Bob Bowman’s Pro Group Training Once Per Day At ASU

Arizona State University head coach Bob Bowman has already been vocal about how he feels about postponing the 2020 Olympic Games. “It would take a lot of pressure off,” he told the Associated Press earlier this week.

But as swimmers and coaches scramble to find training space with both the US Olympic Trials and the 2020 Games in Tokyo still scheduled to run on time, Bowman has managed to have his small group of professionals train once per day at ASU’s Mona Plummer Aquatic Center.

“We’re giving up a few practices, but we felt it was best to minimize how many times they go,” Bowman told the Arizona Republic, as typically leading up the Olympics the athletes would have doubles three days a week.

The group includes eight-time Olympic medalist Allison Schmitt, 2016 Olympian Hali Flickinger, South African Olympic finalist Brad Tandy, Giles Smith and Payton Sorenson.

Schmitt has trained under Bowman for the majority of her career — other than when she went to college at the University of Georgia — which included taking a redshirt in the lead-up to the 2012 Games in London where she went on to win three gold and five total medals, including an individual title in the women’s 200 free.

Flickinger, also a former Bulldog, only recently made the move to train with Bowman at ASU after last summer’s World Championships. The 25-year-old was the silver medalist at the 2019 World Championships in the women’s 200 fly, and is the fastest swimmer in the world in the event since the beginning of 2019.

On the other end of the spectrum are Bowman’s college swimmers at ASU, who aren’t allowed to train due to the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions from both the university and the Pac-12. The team has a total of 17 athletes qualified for the US Trials, scheduled to run June 21-28 in Omaha.

“It’s very testing when it comes to your adaptability as an athlete,” said Sun Devil senior and 2016 Olympian Cierra Runge. “You have a routine, you know what you need to do. To not have that is very boring, not having training five hours a day. It’s not comfortable.

“I’ll have that urge to do something and it’s like OK what can I do to keep myself entertained and in shape and in the running for the Games if they have them. You’ve got to keep everything going while having very limited resources.”

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Kristiina
1 year ago

Phelps too? Phelps is very good contitions just like before RIO.

John
Reply to  Kristiina
1 year ago

He’s retired homie

Brandi
1 year ago

Let’s say US Olympic Trials are not cancelled and the 2020 Olympics remain on schedule, it’s going to be VERY CLEAR which athletes were privileged with pool access and which were not.

Gator
Reply to  Brandi
1 year ago

I am sure Bob would find a lane for anyone who could compete for a medal in Tokyo, as all the folks listed can. It has nothing to do with privilege

Brandi
Reply to  Gator
1 year ago

@GATOR That means the top 16 US swimmers for each event should go to ASU to train. We don’t know who will make the US team until Trials, which is why we have an OT meet.

gator
Reply to  Brandi
1 year ago

The solution is a lot more random than that, but conceptually that sounds good if done safely per CDC guidelines. OT is still 3 months away, but looks very tenuous at this point. The fact is it hasn’t been cancelled yet.

Brandi
Reply to  gator
1 year ago

Exactly, it has not been cancelled yet. Meanwhile, some top athletes have access to pools and others do not. Some areas have zero pools open, and elite swimmers are home doing dryland only. Idc who you are, dryland, running, weights will never be an equal substitute for regular training in the pool. This is not sustainable preparation for the biggest meet of the quadrennial.

Gator
Reply to  Brandi
1 year ago

I would suggest they haven’t looked hard enough. For example, drive to another state and pitch a tent. If you are near the ocean it is still accessible.

AZswummer
Reply to  Gator
1 year ago

Most beaches are closed too- have been for days now.

Gator
Reply to  AZswummer
1 year ago

*but not all of them.
See Michael Andrew article on this site recently on surfing. Also, just because the state beach parking lots are closed doesn’t mean accessing beach is prohibited. Authorities are patrolling to make sure no gatherings >10 people. Use common sense.

Swimmer A
Reply to  Gator
1 year ago

Gator – common sense would be just postponing the games

Swimmer
Reply to  Gator
1 year ago

Some states are on complete lockdown. Not able to drive anywhere at all. It’s literally impossible to swim for many people.

Admin
Reply to  Swimmer
1 year ago

There are no states in the U.S. where residents are “not able to drive anywhere at all.”

Coach
Reply to  Gator
1 year ago

ASU will not allow outsiders on the campus. This is from the university, as Bob would have opened his doors if he could.

AZswummer
Reply to  Coach
1 year ago

That’s nice and all that he’s willing to share. I think the point of most comments is that we ALL need to practice social responsibility, regardless of who you are. This is not about who has a pool and who does not. Do you really think most of us enjoy being stuck at home? No. As a big figure in the world of swimming, he is not setting a good example. Some states are on lockdown now. Highly doubt if you get stopped by police that they would be sympathetic to your pleas to go to swim practice…. There are bigger things than swimming in life. Look at all the people who are now filing for unemployment or those whose… Read more »

gator
Reply to  AZswummer
1 year ago

every coach will do what they can to advise, i’m sure, because that’s the kind of people they are. If there is a way, they are the best resource to find opportunities to swim.

eagleswim
Reply to  Gator
1 year ago

what do you think privilege means?

Justin Thompson's
Reply to  Brandi
1 year ago

I’m not sure privilege has anything to do with it otherwise all elite athletes/ medal contenders would be training. Privilege usually is attached with wealth and resources. Are we to believe that ASU is more privileged than other clubs that have shut down?

