Dr. Terry Schroeder’s Olympic-themed biography inspires others to achieve goals
Terry Schroeder, D.C. (San Jose, ’86), scored numerous goals during the course of a Hall of Fame career in which he was selected to four U.S. Olympic water-polo teams as a player (’80, ’84, ’88 and ’92), and participated in two other Olympics as a coach (’08 and ’12).
Now, with the recent release of his biography, “Swimming Through Life,” Dr. Schroeder hopes to help others achieve their goals – in life as well as in sports.
“Swimming Through Life” focuses on the chapter of time (1980-2016) during which the three-time U.S. Olympic water-polo team-captain traveled the world and achieved international success and media acclaim in and out of the pool.
“I began to write down my stories after I was done playing. I had journaled pretty regularly, so it was not too difficult to remember and develop the text,” said Dr. Schroeder, a third-generation chiropractor, who maintains his practice (with his wife, Lori Schroeder, D.C., San Jose, ’86) at Schroeder Center for Healthy Living in southern California.
In 1992, Dr. Schroeder was dubbed “The Consummate Olympian” in a Sports Illustrated feature-profile, which included the iconic photo of Dr. Schroeder and more than 30 other relatives (all chiropractors) standing adjacent to the original Palmer Spine on the campus of Pepperdine University (where Dr. Schroeder recently completed his 24th season as coach of the Waves’ men’s water-polo team).
The first version of the book was called “Finish Strong” – but Dr. Schroeder wasn’t pleased with the way it turned out.
A few years later, he read the book, “The Boys in the Boat”, and was inspired to tell his story in a similar fashion. He subsequently recruited the writing assistance of a friend (Diana Addison Lyle, a big water-polo fan and published author) — and “Swimming Through Life” was the outcome of that collaborative project.
As a Palmer student, Dr. Schroeder had to take time off to prepare for the ’84 Summer Games, which, conveniently took place a short air-flight away in Los Angeles – unlike the international locations of the other two Olympics in which he participated (Barcelona in ’88, and Seoul in ’92).
“The timing of Palmer establishing a California branch campus (in 1980) couldn’t haven’t worked out any better,” said Dr. Schroeder, whose biography shares how chiropractic helped him achieve multiple goals (including the 382 points he scored during his record-setting water polo career at Pepperdine, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in sports medicine) en route to qualifying for four Olympic teams – and how his international athletic experiences have enabled him to promote the health benefits of chiropractic around the globe.
Dr. Schroeder’s experiences during the course of qualifying and training for four Olympic games as a player, and, more recently, preparing for two Olympics as a coach, have taught him multiple life-lessons that have impacted him well beyond his athletic endeavors. He says he applies them every day, whether with patients in his practice or the players that he coaches.
“Some of the primary life lessons that I learned were: all good things come from love; habits either make or break you in life; take responsibility when you fail; be humble when you win,” said Dr. Schroeder, who won two Olympic medals as a player (silver in ’84 and again in ’88), carried the U.S. flag in the closing ceremonies of the ’88 Olympics, and coached the unheralded 2008 team (which entered the Beijing Games ranked 9th in the world) to a silver-medal-winning performance.
After impacting the lives of so many as a coach and chiropractor (and by inspiring many of his players and patients to follow the chiropractic career-path), Dr. Schroeder, who celebrated 30 years in practice with other ’86 alumni at the 2016 San Jose campus Homecoming event, hopes to have an equally life-enhancing effect on the individuals who read his book.
And what is the lasting message that Dr. Schroeder wants readers to take from the experience?
“Relationships are really what matter,” said Dr. Schroeder.
Note: Copies of Dr. Schroeder’s book are available from Amazon.com.