming or something and just watch over and over what he's doing and get a mental picture of that and copy it in practice," said Tenney.
Mason trains at Nitro Swimming in Bee Cave between 20 and 22 hours a week all year. It is the life of an Olympic hopeful.
"I wake up, go to practice, come home and eat," said Tenney. "During the summer, I sleep. During the school year, I go to school and go back to practice."
All of that work is pointed toward 2016 and the dream of swimming in the Olympic Games. Often times, the comprehensive training Mason and his teammates go through is physically and mentally exhausting.
"Some weeks it's really tiring, but you know that's what you have to do to get the results you want," said swimmer Megan Thompson, 17. "You do it, because you love it and you want to."
"When you see your time come up on the little electric board and you see the work you've put into it has paid off it's a great feeling," said Regan Barney, 13.
Coaches and parents are always close by as these teenagers train. They watch, fine tune and support every stroke. Mason's Dad said his son has had a hard time with the word "no" since he was a little boy.
"I personally hate losing," said Tenney. "If I don't win I just think of what I could have done better."
The swimmers hope to make the Junior Nationals at the end of August 2012.
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