When you’re a great athlete, people expect you’ll be a great coach too. This isn’t always the case, as many great athletes expect all others to rise and compete at the same level they did. However, one Olympic swimmer has been experiencing success since he burst onto the head coaching scene just 3 years ago.
Brendan Hansen, a 6-time Olympic medalist, 8-time individual NCAA champion, and former world record holder, has countless accolades in the sport of swimming as an athlete. He was always giving back to the sport as an athlete, helping his teammates with technique and serving as a leader and captain for the teams he was a part of, but never saw himself in the coaching profession. When he stepped into the role, expectations were placed on him just as are every other great athlete who goes to the other side. People were expecting him to produce top level athletes; athletes that resembled him when he competed.
In an effort to deal with this pressure, Brendan has admittedly over-coached, but not in the way you might expect. He hasn’t been cranking out 80,000 yards weekly through ridiculous practice schedules and all the while exploding on his athletes when they don’t execute the perfect turn. Rather, he’s been upfront and honest with the athletes about what they have to do to get to the next level. In their case, college swimming.
Brendan realizes that it’s not his job now to produce the next olympian, or the next NCAA champion, or the next world-record breaker. It’s not his job to produce the next Brendan Hansen. It’s merely his job to put his athletes in a position to succeed when they move to on to the next step in their swimming career.