Coachy
Reply to  Justin Thompson's
1 year ago

“Privilege is attached to wealth or resources”. Isn’t having a pool to train in a resource?

eagleswim
Reply to  Justin Thompson's
1 year ago

yes, ASU is privileged in this regard. I don’t really understand how you could argue otherwise or why you would even want to…

Nswim
1 year ago

If the college swimmers are seniors why wouldn’t they be able to train as pros? Their college careers are over, is it something to do with scholarships?

DLSwim
Reply to  Nswim
1 year ago

Because evidently the coach wants to minimize social interactions and is giving preference to the pros.

Ghost
Reply to  Nswim
1 year ago

I have same question. Why couldn’t Ciera train with that group?

FortySixOhSix
Reply to  Ghost
1 year ago

I think she is training with the group. I think she was just speaking to the decreased practice time. At least that’s how I read that

Ghost
Reply to  FortySixOhSix
1 year ago

Her name wasn’t listed in article

Koolaide
Reply to  Nswim
1 year ago

Because she is still a student-athlete until academic year ends.

Swimmer Dave
1 year ago

Very irresponsible!

Dan
Reply to  Swimmer Dave
1 year ago

Agreed

CoachSR
Reply to  Swimmer Dave
1 year ago

Completely agree. All coaches and committed swimmers, Olympic hopefuls or not, want to be training right now but most are doing the responsible thing and halting training until further notice. Right now EVERYONE should be doing their part for the greater good. Some things are more important than swimming at the moment. 99% of the time I admire the dedication of high level coaches and athletes but this is one instance where I do not.

AZswummer
Reply to  Swimmer Dave
1 year ago

So he comes out and supports postponement, yet he somehow manages to convince university to keep pool open to his select group? How interesting. IU pro swimmers have posted that they are closed out of pool and know OSU pool has been closed for a while. Be responsible so all the rest of us can leave our houses and resume OUR lives too please. Even the OTC is closed. Would understand if they were practicing in a private facility, but ASU is a public university. All pools, gyms, ect around the country are shuttered for a reason. No person is invincible. Please be socially responsible people.

Meeeeeee
Reply to  Swimmer Dave
1 year ago

Too many people in all aspects of society like this are who will keep the virus going.

Jonathan
1 year ago

It’s not irresponsible at all – Pros / National Team
Members should be able to continue to train in small groups w their coach and follow the CDC guidelines and stay quarantined otherwise. If we find out that the 2020
Olympics is post posted then we can revisit. Good job Bob taking care or your National Team.

Meeeeeee
Reply to  Jonathan
1 year ago

So wrong.

amom
Reply to  Jonathan
1 year ago

it’s truly survival of the fittest” hunger games” style in regards to training? what a disappointment for every athlete without means or facilities. It is irresponsible. you get yours and to hell with every other swimmer in the US. Yes, that’s certainly the way for a group who represents the US/National team to behave

Anonymous
Reply to  amom
1 year ago

They probably have plenty of toilet paper and hand sanitizer too 😉

Gator
1 year ago

Like I said, the top US swimmers are still training, as they should be!! Hats off to them for safely keeping the Olympic dream alive.

Brandi
Reply to  Gator
1 year ago

So, if you placed top 16 at the 2016 US Olympic Trials (or have the potential to at least semi-final this year) shouldn’t you be given similar pool access? These swimmers ALL deserve the opportunity to properly train, not just the top 1-3. This is NOT a level playing field!

gator
Reply to  Brandi
1 year ago

there are opportunities for people to swim safely if they look hard. call a friend. find a lake. don’t give up Brandi!

Brandi
Reply to  gator
1 year ago

Unless you live in Cali or Florida, US lakes are really really cold right now, like in the 50s! That’s not really a viable option for most swimmers in the US! Even with a full body wetsuit, you can’t swim for long in those temps or your hands and feet will freeze 🙁

Coach
Reply to  Brandi
1 year ago

Florida has closed all their beaches and California is on mandatory shut down.

Bob
Reply to  Coach
1 year ago

Yet Cal Bears are still in the water as well….

Lokiz
Reply to  Bob
1 year ago

What water?? Ocean water?

Ghost
Reply to  Gator
1 year ago

Not so sure that is a true statement?!? I think many elite swimmers haven’t been able to train

Masters swimmer
1 year ago

Folks, per the following link, swimming pools are plenty safe. Chlorine and other chemicals eliminate the virus. http://www.swimmingpool.com/coronavirus/.

It makes sense that pools are perfectly safe for training. Just need to have people keep safe distance.

Brandi
Reply to  Masters swimmer
1 year ago

If this is true, why are some pools closing their doors to ALL swimmers???

gator
Reply to  Brandi
1 year ago

because most are part of a school or local municipality which have mostly been closed, depending on which part of the country.

Dmswim
Reply to  gator
1 year ago

All of the independent pools in my area are closed as are the YMCAs. It doesn’t have to do with affiliation with a locality or school. There was major social pressure to close or it was mandated by the governor depending on the state.

Ladyvoldisser
1 year ago

I give it a week or two max before they are shut down. Y’all can down vote all you wish BUT this is a pandemic. Good golly – are people really so myopic that they are so concerned with swimming???

gator
Reply to  Ladyvoldisser
1 year ago

Lady Vol – recommend you go to the anti-swimming website, for folks aligned with your views.

Ladyvoldisser
Reply to  gator
1 year ago

I will as soon as Gator goes to the anti-human health website.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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