AUTHOR: Dr. Bell has written ten books and scores of journal and magazine articles on performance psychology. He is 11-time recipient, the most of any author, of the International Swimming Hall of Fame prestigious Buck Dawson Book of the Year Award. The separately copyrighted Winning Isn’t Normal passage (“WIN”), which is the heart of Bell’s most popular book, Winning Isn’t Normal, is likely the most read & widely used literary work in history.
SPORTS PSYCHOLOGIST: A pioneer in sports psychology, Dr. Bell formulated his ideas for enhancing sports performance and pursuing excellence in the middle of a class one day while a PhD student at The University of Texas at Austin. He went on to test his ideas on himself and then found his way to introduce and implement his ideas with many of the Longhorn teams in the mid-1970s and later with the Kenyon College Lords and Ladies; arguably the most successful collegiate athletic teams of all time in any sport.
The first full-time sports psychologist in private practice, Dr. Bell has consulted with hundreds of teams/groups and thousands of individuals around the world in a very wide range of sports/businesses/fine arts/performing arts and other areas concerning the pursuit excellence and success, outperforming the competition, and maximizing enjoying the process. Dr. Bell is considered the father of swimming psychology and is internationally recognized as one of the foremost experts on sports and human performance enhancement.
Dr. Bell has served as the Sports Psychologist for National and Olympic teams for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Cayman Islands as well as having giving seminars, talks, camps, clinics and consultations for hundreds of individuals, teams and groups. He has spoken to thousands of parents in parent sessions for hundreds of teams.
COACH: Dr. Bell has coached swimming at every level from summer club to collegiate, university, and national, and Olympic teams, and has coached runners, triathletes, softball, and soccer. He helmed the University of Texas Women’s Swim team as its first paid Head Coach and immediately won the Southwest Conference Championships. Later, Dr. Bell coached his wife, 1972 Olympic Triple Gold Medalist, Sandy Neilson, as she returned to the sport after a 12-year hiatus. At age 32, Neilson-Bell placed 5th at the 1988 Olympic Trials with a time that would’ve made finals at the Seoul Olympics. Sandy Neilson-Bell became the first woman to rank Internationally in 3 different decades, for which Dr. Bell was a 6-time recipient of the American Swimming Coaches Association Certificate of Excellence for Outstanding Coaching Achievement in the USA. Dr. Bell also founded and coached 6 masters swimming teams, winning the USMS national small team championships multiple times.
SWIMMER: A 4-time All-American while at Kenyon College, Dr. Bell went on to hit lifetime best times in his 50s. He is the only male swimmer to win 11 Gold Medals in a single USMS National Championships and one of a small number of swimmers to hold USMS age group national records concurrently in 3 different age groups.
Training every day, in August of 2023 Dr. Bell’s “streak” stood at more than 12,500 continuous days; a distance that would virtually put him on his 2nd lap around the world.
On his 43rd Birthday, Dr. Bell decided to swim 43 100s on the 1:30 interval in the 50m pool at which he was about to dive into. Then he decided to celebrate each of his annual birthdays by swimming his age in 100s on the 1:30. Each year, other swimmers joined Dr. Bell in the pool, or remotely, for his Birthday Swims, which soon made its way into the American Swimming Association’s Event Calender; and swimmers all over the world swam with Dr. Bell every August 8th or their age on their birthdays or both; while some adjusted the distances or intervals to what worked for them. In 2023, Dr. Bell swam 75 x 100s in a 33 and 1/3rd yard pool holding a good pace, but on a slower interval and enjoyed the heck out of it.
Inspired by his “streak” and his continuing Birthday Swims, a huge number of individuals worldwide have turned to consistent exercise for health, enhanced competitive performance and enjoyment. In 2016, in recognition of the tremendous influence Dr. Bell has had on others and the contributions he has made citywide as well as worldwide, the City of Austin has named September 3rd as “Keith Bell’s Celebrate Swimming Day.”
COMMUNITY: In collaboration with sponsors, participants, volunteers & friends Dr. Bell & his wife have helped spread awareness, raised money, and contributed funds to:
Swimability, Colin’s Hope & SwimSafe for swim lessons for those at risk
Deep Eddy Historic Bathhouse Renovation Project
Prostate Cancer Foundation for Research
UsToo for Prostate Cancer Awareness, Research & Support
Lou Gehrig’s Disease / ALS Research
Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation
Austin Parks Foundation
USA Swimming Foundation
San Juan Island School District Jr. High Swim Lessons
Learn to swim lessons for adults at Texas State University and
Other worthy causes.