BRUNSWICK — Five-time Olympic medalist Ian Crocker spent Saturday morning telling a group of young swimmers how to get the most out of their sport, both in and out of the pool.

Crocker, a 34-year-old Portland native who now lives in Austin, Texas, also jumped into the water to demonstrate what he was talking about. Crocker was the featured guest of the Portland Porpoise Swim Club for a clinic at Bowdoin College’s Greason Pool, where in 1990 – at eight years old – he began swimming competitively.

The swimming clinic isn’t the only reason Crocker is in Maine this weekend. On Sunday afternoon, he will be among 14 inductees into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame during ceremonies at Merrill Auditorium in Portland.

Crocker, a Cheverus High graduate, set world records in the 50- and 100-meter butterfly and the short-course 100-meter freestyle. He earned the first of his three Olympic gold medals at age 18 at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney as a member of the 400 medley relay team. An eight-time world champion, Crocker also won medley relay gold medals in 2004 and 2008, as well as a silver in the 100 freestyle and a bronze in the 400 freestyle relay at the 2004 Athens games. While at the University of Texas, he was the 2004 NCAA swimmer of the year.

“It’s fantastic for the kids to come in to meet and talk and listen to somebody who has been on the world stage,” said Matt Baxter, the Porpoise Swim Club coach. “When I came here nine years ago, the oldest kid we had was 12 or 13, so they didn’t have anybody to look up to. The second year I was here, (Crocker) came in and talked to the kids, and that really got the ball rolling.”

Nearly 90 swimmers from ages 5 to 18 now belong to the Portland-based club. Crocker spent 21/2 hours with about 40 of them at Saturday’s clinic.

“I coach a club team in the Austin area and on weekends I travel to put on clinics around the country,” Crocker said. “Coaching is my passion and it’s a great way to have a positive impact on the younger generation.”

While addressing the group, the personable Crocker talked about the ups and downs of his career and what he had to do to improve as a swimmer.

He said when he first started to swim the butterfly, his older sister, Amy, and some of the other swimmers laughed at him. “My sister said I looked like a wounded duck,” he told the young swimmers.

“The fact that he wasn’t much good when he started and had to work real hard is inspiring to me,” said John Hight, 14, of Scarborough.

At one point, Crocker asked the group whether any of them got nervous before a race. Nearly every youngster raised a hand, as did Crocker.

“I competed for a long time and dealt with the nervous feeling for many, many years,” said Crocker during an interview. “I miss parts of it, but I don’t miss being that nervous.”

Crocker went into the water to demonstrate the finer points of streamlining – the proper placement of hands and arms when entering the water or making turns – to take full advantage of what he called “free speed.”

“It’s very helpful not only to hear what we’re supposed to do but to see how we’re supposed to do it,” said Emily Ecker, 14, of Cape Elizabeth, who was attending one of Crocker’s clinics for the fourth time.

“This is the second time I’ve met Ian and I think he helps me out tremendously with my under waters,” Hight said. “Every time I see him, my breakouts feel much stronger (and) I feel much more confident in the water.”

During his talk to the young swimmers and during an interview, Crocker emphasized the positive aspects of involvement in swimming.

“For young kids to be involved in swimming, there is what I call a social current,” he said. “In swimming, it tends to trend toward kids who are driven, have good grades, go to college, do well in college and swim in college, just being driven young adults with time management skills that are beyond their years.

“When a kid is involved in swimming, they kind of get swept up with the current because it’s just what everybody does,” Crocker added. “If you’re not involved in sports, it’s easier to get caught up in the current going in the wrong direction.”